Lockport Cave is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore the underground history of Lockport, a city in western New York. Lockport Cave is not a natural cave but a man-made water tunnel that was built in the 19th century to provide water power to the industries of Lockport. The tunnel is about 2,100 feet long and runs under the Erie Canal, the famous waterway that connected the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more here!
Exploring Lockport’s Canal Legacy
The Lockport Cave tour begins with a walk along the Erie Canal, where you can see the historic locks that allowed boats to travel uphill and downhill through the Niagara Escarpment, a ridge of rock that crosses the region. You can also see the Flight of Five, a set of five original locks from 1838 that are being restored to their original condition. You can learn about the history and the engineering of the canal and how it transformed the economy and the society of Lockport and New York State.
The tour then takes you to the entrance of the Lockport Cave, where you descend a staircase into the dark and mysterious tunnel. You can see the traces of the past, such as the tools and the materials used to build the tunnel, the stalactites and the flowstone that formed over time, and the artifacts left behind by the workers and visitors. You can also hear the stories and the legends of the tunnel, such as the invention of the fire hydrant, the ghost of the tunnel, and the secret passage to Canada.
The highlight of the tour is the underground boat ride, which takes you along the water-filled section of the tunnel, where you can experience the sights and the sounds of the subterranean world. You can see the reflections of the lights on the water, the shadows of the bats and the birds, and the echoes of the voices and the music. You can also feel the temperature and the humidity of the tunnel and the breeze and the spray of the water. Learn more about Erie Canal Discovery Center in Lockport, New York.