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Mid-Lakes Canal Cruises Offer Idyllic Way to Explore Upstate New York

Summertime, and the living is easy.

That’s particularly true if you’re cruising the New York State Canal System at about 7 mph on the Emita II.

Mid-Lakes Navigation offers all-day, two- and three-day cruises aboard the Emita II, a double-decked tour boat that accommodates up to 42 passengers. Tours depart from Syracuse, Oswego, Amsterdam, Buffalo and Macedon.

Doug Wilson, of Macedon, recently took the daylong cruise from Syracuse to Oswego along the Oswego Canal, which runs 23.7 miles and connects Oswego to the Erie Canal at Three Rivers, where the Seneca, Oneida and Oswego rivers converge. The cruise passes through seven locks and includes a side trip to the H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego.

Wilson started taking Mid-Lakes Navigation canal cruises in 1994, and found them so relaxing that he has taken close to a dozen since. His original goal was to traverse all four canals—the Eastern Erie Canal, the Western Erie Canal, the Oswego Canal and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Once he did that, he began to retake the cruises in reverse.

“The different sections of the canal system offer very different experiences,” he says, noting that the eastern section, which runs along the Mohawk River, is his favorite.

“Along the eastern section, the river gets wider the further east you go, so there are massive dam structures at each lock,” he says. “The central section passes through some small towns and undeveloped areas—the edges of the canal there are often irregular. The western section, which is man-made, is uniform in width. It passes through 11 canal towns and has a 60-mile stretch with no locks, but 15 lift bridges that must be raised to allow boats to pass.

“If you haven’t done them all, you haven’t gotten the full experience.”

The Emita’s captain is Dan Wiles, now in his 31st year at the helm. Wiles notes that almost 30 percent of his passengers have sailed previously with Mid-Lakes.

“With the wide-open spaces, the wildlife and the scale of the canal system, these cruises are a lot more picturesque than first-time passengers expect,” he says. “It keeps them coming back for more.

“The biggest charge I get is from hearing passengers say this was the best vacation of their life, and so much more than they expected.”

Mid-Lakes Navigation was founded in 1968 by Dan’s father, Peter Wiles Sr., and remains a family business. In addition to the one- to three-day canal cruises, Mid-Lakes offers self-skippered canalboat charters, and sightseeing, dinner, jazz, brunch and lunch cruises on both the Erie Canal and Skaneateles Lake.

For more information on Mid-Lakes Navigation cruises, which run through early October, go to http://www.midlakesnav.com or call 315-685-8500 or 1-800-545-4318.

Posted: Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 @ 11:33 am by Curt
Filed under: Blog Skaneateles
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Fun Fact about Syracuse/Onondaga County …. did you know …..

… that Clinton Square was the home of the first automobile drive-thru banking window in the United States. It was operated by Merchants Bank (which is now M & T Bank).

Attached, please find this week’s edition of the Friday Facts. For details on any of these events or others down the road, take a gander at our website at www.VisitSyracuse.org.

Check out our EXPANDED ON-LINE STORE (http://store.visitsyracuse.org/home.php?cat=249) featuring great Syracuse items such as T’s, hoodies, fleece items, tote bag & more! If you’re looking for Syracuse items, we got ‘em right on the website (items available for purchase on-line only). Check it out TODAY!!!

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!!! Our Surprise Me Pass is also conveniently available on-line on our website featuring discounts at over 250 area restaurants, attractions, services, etc.

Look-it … it’s right here at www.VisitSyracuse.org!

Posted: Monday, June 7th, 2010 @ 12:40 pm by Curt
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Auburn Beautification Commission & Downtown Auburn BID Upcoming Projects

Local organizations and individuals dedicated to making the City look better are gearing up for the summer season. According to the chairman of the Auburn Beautification Commission, this season will see some of the biggest projects yet, since their beginnings three years ago.

Commission chair Jim Kent told members at a City Council meeting about the Commission’s plans for this year, which include multiple public art projects and the rehabilitation of a small city park.

“I think we’ve made tremendous progress,” Kent said of the organization, which was founded as a city entity in 2007 before branching off as an independent not-for-profit.

The Commission sponsored a sculpture contest over the winter, and Kent said they received four proposals. The winning sculpture, created by Audrey Iwanicki, will be assembled during Founders Day, June 12th at the Exchange Street Mall, where it will remain for the public to view. (more…)

Posted: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 @ 2:36 pm by Curt
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Syracuse Chiefs Baseball is back! Enjoy great professional baseball with the whole family. For details call 474-7833 or go to www.SyracuseChiefs.com for details!

Posted: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 @ 8:12 am by Curt
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Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14, 2010 Joelle’s French Bistro will
be serving Valentine’s Dinner on Saturday, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM and
Sunday, 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Menu available at
www.joellesfrenchbistro.com Reservations only by calling (315) 685-

For a hotel room at Skaneateles Suites call 315-685-7568

Posted: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 @ 12:49 pm by Curt
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