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Canal Boat Rides on the St. Helena III

We frequently visit Historic Downtown Canal Fulton because of it's unique charm.  Some of our favorite destinations include, Oser's Dairy, The Toys Time Forgot, Keillor's Teddy Bear Shoppe, the library, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and St. Helena Heritage Park. Often when we are at the park, we [caption id="attachment_8771" align="alignright" width="300"]Canal Horses Pulling the St. Helena III Canal Horses Pulling the St. Helena III[/caption] watch the canal boat leaving from or returning to the dock.  It's a fascinating sight to see two horses pulling the boat down the canal. Last weekend, we decided to experience the fun first hand and take a ride on the St. Helena III ourselves.  It was such a memorable experience.

Riding on the St. Helena III

As we entered the boat, we were transported back to the 1830's as a historian welcomed us aboard.  During the hour long ride, he told us about the history of the canal, the boat and the area.  It was quite fascinating and we learned a lot. [caption id="attachment_8772" align="alignleft" width="300"]Lock on the Canal Lock on the Canal[/caption] Did you know:

  • The canal spans from Cleveland all the way to Portsmouth on the Ohio River, and it was dug by hand.
  • Once the boat gets moving, it only weights 50lbs to pull.  Therefore, pulling the boat is a fairly easy job for the horses.
  • Families would live on the boat for up to 9 months out of the year.  The cabin was the size of a walk-in closet.

We reached Lock 4 halfway through our ride.  As they turned the boat around, we got a great look at the lock and the historian explained the process that was used years ago when it was in operation. [caption id="attachment_8773" align="alignright" width="300"]View from the Top of the Canal Boat View from the Top of the Canal Boat[/caption] We enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  The scenery was beautiful, we had fun waving at the people biking on the trail and at points the historian played some familiar songs on the bango and harmonic. On our way back to the dock, we were given the opportunity to go up to the top of the boat to stand next to the driver.  It was fun to get a view from that perspective. If you've never been on a canal boat ride before, I highly recommend it.  People of all ages were on board that day and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Public Ride Schedule

The boat will be operating for two more weekends this year.  If you want to experience the fun be sure to get your tickets now.

  • Saturday & Sunday: October 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2013
  • Two departures on each day; 1pm & 2:30pm

In addition to the public rides, group charters are available and they host special events throughout the year. To find out more about the ride schedule and to purchase tickets, visit The City of Canal Fulton's website. Have you ever been on the St. Helena III?  If so, leave a comment and let us know what you enjoyed most about your trip?

Danielle Weiler


Danielle Weiler was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. She is the mother of two young children who strives to enjoy the simple things in life, and hopes to encourage others to do the same. Learn more about the local attractions and kid friendly events that take place across Northeast Ohio at her websiteNortheast Ohio Family Fun.

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