If in 2020 you were planning to do the Great Loop–the 6,000-mile journey along the Eastern Seaboard, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico and crucially, through New York state’s Erie Canal–there is bad news.
New York state deems the Erie Canal “non-essential” during the coronavirus pandemic. That means the canal will not open on May 15 and may not open at all in 2020, which would be a first for the 195-year-old canal.
“Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Canal Corporation has suspended all non-essential construction and maintenance activities; therefore, the New York State Canal system will not open for through-navigation of the locks on May 15 as previously announced,” the New York State Canal Corporation said Friday.
The Erie Canal is one of the most popular segments of the Great Loop route. There is an alternative route through Lake Champlain, but that also requires passage through locks operated by the Empire State.
You can read more about this story on the Great Harbour Trawlers website.