Lock 4 of the Champlain Canal sits at the confluence of the Hoosaic and Hudson Rivers. The Champlain Canal still carries boats and barges the 60 miles between the Hudson River to the south end of Lake Champlain in upstate New York. If you’re a canal enthusiast or history buff, you’ll probably want to visit this cozy little park!
State officials and the business community began talking about developing a statewide canal system around the War of 1812, and New York State began building both the Erie and Champlain canals in 1817. Whereas the Erie Canal crossed the Empire State, connecting Albany and Buffalo, the Champlain Canal connected Cohoes and Whitehall. Boats and barges began traveling the canal in 1823.
Today, though, mostly recreational boaters use the canal. These pleasure boaters often tour the New York State Canal System. Or they’re exploring the Lakes to Locks Passage, a scenic byway in northeastern New York. The byway extends from just north of Albany to the vicinity of the Canada–U.S. border as a highway and as a waterway. A series of 32 Waypoint Communities “meet and greet” the Lakes-to-Locks-Passage visitor, with a variety of community museums and attractions serving as Heritage Centers. Nearly every one of those waypoint communities offers a driving, biking or walking tour.
More About Canal Lock State Park
But back to the Canal Lock State Park. This cozy little park offers visitors the opportunity to observe the workings of Champlain Canal’s Lock 4 up close. There’s a short hiking path that takes you along the water to the rivers. And the park also offers picnic tables and grills, if you want to make a longer stop there and bring a whole picnic. You’re right on the water and liable to see birds. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a boat going through the Lock. We weren’t so lucky, unfortunately.
We were struck by how spiffy everything looked at Lock 4 Champlain Canal — all the machinery sported fresh blue and gold paint. This was an accidental daytrip as we just happened to notice the sign as we were driving along and made a sudden detour. It was cool — we’re glad we stopped.
Getting there: 947 Stillwater Bridge Rd, Schaghticoke, NY
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Website: New York State Parks