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‘Head of navigation’ on the Mohawk

Head of navigation (nautical): The farthest point above the mouth of a river that can be navigated by ships. This term can be somewhat subjective on many streams, as this point may vary greatly with the size of the ship being contemplated for navigation. On others it is quite objective, being caused by a waterfall, dam or lock.

On Monday, Oct. 19, we reached the Head of Navigation on the Mohawk River at Rome. This is where the Mohawk first meets and becomes contiguous with the Erie Canal.

All the dams to this point (20) are part of the Erie Canal and have locks for passage east or west. This dam at Rome is impassable. I tried to make it this far last October but ran short of time and had to turn back at Utica. It takes five days round trip from Troy.

Now, for the first time, our patrol boat has finally traveled to all the navigable edges of our Hudson River Watershed – south to the Verrazano Bridge, east to Throgs Neck on the East River, north to Fort Edward on the upper Hudson / Champlain Canal, and west on the Mohawk to Rome.

Happy almost 50th, Riverkeeper.

The last, highest lock before Rome:


The Mohawk arriving from the Adirondacks:


Looking west through a Guard Gate, the Canal continues as a straight cut toward Lake Erie:


Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
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