Erie Canal Discovery
24 Church Street, Lockport, NY 14094
May 1 – October 31: open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily
November 1 – April 30: open 10:00am to 3:00pm Fridays and Saturdays.
Inside a c.1843 “canal stone” building, next to the historic “Flight of Five” and Locks 34 & 35, the Erie Canal Discovery Center is an interesting and enjoyable place to learn about the creation of the canal and locks in the 19th Century.
The most popular feature of the Discovery Center is “Gateways East & West,” a 15-minute movie about the building of the canal and the Flight of Five and Deep Cutting – the massive project at Lockport. Part-way through the movie, visitors board a “packet boat” for a simulated night-time ride up through one of the 1820s locks!
Interactive displays let visitors try their hand at moving a boat through locks, hear from people who worked on the canal and built Lockport, explore the task of cutting through the bedrock, and test their knowledge of the canal.
After learning about the locks and canal, visitors can walk through the locks area with a better understanding of what they are seeing, and a greater appreciation of the monumental engineering feat that took place in Lockport.
The ground floor of the building houses the City of Lockport Visitor Center and the “Lock, Stock & Barrel” Museum Shop. Visitors can also see a portion of the Charles Rand Penney Collection of historic Niagara County artifacts on the third floor.
All three levels of Erie Canal Discovery Center are wheelchair accessible. Admission is $6 for adults (kids are free with parent or guardian), or $5 for Seniors, AAA/CAA members, and veterans. A Blue Star Museum – active duty U.S. and Canadian military personnel and their dependents are free.