The Erie Canal connects the Hudson River at Albany, N.Y. with Lake Erie at Buffalo, N.Y. The canal was constructed to provide a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean and New York City to the Great Lakes.
Construction on the Erie Canal began in 1817 and cost over $7 million to build. The Erie Canal was 363 miles in length and was opened on Oct. 26, 1825. In 1825, it took five days to travel the length of the canal, which took two weeks by stagecoach. The Erie Canal allowed New York City to become the largest city and port at the time giving the state more political influence.