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Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway

Byways and Heritage Areas
Rexford Crossing in the foreground with the upstream Mohawk Valley to the west. – 2003 MTSBC, Inc

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.

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.

Identify And Describe The Management Organization

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation 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.

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.