Caves and Cruises in Lockport, NY

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A fun and interesting way to spend the day in Lockport, NY, is by getting a little adventurous.  Taking a tour on the man-made water power tunnels of the Lockport Caves and Underground Boat Rides is a great way to experience the history of the Erie Canal, while having a true one-of-a-kind experience.

erie canal

The historic Erie Canal Locks numbered 67-71 were constructed in 1838. According to the tour operators, you will also “view ruins from an earlier industrial age, walk safely through a water tunnel that was blasted out of solid rock in the 1850s, viewing stalactites, flow stone, various geological formations and artifacts left behind by the men who built the tunnel in the early days of the Erie Canal.”  It was an interesting experience, and the walk up a dimly lit tunnel into the cave itself was eerie (in a fun way) and exciting, leaving you wondering what was around the next corner.

caves in NY

After your walk in through the tunnels and introduction via knowledgeable tour guide (part of which is done in the pitch blackness to give you a feel for what the workers dealt with). you will ride an underground, one-of-a-kind, longest in the USA below ground boatride. Lit only by small and sporadic lights, this ride is calm and spooky (adventurously so!) and made me think of the boat ride from Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory- with less orange people or psychedelic effulgence.

Niagara and Products 100

We were given many “cave kisses” as we floated down the river and back up again (“cave lingo” for water droplets that fell on us- quite cold, but refreshing) and it was a good time to see who was loved most by the cave. It wasn’t me, but I had a good amount of amour.

For more info and to book your tour, visit

Next, I would highly recommend a stop to the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, a very unique and enjoyable experience that you can’t get anyplace else.

lockport NY

Much remains the same on the Erie Canal today as it was in the 1800’s. Hand-dug to connect the Hudson River with the Niagara River, the 363-mile Grand Old Erie Canal is truly a great engineering feat. Originally, 83 stone locks overcame the 571-foot difference in the level between the rivers. Enlarged in the early 1900’s, now 35 locks allow larger vessels to travel across New York State.

The 2-hour cruises include being raised the 49 ft. elevation of the Niagara Escarpment (the same one that creates Niagara Falls) in the only double set of locks on the Erie Canal. You will pass under bridges that raise straight up, see water cascade over Lockport’s famous “Flight of Five” 1840’s locks, and travel through the solid walls of the “rock cut” as your Coast Guard licensed captain describes the architecture, sights, and folklore along the way. “

lockport locks

This was an amazing way to experience the Erie Canal and see firsthand what the “locks” really are and what they did. They really are amazing- and being “locked in” as the water rushes in or out and the boat rises and falls with the water is truly amazing, like nothing I have experienced. It was quite exciting. As you take the tour, the guide will explain the uses of the locks, why they were created and how (and it’s quite a story) and how useful they were. They are quite the marvel, and very cool that many are still in use today.

lockport canal cruise

The cruises depart May through October, and cost $9 for children and $17.50 for adults, with kids under 4 free. For more info or to book, visit



  1. courtney b says

    looks like something nice and peaceful.. i need a trip like that!

  2. Now that is a different type of cruise. Let me know if you ever head out to L.I. to the Ferry to CT. 🙂

  3. Wow that cave looks interesting

  4. Closer to Lucy says

    Love the rustic feel of the whole thing….what an experience! I’m sure visitors would never forget it!

  5. The cave sounds like a lot of fun I would like to see that

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