There’s Only One Place in New York You Can Drive Under the Erie Canal
There's only one place in New York where you can actually drive UNDER the Erie canal.
The Medina Culvert, built in 1823, is the only spot along the entire historic waterway where traffic can drive under the Erie Canal. It's located in Ridgeway, New York in Orleans County if you want to take this scary trip.
If the drive under the canal wasn't creepy enough, try doing it in the winter, when it takes on an icy look on a frigid day.
The Medina Culvert is so unique it's even listed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. There's a sign posted at the entrance, recognizing the rate tunnel.
Water Flows UNDER Erie Canal
The tunnel isn't the only thing under the Erie Canal. There's water flowing under the canal too. The Oak Orchard Creek, which originates in the Oak Orchard Swamp in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, is one of a few spots along the entire Erie Canal where water flows under the canal.
Adding to the uniqueness of the spot in Medina, New York, is Medina Falls, a 40 foot high waterfall that is 150 feet wide. Over time the falls have developed a purple-reddish sandstone known as Medina Sandstone.
Erie Canal History
Construction on the Erie Canal began in 1817 in Rome, New York and the first 15 miles from Rome to Utica, opened in 1819. The middle section from Utica to Syracuse was finished in 1820. The entire 363 mile canal system was officially completed in 1825, making it the second longest canal in the world.
In 2000, Congress designated the Erie Canal as the most successful and influential human-built waterway and one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America.