Photo by Dave Warner – The Grande Mariner passes by the Little Falls Harbor on its way to Lock 17 during the summer of 2018.

Opportunities Available for Local Providers & Businesses Interested in Developing and Operating Recreational Activities and Excursions Across the New York State Canal System

The New York State Canal Corporation announced a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking providers to join the fourth consecutive year of New York State’s On the Canals excursions program. Qualified vendors interested in developing and operating outdoor recreational, cultural, and educational activities, free for participants, across one or multiple locations on the New York State Canal System – including the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals and adjacent Canalway Trails – are encouraged to submit excursion information here.

On the Canals excursions are a great opportunity not only for New York residents to experience the canals in a unique way, but also for vendors to provide their services to a broad audience across the state,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “These mutually beneficial partnerships spotlight what our waterways and trails have to offer, and we’re excited to expand our partnerships for another successful On the Canals season. We look forward to growing the variety of opportunities offered along the Canal system and in turn, supporting canalside communities and expanding local and regional economies.”

On the Canals excursions, launched in 2020 as a free recreational program offering unique opportunities to experience the outdoors along the Canal corridor and Empire State Trail in partnership with vendors from canalside communities. The program is driving substantially increased recreational use of the Canal waterways and trails and, this year, has attracted more than 10,000 visitors from across New York and beyond to communities along the banks of the Canal system.

The On the Canals program was highly successful during its initial three seasons, with programming that has included kayaking, cycling, en Plein air painting, arts/crafts and STEM workshops for kids, birding, tour boat, and guided fishing outings, plus accessible activities such as adaptive paddling and biking. These activities promote wellness and local outdoor recreation while simultaneously advancing the environmental and social responsibility objectives of the New York State Canal Corporation.

Vendors interested in being part of the 2023 On the Canals program are invited to submit information demonstrating their qualifications and programming. Recreational activities may include – but are not limited to – canal and trail-based activities, instructional activities, and tours and excursions. Respondents are encouraged to suggest additional activities that support the On the Canals program goals and focus areas. 

For more information about the On the Canals excursions program and to view the RFQ, please visit here.