Miami Erie Canal
22 S. Water St
New Bremen, OH 45869
Did you know that boats on the Miami & Erie Canal typically traveled at a rate of four to five miles per hour?
The Miami & Erie Canal was significant in the development of Ohio as settlers found an easier way into the wilderness and commerce found a cheaper route to markets. Beginning in 1825, it took 20 years to construct the 249 miles of canal from Cincinnati to Toledo and cost more than $8 million. Irish, French and German immigrants, who labored for 30 cents a day plus a jigger of whiskey, manually moved trees, rocks and soil to create the waterway through the wilderness. The peak year for the canal was 1851 with over 400 boats moving freight and passengers. As railroad use increased, commercial use of the canal diminished. The final blow was the Great Flood of 1913 which destroyed portions of the waterway.
A great place to begin local exploration of the canal is the Miami & Erie Canal Visitors Center at Lock One in New Bremen. The center offers numerous exhibits and displays and the lock has been restored to its 1910 appearance with wooden gates and a spillway bypass. Just north of the village along the canal is the Keunning-Dicke Natural Area. The 67 acre parcel, with a pond, prairie area and woodlands, provides a great spot for primitive camping, picnicking or just enjoying nature.
In St. Marys, Memorial Park is home to the Belle of St. Marys, a replica canal boat and also features a covered bridge, clock tower and a lovely brick walkway along the canal trail to restored Lock 13. While in St. Marys, check out Grand Lake St. Marys. The 13,500 acre man-made body of water originally served as a source of water for the canal.
Click Here for Story & Map of Miami-Erie Canal