Bruce and I are off to Rochester, NY for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary and my father's 70th birthday. On Sunday, my parents have rented a boat on the Erie Canal for a couple of hours (departing from Spencerport). Ought to be fun! We'll see lots of friends and family.
I'll try to post while I am there, but in the meantime, here are some great maps and postcards of the Erie Canal. According to wikipedia, construction lasted from 1817-1825 and the original canal was 363 miles long (today the whole system is 524 miles).
The above image is a 1906 postcard from Vintage Views (which has great vintage postcards and timelines too) of the Upper Genesee falls in downtown Rochester. Bruce has always remarked that we don't see enough images of Rochester's wonderful waterfalls. They are really gorgeous!
Below is a map from ShipsBlog, a site about exploring the NY State canal system by boat. Click for a larger view.