Camillus Erie Canal Park season opens Sunday

The Camillus Erie Canal Park season officially opens Sunday May 1 with events from 1 to 5 p.m., complete with narrated boat tours over the restored 1844 Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct.

Park directors Liz and Dave Beebe said the aqueduct, whose restoration was completed last summer, is the centerpiece of the park. The wooden water bridge once allowed boats to pass over Nine Mile Creek and continue to Syracuse. The restored aqueduct extended the park's three miles of navigable waters by another mile east.

"Educational boat tours are arranged for school children, senior citizens, social organizations, congregations, physically challenged and tourists worldwide," Liz Beebe said. "We are able to enjoy luncheon and dinner cruises."

The restoration began in the 1970s and took $1.9 million in federal, state and privately raised money. It is the only navigable aqueduct in the state.

"Our volunteers look forward to providing a rich educational experience for the children as we tell the canal story during their visits to the museum, original Clinton's Ditch, exhibits and the aqueduct," Beebe said.

Narrated boat tours are $3 for adults; $1.50 for children 5-12; and free for children

under 5. The Sim's Store Museum combines the old fashion charm of canal stores with canal era memorabilia; admission is free.

The park features outdoor exhibits, the canalway trail for biking and hiking, a picnic area and non-motorized boating facilities.

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