The Glens Falls Feeder Canal is the only original infrastructure of the New York State Erie Canal system remaining intact and in operation. Hike, bike, or paddle along the trail while exploring the historic coal silos, the Five Combined Locks and Haviland Cove.
The Glens Falls Feeder Canal was first dug in 1822 to direct water about one-half mile eastward from the Hudson River to the highpoint of the Champlain Canal. In 1832, thirteen masonry locks were constructed to make the Feeder Canal wider and deeper, accommodating boat traffic between the Canal and Glens Falls.
Canal boats made regular runs on the Feeder Canal, carrying products produced in Glens Falls such as lumber, paper, tanned hides, and black marble. The return trip would bring coal, grain, plaster and textiles. Millions of board feet of logs, harvested in the Adirondacks, floated down the Hudson River, through the Feeder line to paper mills and sawmills located along the banks of the Canal.
Today, the Glens Falls Feeder Canal is the only original infrastructure of the New York State Erie Canal system remaining intact and in operation. The canal boat commerce ceased along the Feeder Canal by the late 1920’s, but it still carries the water necessary to operate the locks on Champlain Canal. In 1991 the NYS Department of Transportation refurbished the Five Combines, cleared the lock chambers, stabilized the canal walls and gave new life to the historic seven-mile long towpath trail. The trail is open to walkers, bikers, and paddlers.