More is yet to come as New York's $250 million investment during the last 15 years begins to reap a solid return as a consultant's study determined that the upstate canal system made an economic impact of about $400 million across the state last year.
More shoreline communities are seeing the benefits of partnering with the Canal Corp. in creating new public docks, canal trails, parks, picnic sites and pavilions. So far, they've awarded 54 grants to communities along the canal, including Hudson Crossings Park at Lock 5 in Schuylerville.
But the number of recreational boaters dropped from a peak of nearly 110,000 lockings of pleasure crafts in 2005 to about 85,000 in 2008. The recession, high gas prices and rainy weather continue to hamper recreational boating, but lockings are up 7 percent in 2009 so far compared to last year.