Geotourism Mapguide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
  Byways and Heritage Areas

Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway

Rexford Crossing in the foreground with the upstream Mohawk Valley to the west.
Autumn comes to the Vischer Ferry Historic District originally settled in 1671. Construction of the Erie Canal in the 1820s brought more residents to the community.  Boat builders used Greek Revival patterns for their homes.
Winter recreation on the historic Erie Canal towpath in the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve.
The Mohawk River drops 90 feet over the Cohoes Falls before joining the Hudson River.

The Mohawk Towpath Byway is a series of local, county and state highways that follow the historic route of the Erie Canal between Waterford/Cohoes and Schenectady in upstate New York.  As one travels the Byway you unlock the story of the Mohawk River, Erie Canal, the waterway west and the part our communities played in the westward expansion of the country and the Industrial Revolution.

Describe The Themes And Key Experiences

Visit New York's historic canal system and see the locks and bridges that made canal transport possible for almost two centuries. The Mohawk Towpath Byway links scenic, recreational, and historic resources. Architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries endures, as do the landscape and the perseverance of the canal builders. As you explore, other stories emerge including the area’s natural history, Native American influences on the only water-level route through the Appalachian Mountains, the American Revolution, the role our communities played in the westward expansion of the country and in the Industrial Revolution, the seat of innovation and invention, and family history.

What Are The “Don’t Miss” Experiences Along The Byway Or Heritage Area

It's a short Byway with a long history.  The driving route is just over 26 miles and overlaps the southern end of the Lakes to Locks Passage for a short distance.  You're encouraged to park your car and experience distinctive features along the route:

  • Waterford Harbor and the eastern gateway of the Erie Canal
  • Cohoes a historic textile manufacturing center
  • Cohoes Falls
  • The remnants of two great aqueducts that carried the Erie Canal over the Mohawk River
  • The Flight of Locks in Waterford, that carry vessels around the Cohoes Falls
  • Vischer Ferry Historic Preserve where Native Americans hunted and grew crops
  • the "gorge" area that the Mohawk River carved as the last glacier retreated
  • the agricultural areas that "fed" the Industrial Revolution
  • Schenectady, historically was said to "light and move the world" and now is a thriving cultual center
  • and much, much more.
Identify And Describe The Management Organization

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporations with a board of representatives from each of the municipalities through which the Byway passes and two "at large" voting members.  The corporation over sees the implemention of the Corridor Management Plan.



ADA Accessible


Tours Are Offered


Site is Child-friendly


Site is Pet-friendly


For More Information, Contact:

Eric Hamilton

Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc.
P O Box 90, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Meet the Author:

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Explore the landscape and history of Lakes to Locks Passage.

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 42.822098900
Longitude: -73.734054600
Elevation: 177 FT (54 M)
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