Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
Summer Trip for Familes on Erie Canal Trail -
Margaret from Amherst, OH on 1/4/2019 2:04:22 PM
I am planning a summer trip for two families on the trail. We did the GAP two years ago so some experience there. I am seeing that Cayuga State Park is kind of near the trail and would like to utilize it for camping possibly- but how far away is it actually from the trail and where exactly and would this be bikable from the trail- we would need the less traveled roads as we have kids with us the youngest being 12 years. Thanks for any tips you can offer.
Start of the canal trail in Buffalo -
Trek 620 from San Diego on 10/24/2018 7:12:08 AM
Ray, where does the canal trail actually start/end in Buffalo? I was at the anchor where the submarine ad ship were docked but saw no mention of the trail. It's starting/is cold on the trail as of this date with heavy frost along the trail in the mornings. Thanks
ctbiker from Norwich,CT on 10/24/2018 9:26:30 AM
I see Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal#Route) mentions various starting points but I personally don't have an answer. I cycled the western half a couple years ago and finished the eastern half yesterday (10/23).
As you mentioned, it's getting nippy throughout the day now.
My two friends and I were often confused by a lack of signage and disliked the broken route which dumps one out onto heavy, fast-traffic roads. We found riding the canal trail next to I-90 disquieting.
I especially liked the General Nicolas Herkimer estate area.
trek620 from san diego on 10/27/2018 8:55:56 AM
As far as directions go I found it useful to use the road markings put down by the New York Parks Department which are used on their ride from Buffalo to Albany in July (I believe). They consist of painted circles with a direction tab on turns, etc. I just used them backwards and it helped. The route I took last week was from Albany to Buffalo. I think prevailing winds are from west to east. Fought a stiff one most of the way. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/25/2018 5:04:47 PM
It starts at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. If you are in Canalside and are on the pedestrian bridge at the Commercial Slip you are at the beginning as you stand over the water. The lat/long is: 42.877337, -78.879350
From there the trail heads north (paved) along the city trails next to Lake Erie/Niagara River out to the Tonawandas where it then becomes gravel.
I will agree the signage could be improved down there for sure!
Buffalo-Syracuse or Syracuse - Albany -
Bob Emmerich from Now Rocky Pt., NY and West Melbourne,FL-Grew up West Islip, NY-raised family-Patchogue Ny on 11/12/2018 11:27:29 AM
If you had to choose only half of the Canal to bike which end would you choose.
trek620 from san diego on 11/13/2018 5:56:27 PM
Just finished route from Albany to Buffalo (before it was snowing). Because of the headwinds, I would say Syracuse to Albany would be my choice. Plenty to see on each leg. Be sure to visit the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/25/2018 4:57:00 PM
I rode the Cycle the Erie Canal event in 2017 and I would choose the western end, Buffalo to Syracuse. Just my personal opinion as it seems more of the canal is intact and on trails in this half. The first miles out of Buffalo to the Tonawandas are paved. I would do west to east as prevailing winds typically go that way and also at the locks you are going downhill as opposed to uphill but these are not very noticeable to be fair. Either way is fine though, it's great riding either end!
riding with 2 10 year olds - looking for no/little road sections -
Manisha from florida on 11/28/2018 10:26:53 PM
We want to ride ~120 mile segment over 5 days. We'd prefer to have little to no roads.
Is there a section you could recommend
Weekend Scout Biking Trip -
JFro from Warwick, NY on 11/24/2018 1:33:43 PM
Looking for a weekend bike trip for a group of Boy Scouts. Looking to finish in Albany. 40(ish) miles on Saturday. 10(ish) miles on Sunday. Looking for places to CAMP on Friday night and Saturday night.
present towpath condition -
ctbiker from Norwich, CT on 10/5/2018 3:25:47 PM
I'll be pedaling the eastern half of the Erie Canal very soon. We've had lots of precipitation (i.e. flooding) so don't know the effect of it on the pathway.
I've looked for "current conditions on the Erie Canal but have seen nothing definitive.
Anyone know or have a source?
best rides near Skaneateles -
Andy on 9/24/2018 8:29:30 PM
We are staying in Skaneateles and want to know the most interesting ride near by between 20 and 30 miles on the canal trail
Tribes Hill Park and Boat Launch in Fort Hunter -
Jj on 9/21/2018 3:49:30 PM
There is no camping here
Ray (webmaster) on 9/21/2018 5:41:57 PM
Thank you for catching that - I have updated the listings.
Paved Erie Canal Trail Parking in Utica -
Jj on 9/19/2018 5:58:24 PM
Can we park overnight?
KB from Cazenovia on 9/18/2018 9:22:58 PM
I just traveled it today and rode this section. In Rome you will ride on a few roads after coming off the trail from Utica direction and will go over a bridge on Mill street. Then turn left into the park next to the canal and it will take you over the Mohawk river. But take your time because it's fantastic and very historic. It will take you to S. James street and I highly suggest going into visitors center and Fort Stanwix. This map is not correct on this page !!!! Go up a block from visitor center and turn left on Liberty and go to the end and turn left again on Gifford and then a right next to the bank (yes, on the very busy highway) and then a quick left at the light (Rt 46,49) and this will get you back on the main trail again. the rest is a mix of very smooth gravel and pavement and a couple road sections into Durhamville on the Canal road. I hope this helps.
Hometown Meats & Deli in Clyde -
Jj on 9/18/2018 2:05:31 PM
Homemade soup and sandwich.... delicious.
McColley's in Spencerport -
Jj on 9/17/2018 10:27:55 PM
Excellent..we had a great meal. Wings and cob salad.
Newb on 8/22/2018 4:00:10 PM
Is the trail hilly?
The Psychlist on 8/23/2018 3:01:40 PM
No I wouldn't call it hilly. Remember it mostly follows rivers and a canal, so there can't be too many hills.
Ray (webmaster) on 9/17/2018 7:50:51 AM
I added a page showing the elevation profile for the trail.
As the graphs show, it is mostly small changes in elevation, but there are a few significant climbs:
Rome to Durhamville - Paved or Gravel -
Rich D from Scotch Plains, NJ on 9/15/2018 8:08:22 PM
Just curious. Is the section from Rome to Durhamville paved or gravel? I'll be riding it next week and trying to decide which bike to bring. Thanks!
Psychlist on 9/16/2018 11:12:46 AM
If my memory serves, you'll be on the paved streets while in Rome and in Durhamville. And you'll be on a street for a few miles outside of Durhamville. But other than that, you are on the gravel trail.
This website -
Joe G from Wildwood Mo on 9/13/2018 4:39:44 PM
I came across this website from the link from the Katy Trail website why does this website have a different look or format then the Katy and the others you host.
Ray (webmaster) on 9/13/2018 8:47:17 PM
Thanks for visiting the site, Joe.
I built the Katy Trail site 15 years ago, and used that framework to build other websites for the C&O Canal/GAP in MD/PA, Cowboy Trail in Nebraska, Silver Comet in GA, and Mickelson in SD.
When it came time to create a website for the Erie Canal, I decided to build a new site from scratch rather than copying the old Katy Trail framework. This new design could take advantage of the latest web technologies like "responsive design" (looking good and working well on any size screen), location awareness, better personalization, more extensive use of mapping... and just a fresher, more current look.
Having developed this new concept, next I will take these improvements and apply them to the other existing trail websites. So you can look forward to the Katy Trail site (and others) getting a face lift and improved trip planning tools sometime over the next year.
To make this new website framework the best it can be, I appreciate any feedback, ideas, critiques, or suggestions.
Thanks again, and happy trails!
Rails to Trails pathway in Tonawandas will extend to Erie Canal -
Ray (webmaster) on 9/12/2018 9:47:38 AM
A $2 million project to extend the Rails to Trails pathway from the Buffalo-Town of Tonawanda border out to the Erie Canal should begin construction in the spring.
Tonawanda city officials recently approved a 0.85-mile extension of the 4-mile pathway that starts at Kenmore Avenue and runs north before ending near Young and State streets.
Source: The Buffalo News
luggage shuttle services -
Gringo Bill from arvada on 9/3/2018 11:39:18 AM
We planning a fall colors bike tour along some or all of the Erie Canal. We are not interested in group guided tours. One major impediment to do it yourself is a seeming lack of shuttle services for luggage. All suggestions are most appreciated.
Ray (webmaster) on 9/3/2018 12:22:16 PM
I'm aware of a couple shuttle services operating along the Erie Canal, which are listed here:
Typically the shuttles haul people and bikes, but I expect they would be happy to haul luggage too. You'll probably want to pre-arrange drop-off of your bags at wherever you plan to spend the night, because the shuttle driver won't want to wait around for your arrival at the end of the day.
If you come across any services that are not listed, please let me know so I can get them added. Good luck and have fun!
Pittsford Farms Dairy -
RLS on 8/28/2018 4:27:16 PM
This place has an oatmeal butterscotch ice cream that's amazing. Ride a couple extra miles so you don't feel guilty for eating the ice cream, and give it a try. Wow.
Rochester sightseeing -
The Psychlist on 8/11/2018 12:39:50 PM
I’d highly recommend a side trip to High Falls in Rochester. It’s a magnificent sight and that part of Rochester has some great restaurants.
There’s a trail along the Genesee River. Follow that trail for about 5 miles and you’re there.
What to bring -
TRW on 7/31/2018 4:34:28 PM
Planning a day trip from Utica, haven't done long trail rides before. Any suggestions on what to bring?
Ray (webmaster) on 8/2/2018 5:30:14 PM
Here's what I always have in my pannier:
- Several spare tubes (and know how to change them)
- C02 canisters to inflate tires - you may prefer a small pump
- Energy gel
- Extra water container in hot weather
- Gloves and ear covering in cold weather
- Bug repellent
- Basic first aid: Motrin, Neosporin, and bandaids
- Compact poncho in case of rain
- Some spare large ziplocks and a trashbag
- Power-storage device for cell phone charging
I don't often need most of those items, but it's good to have them when I do need them!
Good luck on your ride - happy trails!