Getting Here

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Bikes, and Boats

Syracuse is located near the geographic center of New York State. There are several ways for you to get here. Scroll down to find options for pre- and post-conference tours as well.


Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) is served by Air Canada, America, Delta, JetBlue, and United with direct flights from Boston, New York (JFK & LGA), Newark, Philadelphia, Washington (IAD & DCA), Toronto, Detroit, and Chicago. The airport is located about seven miles (11km) north of city center.

Syracuse Regional Taxi provides taxi and van service between 5 am and 2pm. The Marriott Syracuse Downtown offers shuttle service to and from the airport for hotel guests.

Seven car rental agencies are conveniently located on premises providing seamless transition from airport to your final destination. Reservations may be made in advance or upon arrival at the airport.


Syracuse is served by Amtrak’s Empire Service with four trains each day coming from the east, originating at New York Penn Station with stops in Albany and other cities along the way, and at least four per day coming from the west with one originating in Chicago, another in Toronto, and the others in Niagara Falls and Buffalo.


Syracuse’s William F. Walsh Transportation Center is the principal station for intercity bus service by Greyhound, Adirondack Trailways, and Megabus. Marriott Syracuse Downtown offers shuttle service to and from the Walsh Transportation Center. Centro transit buses provide frequent service from the station to the Centro downtown transit hub, which is located one block from the conference hotel.


Syracuse is about 2-1/4 hours (150 miles/240km) west of Albany, 5 hours (315 miles/500km) from Boston, 4 to 5-1/2 from New York City (depending on route), 4 hours (250 miles/410km) from Philadelphia, 6 hours (370 miles/600km) from Washington, 4 hours (250 miles/410km) from Montreal 410km), 2-1/2 hours (155 miles/245km) from Buffalo, 4 hours (240 miles/400km) from Toronto. If you drive, allow extra time to explore canal communities and historic sites along the way. Parking is available at the conference hotel at a discounted rate of $5 per day ($12 per day valet).


The Erie Canalway Trail runs more than 300 miles (480km) across New York State from Buffalo to Albany. Most of it is off-road, on the former canal towpath in the west and along a re-purposed rail bed in the east. Syracuse is in the middle. If you don’t want to ride all the way WCC2017, consider bringing a bike or renting one locally to explore on your own.


It wouldn’t be a proper World Canals Conference if you couldn’t come by boat. The Erie, Oswego, and Cayuga –Seneca canals converge near Syracuse and Onondaga Lake. Draft is currently limited to 2-1/2’ (0.76m) at Syracuse Inner Harbor, closest to the conference venue, but transient docking is available at other locations nearby.  Check the New York State Canals website for current navigation conditions and Notices to Mariners.

Getting to the Pre-Conference Tour

The pre-conference tour originates in Albany, near the confluence of the Erie and Champlain canals on Thursday evening 21 September, and ends at the WCC2017 conference hotel in Syracuse on Saturday, 30 September.


Albany International Airport (ALB) is served by American, Cape Air, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United with direct flights from Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, and Chicago. International visitors may prefer to fly into Newark (EWR) and take the train from there. Newark airport has its own train station, served by Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor trains and New Jersey Transit to commuter rail. Change trains at Penn Station, New York (NYP). (Connections from JFK airport to Penn Station are more awkward.)


Albany-Rensselaer train station (ALB) is served by Amtrak’s Empire Service with about a dozen trains coming up the Hudson every day originating at New York Penn Station (NYP). The 2-1/2 hour ride along the east bank of the Hudson River is one of the most scenic rail trips in the eastern US. Four trains come in from the west each day and there is one each from Montreal and Boston.


If you haven’t made arrangements with friends to leave a car at either end of your trip, you may want to drive to Syracuse, park at the William F. Walsh Transportation Center ($8 per day) and take Amtrak, Greyhound or Trailways to Albany to join the tour.

Note for participants of the Special Early-bird Lake Champlain Tour

The tour originates in Albany around 11am on Thursday 21 September, but we can stop at the Port Henry, NY Amtrak station on our way north to collect participants who want to take the train from Montreal. The route of Amtrak’s “Adirondack” offers dramatic views across Lake Champlain into Vermont’s Green Mountains and has been ranked as one of the ten most scenic train rides in the world. If you want to make a grand entrance and have access to a private plane, the Basin Harbor Club has its own grass airstrip (B06). The rest of us will watch you arrive from the pub at the edge of the field.

Post-Conference Tour

The post-conference tour departs from the WCC2017 conference hotel Thursday afternoon, 28 September, and ends in Buffalo Sunday, October 1.


Buffalo Niagara International Airport  (BUF) is served by American, Delta, Southwest, and United with direct flights to Boston, New York (JFK & LGA), Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington (DCA & IAD), Detroit, and Chicago. International travelers may find cheaper and more direct flights out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ), but that requires a bus or airport shuttle ride and a border crossing.


Buffalo’s Exchange Street Amtrak station is located three blocks from our post-conference tour hotel. Four eastbound trains pick up passengers at that station on Sunday. (The Lakeshore Limited stops at Buffalo’s Depew station, some distance from downtown. That train originates in Chicago; its chronic tardiness has earned it the nickname Late-for-Sure Limited. Consider yourself warned.)


Drivers may want to leave their cars at the Walsh Transportation Center in Syracuse (parking $8 per day) and take the train or Greyhound bus back to collect their vehicle.



 Pre-Conference Tour

Clinton Square

Columbus Square

Franklin Square

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