Until the 1820s, there was no way to get between the Great Lakes and New York City on water. That all changed in 1825, when the state of New York finished the Erie Canal. This canal runs from Buffalo, NY, at the edge of Lake Erie, to Albany, NY, where it connects to the Hudson River. The Hudson River then flows south into the Atlantic Ocean at New York City.
The Erie Canal didn't just make New York City grow; many cities along the Great Lakes grew larger because so many goods and people were able to be moved back and forth along the canal.
Click on the blue words for a great video explaining the history of the ERIE CANAL. Then, watch below to Bruce Springsteen's version of "Low Bridge/Erie Canal" for more interesting facts on this manmade waterway that linked the Great Lakes to the Hudson River in New York.