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Kayak Time Montezuma Finger Lakes Erie Canal Clyde River Cayuga Seneca Canal

Montezuma Loop

(Cayuga-Seneca Canal/Seneca River, Clyde River, and Erie Canal)
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Excursion

Kayak this picturesque loop of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal/Seneca River, Clyde River, and Erie Canal, skirting the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Experience locking through Lock 25 on the Erie Canal. This tour includes a short portage around the dam at May’s Point Rd.

Starting at the Seneca River Fishing Access off Routes 5&20, directly across from the main entrance to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge,we will paddle north 2.75 miles, then turn west onto the Clyde River. Paddling up stream 3.25 miles, on this lazy river, we will portage around the dam just past May’s Point Rd. and continue on until we meet the Erie Canal. We will then paddle east on the Erie Canal for 2.75 miles, stopping for lunch at Lock 25, and lock through. Meeting back up with the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, we will paddle south 2.75 miles, returning to the original put-in. This 11.5-mile kayak will take 6-7 hours to complete.

Skill Level

This full day tour is for moderately experienced kayakers who enjoy wildlife and the challenge of a day on the water. The length, short portage, and locking through make this a somewhat physically challenging paddle but the water is slow moving and is easily navigable.

Itinerary

  • Arrive at 9:30AM to gear up and learn paddling and safety basics.
  • Start at the Seneca River Fishing Access off Routes 5&20 at 10:00AM
  • Paddle to the Clyde River by 12:00PM
  • Paddle to Lock 25 on the Erie Canal for lunch by 2:00PM
  • Get back on the Canal by 3:00PM
  • Arrive back at the Seneca River Fishing Access between 5:00 and 5:30PM

Details

Parking at the Seneca River Fishing Access is free. There are porta-potties at Lock 25. Bring plenty of sun screen and bug repellent. Although paddling in Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is restricted, the portion of this excursion on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal/Seneca River skirts its entire eastern side, giving us ample chance to see wildlife up close. Locking through at Mays Point is an excellent opportunity to connect with the past and a great way to learn how to navigate the canal for long stretches. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks!

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