New Channel System Facility Design Guide Released | Lifestyles


Following the significant increase in the use of canoes, kayaks and paddle boards on the New York State canal system, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has released the Manual Launch Facility Design Guide for the New York State Canal System. The free guide shares best practices for communities, businesses and organizations looking to install or improve hand launch facilities for paddlers. It can be downloaded for free at

“We’re excited to welcome increasing numbers of paddlers to the canals, but some amenities designed for powerboats don’t work well for paddleboats, which sit lower on the water,” said Bob Radliff, Director Heritage Corridor Executive. “This guide will simplify the planning process for businesses and municipalities and help ensure that new docks and access points welcome paddlers.

The guide specifically addresses the uniqueness of the state’s canal system, considering its structures, bank and canal characteristics, and hydrological features. The guide includes diagrams and photos, permissions information, reference materials, checklists and more for a potential launch project. A range of options are presented, from minimum standards to universal design.

“These new guidelines for manual launch facilities will expand the use and accessibility of New York’s canals by providing comprehensive design best practices for communities and organizations along the canal system. I am confident that this effort modernization will attract more recreational users, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts to the waterway, further cementing the Erie Canal and its adjacent canals as centers of recreation for the 21st century,” said the manager. of the State Canal Corporation, Brian U. Stratton.

Financial support for the guide was provided by the National Park Service, State Canal Corporation, Montgomery County, and the New York State Department of State under Title 11 Environmental Protection Fund .


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