Camillus- Erie Canal Park celebrates opening day

The Camillus Erie Canal Park celebrated its official opening day of the 2007 season on Sunday May 6.

The Sims' Store Museum, which is always filled with Erie Canal memorabilia, featured new exhibits of the aqueduct restoration project and a model boat display, which was on loan from the Canal Society of New York.

Narrated boat tours were a highlight of the day and left hourly from the Sims' Store for a 45 minute, two- mile trip to the historic 1844 Nine-Mile Creek aqueduct.

There were a number of other exhibits for visitors on opening day to enjoy, including a lock demonstration, lock shanty and gere lock door exhibits, a of a farmers shed and a buoy boat.

Seven miles of canal way trails and self-guided nature walks to the original Clinton's Ditch also attracted many visitors and some just came to fish.

"We have been bringing the kids out here on the weekend for the last three weeks to go fishing," Linda Walsh said.

"Many people showed up on Sunday- the parking lot was full and people were even parked on Devoe Road. The nice weather contributed to the large turnout," Erie Canal Coordinator Dave Bebee said. "People have already been walking the trail for the last few days because it has been so nice."

Field trips are lined up for May and June, so the canal will be really busy the next few months. The school program is very successful. A lot of volunteers are involved with the field trips, which include a boat ride, a visit to the Sims' Store and a walk on the nature trail.

"On Sunday we had 45 international students from Syracuse University who came out to enjoy the day and learn about the history of the canal," Bebee said.

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