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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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Erie Canal Interesting Places to Stop
 - 
NW from St Paul MN on 01/19/2021 05:55 PM
Are there especially interesting tourist places to stop along the Erie Canal? Thanks.

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 01/20/2021 03:27 PM
This might be of interest.
https://bikeeriecanal.com/our-lady-of-martyrs-shrine-fultonville.aspx


Planning a spring tour 2021
 - 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/03/2021 02:59 PM
When we cycled the Katy Trail, we ( 3 couples) flew into St Louis, rented bikes at the terminus, arranged a shuttle to the start (4 hrs) and cycled the 260 miles or so eastward. Stayed at airBnbs, BnBs & quaint hotels. Did the ghost tour of the Missouri State Prison; tasted wine in Hermann; ate some fine food, and some basic grub!

In charming St Charles, dropped the bikes, stayed the night, ubered to the Airport. Easy planning. (I'd be happy to share my detailed itinerary !) I can also share a great itinerary, for the C&O/ GAP trail !

My question: Has anyone done something similar on the Erie Canal ?
We are thinking Buffalo to Albany(averaging 45 miles per day)

 
bigwebs from Connecticut on 01/03/2021 04:15 PM

My wife and I have biked Katy Trail, GAP/C and O and Erie Canal with different logistics.

Erie Canal - We rented an SUV (one way rental) in Connecticut, placed our bikes in the SUV and drove to Buffalo. Drove next day up to Niagara Falls and then dropped off the car in Buffalo. Then biked Buffalo to Albany, rented a car in Albany, placed bikes in car and drove home returning the car in Connecticut.

GAP/C and O - Flew into Pittsburgh Airport, took cab into Pittsburgh where we rented bikes and then biked to Washington. The bike rental shop in Pittsburgh had an arrangement with a bike shop in Washington so for an extra $50.00 rental fee, you could drop the rental bikes off in Washington and every two weeks or so the Pittsburgh bike shop would go to pick them up. We then took the train home from Washington.

Katy Trail - we had our own bikes packed up here at the local bike shop and shipped to the lawn mower repair place in Clinton, Missouri. I believe we used BikeFlights.com for the shipping, obtaining the labels ourselves. The lawn mower shop reassembled the bikes. We flew from New York to Kansas City, rented a car in Kansas City and drove to Clinton where we dropped off the car and then picked up the bikes. The car rental place drove us back to the lawn mower shop!

We biked to St. Charles, dropped off the bikes at a bike shop in St.Louis which packed them up and shipped them back to us in Connecticut using bikeflights.com again and we reassembled them ourselves. We flew home from St. Louis.

All these ways worked fine and were probably the cheapest and quickest logistically. Seems to me your best bet would be shipping your bikes to Buffalo - either your hotel (reassemble the bikes yourselves) or to a bike shop - rent a car in Buffalo - go to Niagara falls, bike the Erie canal and find a bike shop in Albany to ship your bikes back and then fly home.

We used hybrid bikes for all the trips.

All were great trips.

Enjoy.

 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 11:46 AM
Thanks for the input. We would prefer to rent/ not to ship our bikes. We always have rented, and bring our saddles/clip ins/ panniers. The Katy and CO/GAP are well set up for this.
I have read that the Amtrak is not the best option for transfer, so a one way van or car may be our best bet.

Sounds like you had the same experience in Missouri with the friendly and kind folks !! Loved that trip !

May I suggest the Loire River when (and if) travel opens up again ? You can rent your bikes at one end, drop them off at the other end, or towns in between.... and take the train back to Paris to fly home. Planning is very easy using their website. (Europe is much further ahead with cycle tourism than we are... )

Would like to do this Erie ! My next step is to see if there is a bike rental shop in Buffalo or Albany. Stay Well !

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 01/04/2021 12:07 PM
I'm interested in the trip on the Loire Valley.

What did you do with your suitcases while you rode? Or did you fly only with the gear you would use while you were riding?

 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 12:19 PM
Yankee John, We were lucky. Met friends from Guernsey (UK) who brought their Land Rover, on the ferry. We put our suitcases in their car. However, you could either leave the suitcases in your first hotel, most properties of very supportive of this idea.
Or, pay for a luggage transfer service.

Cycled this in 2011. It is amazing! and I would do it again.

Here's helpful links...

https://detoursdeloire.com/

https://www.loirebybike.co.uk/


 
Yankee John from Vermont on 01/04/2021 01:10 PM
Thank you for the links. Our 4 week retirement celebration trip to France was cancelled by COVID, hoping for fall of 2021.

Please note that it takes a bit of planning and flexibility in the more rural sections of the Erie Canal Bike Trail if you plan to stay in lodging. Hopefully some of the B&Bs will re-open post COVID.

 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 02:53 PM
Welcome.
I get it ! We had to cancel two 2020 retirement trips. May-Cycling Japan. Italy in September: Trekking Dolomites & Cycling Tuscany.

Italy is rescheduled..... we hope !

 
bigwebs from Connecticut on 01/05/2021 12:38 PM

ThoseDaltons

Sounds like we have had similar experiences. We were scheduled to bike the Dolomites this past spring but cancelled due to COVID. We have biked with a large group in Tuscany. We have had two self guided rides in Europe - Danube River - Passau to Vienna, and then biked around Lake Constance. The Dolomites trip, Danube and Lake Constance all arranged through biketours.com who subcontract with the European bike companies. They make all the hotel reservations, provide the routes, provide the bicycles and move your luggage and will help out with transfers if necessary.

We will look into the Loire Valley. Plan on skiing in Park City next month but COVID dependent.

 
Elaine from Stormville NY on 01/06/2021 02:31 PM
I am thinking about riding the Erie Canal Trail sometime in May 2021. I have the flexibility to go either direction. Not sure if it makes a big difference so I was wondering if anyone wanted to comment on the Pros and Cons of riding from Albany to Buffalo and Pros and Cons of riding from Buffalo to Albany. Thanks!

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 01/07/2021 08:28 AM
Prevalent winds are West to East. That's why Mt. Washington has the weather it has


Renting bikes in Buffalo or Albany
 - 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 12:47 PM
Sorry if this has been asked before. I scrolled thru several pages, and could not find. Unfortunately this forum does not have a search option.
Is anyone aware of a shop that will rent us bikes ? Preferable in Albany, where we would like to end our ride.

I have looked at the websites of the two bike shops under services, but they do not advertise rentals.

Thanks.

 
Yankee John from Braintree, Vermont on 01/04/2021 02:41 PM
Unfortunately I'm not aware of a bike shop that provides rentals. There was a shop in Schenectady the rented but it closed last year. You might want to contact the shops personally. Freeman's Bridge Sports in Scotia has become an excellent shop, and they might be able to provide bikes, although they aren't at the start of the trail.

Diane at Great American Bike Tours organizes bike tours on the canal and is a great resource and might have some ideas. She used to run a bike shuttle service on the canal.

 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 02:55 PM
Thanks ! I check those out !

If we cant find rentals, we might just do the C&)/ GAP again.......

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 01/04/2021 04:23 PM
There is a search button on the main page to the far right after the
mileage chart button

 
Joe from Buffalo on 01/04/2021 04:30 PM
Campus Wheelworks in Buffalo offers bike rentals - https://www.campuswheelworks.com/repair-rental/bike-rental/

They also rent racks if you need them.

I'd give them a call - if they can't help you they may know someone who can. Very helpful staff there.


 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 07:12 PM
Thanks all, for the help.

I'll call Campus Wheelworks :).


Rotterdam Gap
 - 
Yankee John from Vermont on 01/04/2021 12:20 PM
From Today's Schenectady Gazette:

For decades, two sets of railroad tracks in Rotterdam Junction impeded people looking to take a long off-road bike ride between Schenectady and Amsterdam on the Erie Canalway Trail, which runs all the way to Buffalo.
“It was one of the worst gaps in the entire system,” said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.
But the obstacles for riders are no more.
As part of developing the statewide Empire State Trail, the state has built a bike-pedestrian tunnel under the PanAm Rail tracks at the end of Scrafford Lane, rehabbed a century-old maintenance tunnel under the CSX tracks two miles west, and built three miles of new trail. Total cost: $8 million.
“Both of the new tunnels are open and there is now a continous off-road trail from Schenectady west all the way to Frankfort,” said Andy Beers, executive director of the Empire State Trail. “The (Scrafford Lane) tunnel is complete, and it is an amazing piece of engineering.”
Construction on the Rotterdam Junction trail wrapped up last month — one of the last pieces in the state’s three-year effort to construct the Empire State Trail, which runs continuously 750 miles, from Buffalo to Albany and from the tip of Manhattan to the Canadian border.
“The state spent $8 million in Rotterdam Junction. It’s a major achievement, and we’re grateful to the state for doing it,” Gillen said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who unveiled the plan in 2017, announced last week that the Empire State Trail is completed. That means the entire system — some 75 percent of which is off-road — is open to cyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers and snow-shoers. It meets the deadline Cuomo set four years ago to finish work by the end of 2020.

Developing the trail system has cost $293 million, with an initial $200 million state appropriation being used to leverage an additional $93 million in federal, state and local money, Beers said.
Completion is expected to raise the profile of the state’s bicycle and pedestrian trail system, and draw millions of new visitors, from around the state, other states, and internationally. That’s expected to lead to many millions in new visitor spending.
“I’ve already been contacted, this fall, by a company that organizes supported rides,” Beers said, speaking of companies that provide ride support, meals and accommodations for traveling cycling groups. “This is going to be a world-class destination.”
Along the Erie Canalway Trail, which runs 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany, the project has increased the amount of off-road trail from 80 percent of the ride to about 95 percent.
“I’d seen the condition of the trail and the need to close the gaps,” said Brian Stratton, the former Schenectady mayor who has headed the state Canal Corp. for the last decade. “The governor likes to do things bold, and when he decided to close the gaps he did it in a way that nobody could have imagined.”


 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/04/2021 12:24 PM
AWESOME ! Thanks for the post !


Canalway Fundraising Tour 06-06-20 -> 06-13-20
 - 
wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 06/18/2020 02:05 PM
Greetings! Here is a recap of my recent Fundraising Tour that crossed NYS on the Erie Canalway Trail. It was a fun and easy ride that about anyone could do at their own pace. (Mileage recap at the end. Total miles = 371)

I'm not going to go into too much detail here but welcome any questions about any aspects of the tour. Just post away here and I'll be glad to respond.

I traveled from Buffalo -] Albany and pretty much lived out of my bike packs. I utilized close-by facilities for eating and restrooms and never really had any issues in that regard. I did have provisions with me, so I could stop and camp at any place that I liked - although I really only did that once on the first night. I had decent weather the entire trip (sunny and warm) and had rain one night and my tent provided fine shelter. It was my intent to utilize the "Better to ask for Forgiveness than ask for Permission" principle, however I never really wasn't comfortable with where I stayed and most of the time had some level of permission.

The trail is fairly easy to follow - especially in the well used "Erie Canalway Trail" sections. Note the this trail is being used as the basis for the new Empire State Trail (EST), but my experience was that the signage for the EST was not directional and mostly just there to announce the existence of the route. (You'll love that in the middle of a 10-mile section in the middle of secluded woods that there was an EST sign - really... Who knew?) I did find that when I was in trouble route finding that I could easily depend on using Google Maps (bike routes) and obtain good direction. I especially followed with map open through Syracuse and Rome and when I needed to get to a destination such as a specific Lock that I was planning to use for nightly camping.

Pavement surfaces vary, but it does make the ride more interesting. The western sections are primarily hard packed surface with a gravel/cinder topping that is easy enough to travel over. However, paved surfaces are nearly always present around both larger cities (Bflo, Roc) and then a mile out from smaller towns like Lockport, Medina, Macedon, etc. Most roadway travel is decent - some secondary roads and then some state routes, but most of them are following State Bike Routes with decent shoulders. I'm very comfortable on roadways, so my impression here might be different than others, but I never felt threatened and traffic moved over for the most part. I will mention that the section crossing over Montezuma was a very narrow shoulder on a state route heading into Fort Byron.

As you get into the middle section (SYR - Utica) of the Canalway Trail you are following the historic canal. It is much different than the new Barge Canal and takes you through much remote wooded trails more times under a tree canopy and missing smaller towns. I can't say much for the historic canal as it is not maintained at all and is becoming a real swamp in most places. I rejoiced when I came upon Lock 21 and the beautiful openness of the large Barge Canal.

Then from outside Utica and certainly once in Mohawk you pretty much are on paced surface through the rest of the trail. Much of the trail has been upgraded due to the Governor's Empire State Trail initiative and funding, however there are sections of trail that are a bit older that need attention because of tree roots that have undermined the trail and cause bumpety-bump and are hard on the bike and rider.

The trail does have good directional signage and warnings for curves, hills and traffic crossings. I also has an abundance of interpretive informational kiosks that talk about the trail and townships it passes through.

Trail conditions tend to change based on work being done (I did hit a few detours, but nicely marked). Certainly in this day of cell-phones and map apps, it is a different ride then it might have been not too many years ago. I will mention that the NYS Canal Corp is very good about being available for help. Canal workers are fairly helpful for the most part, but they could be better trained to understand what biking the trail is all about. Mostly those people I met along the trail were helpful when I asked for information about stores or what was ahead of me on the ride.

Not sure what else I might pass onto you. Maybe a bit about me and my gear: I'm a 71 year old male who is in decent physical health - I'm active, take care of myself and eat fairly smart. [I'm an active hiker/climber and found there was a transfer of knowledge/experience for endurance type activity.] I was riding a Cannondale F5 bike -- a nicely outfitted (mid entry-level MTB) when it was released for sale. Mine is some 12 years old. I had a rear rack that I used for panniers (37L RosWheel/China but great bags, less than $40), one each side and an integrated top bag. I needed more space so I added a dry bag that hung on the front handlebars with my handlebar bag. I also utilized a NekTeck 21W Foldable Dual-Port Solar Charger that charged a battery pack (Anker) during the ride and I used to charge my phone at night. It worked great. Also, a friend owns Kanberra Sport who makes "Chafe Paint" and I can't imagine riding without it. This stuff is awesome and keeps everything "down there" smooth and comfortable. Google Chafe Paint anti-friction cream.

I did have two incidents for need for repair. My bike was showing it's age and I had broken spokes. I got excellent help from Syracuse Bicycle and again near Schenectady at Freeman's Bridge Sports. I also learned from a friend following me on Facebook that as a member of AAA, I could utilize their service for breakdowns -- I'm covered during travel, not my vehicle. Great to know.

I have a diary/journal on facebook. Not sure that a link works here on the Forum but you can try to search fb for "Dick's Fundraiser for Feeding America" or find me: Dick Hubbard (bubba) My email is my last name followed by .rdh @ gmail

Lastly, I'll add that doing this as a fundraiser certainly added a special perspective. I was motivated by the extremely generous support of my friends. Incredibly, I raised over $3,000 for Feeding America. I'd say timing was perfect.

[I suppose I could add highlights - let me know and I can do that.]

Bring on any questions. Thanks for your interest and advise.

RECAP:

DATE
MILES NOTES

06/06/2020
49.11 mi NT - Brown St, Albion

06/07/2020
56.22 mi Albion - S. Macedon (Lock 30)

06/08/2020
50.11 mi Lock 30 - Weedsport

06/09/2020
53.37 mi Weedsport - Canastota

06/10/2020
52.5 mi Canastota - Illion

06/11/2020
51.65 mi Illion - Lock 12

06/12/2020
44.77 mi Lock 12 - Waterford (Lock E2)

06/13/2020
13.00 mi Lock E2 - Albany Capital








 
John from Pittsburgh,PA on 06/19/2020 02:42 PM
WNYBubba, what a great recap and thank you for sharing it with us.

I hope with the rebranding of the trail into the EST they can lay down some accurate mile markers from Buffalo to Albany. There’s a few between Buffalo and Rochester (blue and yellow ones) but then they just vanished. I don’t believe they are canalway related (possibly just counting from Tonawanda where the canal begins off of the Niagara River?).

Also, there’s still no true start or finish post or medallion where the trail begins and ends. For example, the trail is supposed to begin at Canalside in downtown Buffalo but there is nothing there that celebrates this amazing trail. No mile markers either, it’s just the Shoreline Trail in Buffalo. Just a some minor enhancements I’d like to see one day! :)

John

 
ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 01/03/2021 02:37 PM
Thank you for this detailed summary. Just now beginning to plan for a late spring tour. Have a lot of research to do, and this helped. Joe and I have biked the Katy trail, the GAP 3X (my folks had a home in Harpers Ferry), and cycled guided tours in several countries in Europe and SE Asia.
The Katy Trail was easy to organize......
Now why doesn't this forum has a search option ? :)


PTNY -- New 2021 Edition of Trail Guide
 - 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 12/20/2020 09:19 PM
I wonder how much better this edition is. I felt that the last Guide wasn't worth much. However, the PTNY website announces the 2021 Edition with this text in the description:

The 5th edition of Cycling the Erie Canal includes miles of new trail added as part of the Empire State Trail, plus the most recent information on lodging, attractions, and bike shops. 38 full-color maps provide the perfect tool to plan your bicycle trip along the trail.

With interactive maps (here and there), GPS, Google Maps and much other technology, not sure this is going to worth the investment.

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 12/23/2020 03:54 PM
When planning from home this could be good for reference before your tour. If I don't get to Ireland this year, I'm gonna get one for initial planning


Safety on the trail
 - 
Nina from Portland, Oregon on 12/20/2020 10:20 AM
I’d like to ride the trail starting in Albany and ending in Amherst (my family lives there). For anyone who has ridden the trail solo, would you say it’s safe for a woman riding by herself?

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 12/20/2020 10:59 AM
Yes, provided you are comfortable with solo adventure. You would get better advise if you informed us of how you were planning to overnight. Are you staying on the trail, B&B, motels, warmshowers?

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 12/20/2020 03:01 PM
Rent a SPOT LOCATER. you can let family know where you are and its got a 911 button for emergencies

 
Nina on 12/20/2020 08:27 PM
I’ve done a few solo trips before so that’s not a problem. I’m assuming that B&Bs or motels are not far off the trail? I prefer a bed after riding all day and don’t want to lug around camping gear. I like the spot locator idea!

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 12/20/2020 09:11 PM
You will be fine then. Yes, there are all kinds of accommodations within easy reach of the trail. Last year there was a post here concerning wanting to complete the trail staying at Marriott properties (IIRC) along the way. The poster succeeded in working it out. If that can happen... merely looking for a nice bed should be pretty easy. [I was self-supported - worked out fine as well].

Have a fun planning and making it happen!

 
bikegal from Seattle, WA on 12/21/2020 02:39 PM
I rode the trail solo in early October and I felt good as a woman riding by herself. I mostly camped but stayed at a B&B one night and with a friend another. I'm sure it is different during warmer, busier times, but given that there are so many towns / parks / populated residential areas along the way, I never felt concerned for my safety. I also rode Albany to Amherst to visit family at the end, and I will say that the winds can be brutal but I'm glad I went that direction. I would recommend budgeting a little extra time though. The upside is you really get the gorgeous canal views in the second half. Have you done a solo trip before? This was my first and it was a great one.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/22/2020 10:15 PM
Go for it Nina! As others have commented, you be fine as a solo female rider.

Good luck,
John


Jake's Grill in Tonawanda
 - 
Jen from City of tonawanda on 12/15/2020 07:54 AM
Recently remodeled temporarily closed due to covid guidelines. When reopened come visit and try Jake's 1/3 cheeseburger yummy!!


Jake's Grill in Tonawanda
 - 
Jen from City of tonawanda on 12/15/2020 07:54 AM
Recently remodeled temporarily closed due to covid guidelines. When reopened come visit and try Jake's 1/3 cheeseburger yummy!!


nal
 - 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 12/06/2020 12:42 PM
Besides the Locks that allow camping, what towns have parks you can legally camp at? Do you need to call ahead? Can you just camp along the canal when you need to?

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 12/07/2020 10:32 PM
So... what knowledge I gained b4 my ride in June was: there really are not specific camping spots that are supported by the Canal Corp (or PTNY). "Better to ask for Forgiveness than Permission" seems to be ideal strategy. Officially, I do not know that there is a rule about camping along the trail (not sure I've seen signage that prohibits it), but there are certainly many, many, options available for such. I always felt that I had that as a back-up option on my tour on any given evening if things didn't work out or if I was just exhausted. Also, as I've ridden many sections since, I've often noted-- why that would be a really decent place to bivouac! So, yes I'd consider on or just off trail in more rural sections to be a viable option.

Second item is that Locks generally are a good option, but again, no policy or prescribed places. Most advise to ask a Lock Operator if it's okay (or in my situation) thank them in the AM with much gratitude! They understand. Also, the Canalway doesn't follow the canal the entire way. You are often a mile or so away from a given lock. But... quick mapping will show you and direct you there -- I did a lot of planninf/calculating in the late afternoon when I knew how my day was going, the weather and my mental and physical being.

What really worked for me in pre-tour planning was to use the Canal maps online (here and PTNY) and coordinate specifuc locations with Google maps. Find a spot or mileage that looks decent or within where you intend to travel and then scope it out in "Street Mide" on the map app. You can also do this for any Lock. Google Maps knows, for instance, where Lock 32 is and you can scope out the area and surroundings in Street view mode. Gauk around all you want -- 360° and move from one side of a crossing to the other. It's pretty cool.

I did ask (and receive) permission a few times to stay on private property next to or just off the trail. I merely approached someone (owner) and explained/asked.

Here's one last thought on planning... your best made plans may not be those that you end up following. Take my tour for example -- Day 3 I had spokes break and was delayed 3-4 hours. Well, you never make that up. Every plan for overnight destination was off by almost 1/2 a day thecrest of the tour. So... you re-group, get out a map and see how things can work.

Here's what I know or remember... Lock 30 (Macedon) there is a town park next to the Lock intended for Canalway users (didn't know that when I rode), but I asked at the Fire station right next door and got permission to stay over on their grounds.

Lock 21 just west of Rome is a really nice setting. Large expanse of mowed grass and a potty (I believe).

Lock E-12 worked out well for me. I forgave myself the next morning & was even allowed to charge my phone while I broke camp.

There's another Lock along this section that has a park along side if it. There may have been a discussion here that I was a part of. Again... I found out a lot by zeroing in on Maps Street mode.

The final lock (E-2) in Waterford is also a park-like setting. The telephone/light pole in the far corner has an electrical outlet and the Lock house has one on the outside wall!

Nearly everywhere I stayed I was within a really easy walk/ride of a convenient store or restaurant and easy access to comfort facilities. Never had an issue. Always had a picnic table close by. And, one last item -- I read before leaving that if you are going to be a renegade camper, make a sign to hang out on your tent or bike that explains what you are doing and why you are there. I added my name and cell phone number figuring I'd rather get a call on my phone than someone rattling my tent.

Have the best time! It will all come together.


Ride from Depew train Station to trail
 - 
Howard from Cincinnati on 11/22/2020 03:07 PM
After riding Cincinnati to Cleveland next spring I’m thinking of taking the train to Depew and the riding east on the Erie Canal trail.

Is the road (Transit Ave) north to the trail super busy? Is there a decent shoulder? Any suggestions on alternate routes?

THX. Howard

 
Joe from Buffalo on 11/23/2020 06:07 PM
I would not recommend Transit Road - between the train station and the trail to the north, a good chunk is a high-speed 6-8 lane suburban highway that would be extremely dangerous to walk or ride on, sidewalk included.

An alternate route, suburban traffic but manageable, would be Dick Road -] over to Union Road -] north to North Forest -] Elicott Creek Trailway -] trail at Tonawanda Creek.

However if you haven't been to Buffalo and don't mind a little extra time, I would ride down to Canalside in downtown Buffalo. It's a park centered around the former terminus of the Erie canal into Lake Erie. There is also a bit more to see downtown with some historic architecture, and just north of downtown in Allentown will be some non-chain places to eat and a bike shop if you need anything.

https://goo.gl/maps/GU6nJHB6r3P3rcwX8

From the Depew station, head down Dick Road -] west on Broadway -] south on Union to the Lehigh Valley Rail Trail heading east. You will find it on Google Maps.

From there, ride the trail down to the other end on William Street. William Street is a low traffic industrial street for the most part that will take you downtown. Once you are in the core there are several streets that will take you south of downtown to Canalside. From there you can start the official trail.


 
bobthebuilder from Cleveland on 11/23/2020 07:00 PM
We took Amtrak to Buffalo Depew 2 years ago and opted to ride to the official train head. It added a lot of miles to the first day but worth it. A word of caution, not a lot of water on a hot day so be prepared. We passed a lot of nice trailside parks but none of the had water.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 11/23/2020 09:58 PM
Agree with Joe about heading into Bflo. Transit Road is a rather busy N-S route without much of a riding shoulder. When you start out from Buffalo you follow the river up to Tonawanda and then follow the Erie Canal eastward. Regarding water... you are always a short distance from convenient stores or restaurants along the way.

Joe: Not aware of the Lehigh Valley Rail Trail in Buffalo -- didn't show up on Google maps as an option in BIKE mode either. I've ridden on it over in the Rochester area, but that's a linear trail over there.

 
Joe from Buffalo on 11/24/2020 10:39 AM
wnybubba - I had never known the name of the trail until looking at it on Google Maps but it looks like it's also called "Cheektowaga Rails to Trails".

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-york/cheektowaga-historic-rail-to-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-view-full-map

Sorry, looks like my first post lost formatting.

William Street from downtown to this trail is a good low-traffic connector from downtown to the eastern suburbs and country side.

Just a little south heading east is Como Park Boulevard which is a nice on-road ride into Lancaster. From Lancaster the "Lancaster Heritage Trail" takes you into into Alden, where the is very little traffic on the side roads.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 11/30/2020 01:28 AM
Thanks Joe. All of your suggestions offer good advise. I live southeast of Bflo and haven't traveled too many trails in the city. However, on Friday when I was in town I crossed over the Heritage Trail -- one that I was unfamiliar with as well.

Drop me a line sometime if you want to get out and bike together. My email is my user-name here @gmail.com

 
Howard from Cincinnati on 12/03/2020 05:56 PM
Thanks guys. All very helpful



Parking in Albany
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Msdoo from Old forge NY on 10/07/2020 12:16 PM
The last eastern segment that we have to ride is Rotterdam to Albany. We will use two cars. What is the address of the end of the trail and where can we leave a car for approx 3 hours Can find any published info. On the trails end/ start place

 
Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 12/01/2020 10:02 AM
If you want to go a little further, when you end in Albany, take the Ped/bike overpass into Rennselaer and park at Riverfront Park on Broadway. Park has toilets and right across from Dunkin. The park is under the Dunn Memorial Bridge. I part there for the day when I take my club riding. Look for Signs for NY 5 & 9 Bike routes

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