2022 Erie Canalway Photo Contest Winners Announced

Winning images to be featured in 2023 calendar

1st Place, On the Water: Unguarded (Waterford) by Stefanie Obkirchner, Amsterdam, NY 

WATERFORD, NY – Twelve stunning images rose above a competitive field of 230 entries to win the 17th Annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Judges selected winning photos in four contest categories, along with 12 honorable mentions. Winners hail from across the Canalway Corridor and remind us that the NYS Canal System is a state and national treasure worthy of preservation and celebration.

“These remarkable images showcase the beauty, history, and diversity of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. We appreciate everyone who entered and shared the places, scenes, and activities they love along the New York’s extraordinary canals.” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Four winners and three honorable mentions hail from the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley.

Winning images can be viewed online and will be featured in the 2023 Erie Canalway calendar. The popular calendar will be available for free at libraries, visitor centers, and by request beginning in December.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “I send my heartfelt congratulations to the winners of this year’s annual photo contest, and my thanks to all of the exceptional photographers, amateur and professional alike, who participated. This year’s photos help us showcase the remarkable sights and recreational resources along the canal system. As we approach the bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s completion, they are a wonderful reminder of the Erie Canal’s legacy, impact, and presence in New York, both today and through generations of our history.”

Winning photos may be viewed at www.eriecanalway.org/gallery/photo-contests.

2022 Erie Canalway Photo Contest Winners 

Classic Canal 

1st Place, Passage to the East (Lockport) by Lee Williams, Lockport, NY

2nd Place, Tug on the Move (Amsterdam) by Stefanie Obkirchner, Amsterdam, NY

3rd Place, Hard at Work (Medina) by Peggy Barringer, Albion, NY

Canal Communities 

1st Place, Starry Morning (Lockport) by Jeff Tracy, Lockport, NY

2nd Place, Lift Bridge Sunset (Fairport) by Nikki Bittner, Fairport, NY

3rd Place, Nightfall Magic (Camillus) by Jen Bernhardt, Camillus, NY

Along the Trail 

1st Place, Sunrise Stroll on the Erie Canal (Pittsford) by Alan Schwartz, Rochester, NY

2nd Place, Autumn Paddle (Macedon) by Neil Sjoblom, Geneva, NY

3rd Place, Winter Walk (Vischer Ferry) by Tina Baxter, Clifton Park, NY

On the Water 

1st Place, Unguarded (Waterford) by Stefanie Obkirchner, Amsterdam, NY

2nd Place, Buoy Tender (Schuylerville) by Susan Meyer, Schuylerville, NY

3rd Place, Yankee Hill Lock (Amsterdam) by Tim Stephen, Rotterdam Junction, NY

Honorable Mention Recipients (listed west to east)

Amtrak Crossing (Tonawanda) by Stephen Abbey, Williamsville, NY

Summer Evening (Spencerport) by Claire Talbot, Hilton, NY

Genesee Valley Park (Rochester) by Brandon Sprung, Victor, NY

Nighttime Lock 33 (Henrietta) by Mike Haugh, Pittsford, NY

Cycling on the Erie Canal (Pittsford) by Alan Schwartz, Rochester, NY

Tied Up (Pittsford) by Gary Eisenhart, Pittsford, NY

Wrights Landing Oswego Harbor Lighthouse (Oswego) by Joe Carey, Syracuse, NY

Cross Country Skier Along the Old Erie Canal Trail (Camillus) by Joe Carey, Syracuse, NY

Rounding the Bend to Little Falls (Little Falls) by Frank Forte, Little Falls, NY

Fishing the Canal (Rotterdam Junction) by Robert Thorpe, Galway, NY

Ice Breaker Margot (Vischer Ferry) by Frank Forte, Little Falls, NY

They’re Off (Schuylerville) by Mike Bielkiewicz, Mechanicville, NY


The U.S. Congress recognized the national significance of the Erie Canal to the growth and development of the Nation by designating the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in 2000. The Corridor spans more than 500 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York and includes the present-day Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments. It is home to more than three million New Yorkers and host to millions of visitors each year. The National Heritage Corridor, in partnership with the National Park Service, collaborates with a variety of federal, state, and local partners to preserve New York’s extraordinary canal heritage, to promote the Corridor as a world class tourism destination, and to foster vibrant communities connected by the waterway.www.eriecanalway.org