ACSlogo The American Canal Society


The American Canal Society is dedicated to Historic Canal Research, Preservation, Restoration, and Parks.   The society was formed in 1972 to promote the wise use of America's many historic canal resources through research, preservation, restoration, recreation, and parks. The society acts as a national clearing house of canal information and co-operates with local, state, and international canal societies, groups, and individuals to identify historic canal resources, to publicize canal history, activities, activities, and problems, and to take action on threatened canals and sites.

AMERICAN CANALS, the society's illustrated quarterly, is an internationally distributed periodical covering canal news, history, activities, and practical information from America and around the world. It is a source of information and inspiration for canal buffs as well as for professional planners, historians, and archaeologists. Click here to see recent issues.

The American Canal Society's on going projects include a national inventory of American canals and canal sites, a series of regional canal guides and other publications, and committees focusing on canal boat design and construction, canal parks, canal engineering and maintenance, and navigable canal boating and restoration.

Canals and their locks, aqueducts and other "works of art" (as the canal engineers called them) are the ancient castles of the New World. They are monumental works, built for the ages, the product of time, sweat, even the lives of past generations. They represent the beginning of civil engineering and other commercial institutions. It is not an inheritance to be wasted. It is up to us to preserve the best of our past and to wisely use these historic resources. The "ditches" and towpaths of the past can be the quiet parkways of the present and future.  We solicit your support and involvement.

To join us, please print and mail the membership form. Membership includes a subscription to American Canals.

We solicit your articles for publication in American Canals and your input for this web site. Please contact dgbarber@cs.com

In 2005, Euromapping published a map of the waterways of North America both current and historic.  The first such map in over 90 years.  It includes a guide to all the waterways shown plus other information.  Copies are available on the Inland Waterways International web site.

In 2011:, Euromapping has made the above map available as a pdf file which can be purchased from their web site. The advantage of the digital copy, is that you can zoom in on specific areas and see the great detail that may not be visible on the paper edition. You can also print out these zoomed in images. If you have the proper additional photo software, the zoomed in images can be used in Powerpoint presentations. Euromapping's web site is www.euromapping.com  In the online shop, go to the digital section.

NEW in 2007: The ACS Canal Boat Committee established a certification program for authentic canal boat replicas. See the link below for more information.

Click on the links below for more information!

  • Officers & Directors

  • President's Letters

  • Membership Information

  • American Canals - back issues (Added 9/11/13)

  • Calendar - a partial listing of upcoming canal events   (Updated 1/10/14)

  • World Canals Conferences

  • Canal Information & Data Sheets   (Additions, revisions & blank forms for submission)

  • Canal Links  (New links added on occasion)

  • Canal Buffs Hall of Fame

  • American Canal Guides

  • ACS Sales

  • Canal Boats you can cruise (Updated 9/26/13)

  • Canal Structures

    • Locks (how they work) Link to an Erie Canal web page

    • Description of various canal features & structures

    • Mason Marks a discussion of the mason marks found on masonry structures

  • Restorable Canals & Navigations

  • Progress  An update on the status of canals and navigations  (Updated 10/28/10)

  • Photos  An extensive collection! With continual additions

  • Restoration Information   A page of information on restoration projects to aid those researching for new projects

  • 43 year Index (1972 to 2014) for American Canals  (Updated 2/7/14)

  • Canal Boat Certification

  • Archives (Added 7/6/13)

  • Miscellaneous  (Various items related to canals)

  • eBooks (including links to Whitford's books on New York canals)

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district histories

  • Muskingum River Navigation (Ohio) (Revised  1/12/08)  Includes 2008 information

    Latest Updates:

    • 3/11/14 - Updated Conestoga Navigation data sheet and added lock table plus added aerials of some Conestoga lock sites to Susquehanna photos page
      3/10/14 - Added photos of Susquehanna & Tidewater to Susquehanna Canal page and updated structure table for Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal
      3/7/14 - Updated calendar
      3/6/14 - Added a few I&M Canal photos
      2/7/14 - Updated indexes for American Canals through, Winter 2014
      1/10/14 - Updated calendar
      12/20/13 - Added to back issues of American Canals through issue 50, added photos of the Illinois & Michigan Canal from the Metropolitan Water reclamation District of Grater Chicao collection at the Illinois State Archives
      12/16/18 Updated Calendar and added back issues of American Canals through issue 45
      11/13/13 - Updated data sheet for Illinois& Michigan Canal (IL)
      11/9/13 - Added coordinates of locks to sheet for Gilmerton Division of Dismal Swamp Canal (VA)
      10/31/13 - Added photo of new footbridge at Bolivar, OH aqueduct site on the Ohio & Erie Canal
      10/23/13 - Updated Calendar
      10/15/13 - Revised World Canals Conferences page
      10/13/13 - Updated indexes for American Canals through, Fall 2013
      10/7/13 - Revised description of Illinois & Michigan Canal in I & M Data sheet for Loclport - Joliet area
      9/26/13 - Updated photos of canal boats "Cumberland" at Cumberland, MD and "Delphi" at Delphi, IN to canal boats page. Added back issues of American Canals through issue 35.
      9/25/13 - Added photos of Delphi, IN; Cumberland, MD; & Jackson Street bridge, Joliet, IL Also updated ebook items
      9/12/13 - Updated calendar
      9/11/13 - Corrections to calendar
      9/10/13 - Added back issies of American Canals through Issue 23
      9/3/13 - Added a few back issues of American Canals
      9/2/13 - Updated President's Letters and added one back issue of American Canals
      8/3/13 - Added photos of D & H Canal from Eddyville through High Falls
      7/16/13 - Updated Calendar
      7/13/13 - Added recent photos of D&H Canal to D&H Canal photos page
      7/12/13 - Added photos of new bridge installation a D&H Canal towpath breach north of Port Orange Rd. to D&H Canal photos page
      7/6/13 - Added Canal Archives page, Updated Officers & Directors
      7/1/13 - Updated indexes for American Canals through, Spring 2013

    This site was last updated on 03/11/14