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Erie Canal Park

5750 Devoe Rd
315-487-3600 / 315-488-3409

Erie Canal Park is located on the Erie Canal Bike Trail, in Camillus NY

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Forum Discussions about Erie Canal Park

David E Jones from Garnet Valley on 03/05/2021 09:07 AM:
I am riding the Erie Canal trail from Buffalo to Albany in May and I can't seem to find any camping after Lock 15 going west to east to Albany. Can I just pitch a tent beside the trail anywhere?

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 03/05/2021 04:34 PM:
Some info here below might be of use to you. Others may chime in with stealth camping options.
Also, consider contacting some schools, volunteer fire depts, etc. in locations where you’re hoping to stop for the night but nothing is available.

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 03/06/2021 01:07 AM:
David, there are always plenty of options to throw up camp. Most Locks offer an option (not formally) but in general it's not an issue. I'm assuming you are looking at Lock 15 because Fort Plain is a targeted (identified) place, but I had a fine camp at Lock 12 in Fort Hunter/Tribes Hill that you haven't considered because it isn't mentioned anywhere. From Lock 12 I headed into Waterford and camped at Lock 2A, the first lock from the Hudson and finished the next day going into Albany.

If you search through this Forum's previous posts you will find other discussion about options for camping along the trail and how to use Google Maps in street mode to look around for potential camping spots. Admittedly, as you get closer into the Capital Region places to bivouac along the trail diminish, but options can still be found or permissions given.

It's hard giving advise not knowing how much daily mileage you are interested in doing. Fort Plain to Waterford could easily be a day tour for some, but a two day trip for others. Let us know where you would ideally like to find a place and maybe I or others can give you more pointed answers...

Lastly, traveling in May is way before the Canal is officially open for boats. Facilities at locks (like Lock 15) will not be open that early, so please be taking that into consideration in your planning process. Most Locks will not even be attended at that time, and if so, it will be for maintenance purposes. And, one last thought, the best laid plans can change quickly with a break-down or bad weather so make sure you are flexible with your planning as well. I felt the best weapon I had on my tour was the knowledge I gained by studying the Canalway and maps ahead of time and Google Maps as my assistant.

Oh, just look at the recent post below about Lock 7 Park. There's info about using Google Maps and right there at that Lock is certainly an option for setting up camp.

Donald Ferguson from Newburyport on 03/07/2021 01:26 PM:
I read that you are planning to bike from Buffalo to Albany this May. I am also in the process of planning a 6 day/ 60 mile+-a day trip during the same timeframe. I'm curious which towns are you planing to stop in along the way and what have you targeted for camping or hotels?

David E Jones from Garnet Valley on 03/10/2021 11:33 AM:
We are planning a 60 mile to 80 mile days weather and conditions permitting. So about 5 1/2 day trip. Plans are to camp at Red Rock Ponds at mile 60. Then at Twilight Erie RV Resort night 2 at mile 108, then at mile 190 Green Lakes State Park, then Lock 20 for a shorter day, then a camp along the trail somewhere and on into Albany the next day. We have looked at Hejemada campground too if our plans don't work out and then primitive camping along the trail as needed.

David E Jones from Garnet Valley on 03/10/2021 02:42 PM:
One other question. I want to park my car in Albany near the trailhead. The guide says the Amtrak Station Parking but it is across the Hudson River. Is there an easy way to get across the river from the Amtrak Station to the Trailhead in Albany?

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 03/10/2021 08:11 PM:
The Dunne Memorial bridge has a bike/ped bridge not far from Amtrak
that crosses the Hudson

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 03/11/2021 02:14 PM:
David -- Nice that you shared your plans. Looks great. I just did a tour (Google Maps, Street View) of Lock 20 and I was thinking that I didn't remember seeing it on the trail! Not sure, but it looks to be on the opposite side of the Canal, so it figures. However, when touring, Google showed signs for the trail, so I'm a bit confused, but no big deal. It is a *really* fine looking spot. Good to know.

The other thing that I wanted to mention was that Lock 2A in Waterford was a great place to tent camp as your last stop before hitting ALB (you're about 14 miles out). There are not any facilities (although there are two places to plug in for electricity). But a few blocks away there is a convenient store and restaurants. It worked great for me. Picnic tables along the Canalway locks on grass with a line of trees along the sides of the park.

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 03/11/2021 03:57 PM:
When I was at Waterford in Sept. the toilets were open and I believe boaters can get a shower there. Weekends (usually) there may be a farmers market. If you head towards Peeples Island you may be able to get water and toilets. Nice and flat all the way tp Albany from there. New off road path along Broadway by Watervilet Armory