Explore Rochester ~ Sam Patch Boat Tours
My initial plan was to take my kids to popular photo locations and blog about it, but my plans got a little derailed by real life. My husband was offered some (high pressure) work over the summer, plus camps, traveling, and working on the garden have meant less hiking. But summer isn’t over yet!
In the mean time, we’ll call this the canal because the canal is a super amazing place to be photographed and a little more underutilized than you would think. You can check out some official sessions on the canal by clicking here and here.
Nathan loves ducks and birds. There would be more photos but he recently jumped in a lake and had to be rescued so we keep him on a short invisible leash.
Periodically someone from our homeschool group organizes a Sam Patch boat tour and they fill in about five minutes. But this one was back to back with another so there was a little more elbow room. I just realized writing this that we got an amazing discount by going with a school group – our tickets were less than $5 a piece so if you have a child in school, it may be worth organizing that way to save a few dollars. The Sam Patch regular ticket rates are here.
This boat is a replica of an 1800s packet boat which would be used to travel the canal and was named after a man known for stunt jumping. He was originally from Rhode Island but headed our way to jump off of Niagara Falls, which he did successfully. One month later he jumped High Falls in Rochester, but because the crowd was small he repeated the stunt again a week later. Unfortunately this time he didn’t achieve feet first entry and died on impact. Why the boat is named after him I’m not sure… maybe he was a Rochester icon at the time? Anyone out there know?
The tour starts at Shoen Place with you trying to keep your children out of the water until they let you on the boat. Next they give you many announcements, including one about the contraband nature of water bottles which grieves your zero waste soul and which your six year old proceeds to remind you of for the next hour. Then a kind and knowledgeable tour guide talks about the history of the canal, which you may or may not be able to listen to if your toddler is trying to climb out the window.
You then travel through Lock 32, which your kids will think is the most amazing thing they’ve ever experienced. You won’t take photos because you’re trying to keep your toddler alive, but you will be impressed with the giant cement walls of the lock and the water which is your elevator. The staff is very friendly and happy to answer any of your questions, but you may not be able to listen to the answer if said toddler is raiding the bottled water available for purchase.
Then you’ll go to write about your experience and realize you have almost no photos. Oops. I guess you’ll have to do it again some time.