Crooked Lake Canal

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The Crooked Lake Canal was a former canal in western New York, United States. Built from 1830-1833, the canal linked two Finger Lakes: Keuka and Seneca lakes.[1] The name refers to the unusual shape of Keuka Lake, which was formerly called "Crooked Lake".


Encouraged by local farmers and businessmen who expected returns from a canal linking the two lakes, the state authorized a canal survey in this area in 1828. It authorized construction in 1829. From 1830 to 1833, the canal and its locks were built along the Keuka Outlet, a natural stream connecting the two lakes.[1] The Crooked Lake Canal ran 6-plus miles[2] between Dresden on the west shore of Seneca Lake and Penn Yan at the northeast end of Keuka Lake, through a system of twenty-eight locks.

The canal opened in 1833. It soon had to compete with newly constructed railroads, which could offer faster service. After years of declining business, the canal was officially abandoned in 1877. Its holdings were taken over by railroads. In 1972, the rail line along the canal was destroyed in flooding and related damage from Hurricane Agnes.

Later, the canal right-of-way was purchased for recreational use. The former route of the canal is partly marked as the modern Keuka Outlet Trail for hiking and biking.[1]

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