your paddlesports destination

Vischers Ferry Nature Preserve in New York

Trip Overview

This some people may find very interesting. Just North of Albany NY in Crescent is the Vischers Ferry Nature Preserve. The area is a preserved length of the Erie Canal ( aprox.10 miles)which can be accessed by the Mohawk River or by the main entrance of the preserve. Although the canal is now only 2-5 feet deep depending on what stretch you are paddling on, many features of the Canal are completely present, also some have been accurately resurrected. Approx, 1 mile east of the main entrance of the preserves walking paths (which were actually mule tow paths) is a canoe/kayak launch site called Klutes dry dock. This was a working dry dock for canal boat repairs in the early- mid 1800's. From there paddling east approx. 1 mile will lead you to the Mohawk river, paddling west however will take you into the preserve.

This is an incredible trip through time .you will pass old bridge foundations, tow paths, connector canals, wild life galore and as you continue a fully accurately restored (by union college engineers) 1840's canal bridge. Continuing west you will reach Erie Canal lock 19, however you may run out of water and have to hike up tow path trail a little. There of course is no motor boats and very little human activity, some bird watchers (the area is full of ducks, geese, and blue heron) and hikers. The water is still and paddling is easy. This is a trip through time, upon paddling this area it is incredible to think what this canal did for western development, still today over 75% of New York population lives within 10 miles of the canal and who would have thought in the early 1800's while this waterway was being created that I would be kayaking up it in 2001.A very peaceful thought provoking and historic trip.


Many accommodations in Albany, Saratoga and Clifton Park.


Rt 87 (Adirondack Northway) traveling north from Albany take exit 8. Go left just shy of 3 miles take left on Van Vranken RD. Main entrance is located at end of the rd.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip