I grew up not far away from Clinton’s Folly, otherwise known as the Erie Canal. Completed in 1825, the canal was enlarged twice before the turn of the 20th century to provide access to larger ships and barges. Today, the canal is part of the New York State Canal System and is popular with recreational boaters.
While I was most fascinated as a kid by the abandoned sections of the Erie Canal that were in short driving distance from our house, today I know that canals are not just a historical curiosity; modern canals play a vital role as shortcuts in shipping. Some that are particularly important are the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, the Kiel Canal, the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal.
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