One way that many have enjoyed this summer has been the Erie Canal

Erie Canal Adventures in Macedon, New York, has over a dozen packet boats, where folks can vacation on the water.

“They’re not in their house. They’re getting to experience the beauty of this area. They’re piloting a boat, probably something they haven’t done before. And, you know, the kids get to drop a fishing line into the water. It really is a great way to unplug and also be a little bit distracted from the craziness that we’re all going through,” said Brian Keenan of Erie Canal Adventures.

With travel restrictions in place and limiting access for many in and out of New York State, more folks around the region are using these boats than ever before.

Keenan said, “It’s offered local people an opportunity to jump into those slots and enjoy the area. What’s been interesting this year is a lot of folks from Western New York that have never tried this all of a sudden are saying ‘we need something interesting to do,’ and our phone’s kind of, I won’t say ringing off the hook, but pretty much ringing off the hook.”

Cruising the iconic canal allows one to chart their own journey in either direction.

“We don’t set an itinerary. We help people learn about what opportunities are maybe to the west of us or to the east of us. But you can travel a good seven days, maybe to the east or maybe to the west or what we call a lefty/righty, where people would be going a little to the east and a little to the west, and the experiences are quite different,” Keenan said.

And this month, an amazing tale on the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo. Russian sailors aboard the replica of an 18th-century Russian vessel made of pine are continuing an around-the-world voyage that began some two years ago. They have logged over 11,000 nautical miles and are on their way to Duluth, Minnesota, their Russian sister city, where they will stay for 20 days before proceeding to Alaska and ultimately back home to Russia. It is a journey that will take over three years in total.