Month: October 2015
Will Van Dorp, author, documentary filmmaker, and push behind the website, Tugster: a Waterblog, introduced us to the interesting world of tugboats and riverships. At his suggestion, we attended the 2015 Waterford Tugboat Roundup, a unique event held on the Erie Canal in Upstate New York.
Van Dorp’s role in this event was to share his 15 week experience living aboard the Urger (a tugboat) as it traveled 1,500 miles along the Erie Canal. Read about his adventures on his website under the category “Erie Canal,” by clicking HERE and HERE.
Waterford, NY, home of the Tugboat Roundup, is located in upstate New York where the Mohawk River and the Hudson River meet. Visit Waterford anytime of the year, but especially in summer through early fall, to explore its rivers and the Erie and Champlain Canals.
The Tugboat Roundup takes place next to the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center. During the season, boaters can dock along the city’s 1,000 linear feet of floating docks and 600 feet of concrete wall. The center provides information about the area, plus water, showers, electricity, and a pump-out station.
Bikers and hikers can ride or walk along fairly level canal routes, as well as explore Peebles Island State Park and, of course, Waterford itself. With New York’s state capital, Albany, just 15 minutes away, visitors can also explore Albany’s historic center, plus its cultural outlets and good dining.
The waters at Waterford are still enough for rowboats and kayaks. During the season, Mid-Lakes Navigation provides single and multiple day cruises. To be the captain of your own cruise, rent a houseboat barge and stay aboard for a week or two. Boats for hire are listed on the New York State of Opportunity – Canal Corporation’s website.
If you are unfamiliar with houseboat barges, visit the Erie-Champlain Canal Boat Company’s website and check out houseboat amenities. For more information, its section “About the Region” features a good article, plus links.
- Tugster: a waterblog – Van Dorp’s highly informative website
- Photos and accounts of Will Van Dorp’s 15 week adventure aboard the tug Urger can be read HERE and HERE, filed under the category “Erie Canal.”
- Waterford Harbor Visitor Center
- Tugboat Roundup: An annual September event in Waterford, NY, that includes a roundup of tugs, workboats, fireboats, barges, and dayboats, as well as a fair, cruises, and fireworks. The event described here was held on September 11-through-13, 2015. Annually, the event is held over a weekend during the first half of September.
- New York State of Opportunity – Canal Corporation: Lists boats for hire along the canals.
- Erie-Champlain Canal Boat Company: Rents “houseboat” barges, as well as provides excellent information and numerous link.
- Albany, NY: Discusses “things to do” in New York State’s capitol.
- Karen and Phil Little’s Experience Cruising on the Erie Canal: Describes the canal trip, plus interesting things to do in Finger Lakes, NY.
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