Old Erie Canal Boat and Flush Bash returns for the first time since 2019

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Bring your kayak, canoes or even stand-up paddle boards to the calm waters of the historic Erie Canal at the Old Erie Canal Boat Float and Bash on Saturday, June 17.

This will be the fourth year of the Old Erie Canal Boat Float and Bash, and their first time back since 2019.

The event will open at 8:00 a.m. for kayakers and paddle boarders, and 11:00 a.m. for everyone at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Chittenango, immediately adjacent to the Old Erie Canal waterway.

The event cost is $10 for paddlers which includes entry into the Boat Float Bash or $5 for those just going to the Bash. There is also a shuttle option available to help with transportation to the launch sites which is $5 per paddler.

All proceeds go to Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. The Boat Float & Bash will also feature food trucks, NY Farm breweries, music, blacksmith demonstrations and more.

According to Madison County Board of Supervisors, a drone will be on site to a take a final fun aerial photo of all the paddlers, similar to the one below.

Drone photo of Bash at Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in 2019. Courtesy of the Madison County Board of Supervisors and Carla DeShaw, Director of the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum.

The Old Erie Canal Boat Float and Bash is open to everyone and takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

“It is exciting to see people of all ages come out to fill the canal with colorful kayaks and canoes,” says Jamie Kowalczk, member of the Old Erie Canal Community Working Group which is helping Chittenango Landing put on the event. “Paddlers can expect to see wildlife along the way, view sunken canal boats near Chittenango Landing, and have the experience of paddling through historic working aqueducts. The flat, calm waters of the canal make it a perfect place for beginner paddlers and families too.”

For those participating in kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing, there are five different locations to start from so paddlers can choose how much mileage they would like to travel. At each location, they will also be greeted by a Canal Ambassador and receive an Old Erie Canal Paddle Guide.

All paddlers end at 12:30 p.m. for aerial photo and activities at The Old Erie Canal Boat Float and Bash.

Launch locations and starting times include the following:

  • Launch Site 1: Cedar Bay Park launch in DeWitt.
    • Launch time: 8:00 AM.
    • Total Distance to Boat Float Bash 9.4 miles.
  • Launch Site 2: Manlius Center Rd launch in Manlius.
    • Launch time: 9:00 AM.
    • Total Distance to Boat Float Bash 7.2 miles
  • Launch Site 3: Poolbrook Park launch in Kirkville.
    • Launch time: 11:00 AM.
    • Total distance to Boat Float Bash 3.2 miles
  • Launch Site 4: Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum launch right at the site of the Boat Float Bash.
    • Launch time: 11:00AM.
    • Out and back paddle.
  • Launch Site 5: Recognition Park Launch in Chittenango.
    • Launch time: 11:00 AM.
    • Out and back paddle.

Each participant needs to bring a PFD/life jacket, and kayak rentals are available with advance reservation through Morse Kayak or Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum.

To register and get full event details, visit the event website.

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