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On your final day, drop off your kayak at the pre-arranged point and drive 10 miles onwards to Syracuse. If you have time before your flight, you may want to explore this college town’s Erie Canal Museum, and appreciate how you have become part of the canal's story.

If you are planning to paddle between mid-November and early May, check with the New York State Canal Corporation for conditions and operation schedules. The canal is often drained during the winter months to prevent cracking and to allow for repairs.

Another way to experience the canal by boat is by renting a houseboat or a packet boat for a week. Bob Stivers' houseboat sleeps eight and the rental includes driving lessons (the boat can also stay docked on the water at Stivers' marina in the town of Geneva).

There are many towns along and just off the canal that merit a visit, and if you extend your trip, Auburn is a particularly interesting one. Home to Swaby's, a tavern that features an electric chair that was actually used at the Auburn Prison, and the Seward House Historic Museum, home of 19th-century statesman, William Seward, the town is both quaint and quirky.

An excellent map of the canal can be found online.

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