The Sam Patch is a replica 1800s packet boat that serves as a floating history museum for tourists, locals, and 4th graders all around the Rochester area.
Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours are a great way to immerse yourself in the canal’s history and operation during your narrated cruise.
Take a 90-minute cruise
Offered 2-3 times daily May-October
Even if you’ve grown up here with the canal in your backyard, a ride on the Sam Patch is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
Daily cruises depart from Schoen Place in Pittsford.
Locking through Lock 32
You can visit any of the locks along the canal and watch boats lock through, but there’s nothing like experiencing it in a boat!
Check out Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours’ special events
Past themes have included sunset yoga, live music, wine tastings, and a Fourth of July fireworks cruise.
Sam Patch packet boat tours on the Genesee River
If you’re lucky you’ll hop on one of their rare 2-hour excursions from Pittsford to Corn Hill Landing in the City of Rochester.
These are usually one way, meaning they depart from Pittsford and end in Corn Hill, or visa versa. You’ll need to think about return transportation.
They do this because they need to move the boat to a new location, maybe for a wedding, and why not offer people an opportunity to ride along!
We’ve parked cars at both ends in the past.
More information about Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours
Cost: Varies by excursion
Located at Shcoen Place in Pittsford, 21 minutes / 13 miles from Rochester (get directions)
More Information: sampatch.org
Walking around The Village of Pittsford
Pioneer settlers were farming the land here prior to the development of the Erie Canal. Look to Pittsford Farms Dairy as an example, established in 1814 as a farm, livery and stagecoach operation.
Many of the villages along the canal, especially those that include the word “port”–Fairport, Spencerport, Brockport–developed to fill the needs of the new canal and the settlers who traded there.
Pittsford thrived once the canal, as well as the railroad, routed through the area, establishing Monroe County’s oldest village in 1827.
As you’re exploring the village, waiting on your Sam Patch excursion to begin or walking to a restaurant afterward, take a look at the buildings and historic markers. They tell the story of this extraordinary place.
Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we appreciate today.
Rochester’s fun facts will inspire you to explore more. And these are just some of the historical tidbits that make Rochester special.
What do you love most about a ride on the Sam Patch?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!