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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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Looking for itinerary ideas
 - 
TC from Tucson on 10/22/2021 10:44 PM
My wife and I are planning to ride the trail from Buffalo to Albany in 2022. We would probably make the trip in 7 or 8 days. We would appreciate a suggested itinerary with towns and lodging suggestions. We like quaint hotels and B&B's. Is there any one stop that would warrant a layover day to see the sights? Thanks for any suggestions. We rode the GAP/C&O this year and have made multiple trips across Missouri on the Katy.




 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/26/2021 10:35 AM
I have a huge itinerary that I don't feel like editing and that will not fit here. If you want it in full email format, drop your email address here.

 
TC from Tucson on 10/26/2021 03:07 PM
Thanks Bill, are you on the facebook rail to trail site? My wife posts often there. Just posted our trip on the GAP/C&O. Don't want to post my email address on this site.

 
TC from Tucson on 10/26/2021 03:07 PM
.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/27/2021 09:18 AM
I just posted in this one. This site blocks the posting of links, so I had to fake it out a little.
ht tps://
www. facebook. com
/groups/749385035808873/

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/10/2021 01:24 PM
TC, can you see my reply in a post above this one dated 10/26?

 
TC from Tucson on 12/03/2021 03:29 PM
Bill, we could not see your itinerary. If you are willing, you could send it to email address:
ocean_view_dreamer@yahoo.com

We would really appreciate your insights. We have 7-9 days to ride the canal trail. We like to stay at quaint and local flavor type lodging. If you have ideas concerning restaurants and sightseeing along the way, we would appreciate that too!

We would rent bikes in Buffalo and figure out how to return them and us to Buffalo from Albany when we have finished the ride.

We are contemplating doing the Erie Canal this May or returning to our favorite Katy Trail or maybe even doing the GAP round trip.

Thanks Bill.

 
bet from Lincoln, CA on 12/07/2021 05:41 PM
Bill - can you send your itinerary to me? TIA bjfred@wavecable.com

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 12/10/2021 05:47 PM
Check your inbox!

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 12/11/2021 08:43 PM
I bikepack, so I'm not up on quaint places to stay, but I would help with dining suggestions once you have an itinerary mapped out.

As far as sightseeing, you should definitely add Niagara Falls to your Buffalo start. There are a bunch of way to do it. You could search on this forum. I think Rochester has some interesting sights and Albany is a great city to explore. Maybe sharing some more about your personal interests will help with receiving appropriate responses.

 
Elle from Tampa, FL on 12/19/2021 04:27 PM
Hello Bill - Could you send me your itinerary too? Thank you so much. jog.falls@yahoo.com

 
Mph from Saint Louis Missouri on 12/24/2021 08:23 AM
Hello Bill,
We are planning a trip to ride the Erie next summer, would love a copy of your itinerary for Buffalo to Albany!
michelehedrick@yahoo.com

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/14/2022 06:04 PM
Sent!

 
Jeff& Vera Johnson from Wasilla Alaska on 01/20/2022 11:58 PM
Hi Bill-we would also to see your itinerary. Our email is: jeffverajohnson@gnail.com

 
Dion from Syracuse on 01/25/2022 07:07 PM
Could you also send your intinery to mtboxess@gmail.com

Thx

 
Mark from Glenmont NY on 01/27/2022 02:29 PM
I would love to see your itinerary too< if you don’t mind emailing - markmoore1580@gmail.com

I posted an itinerary in a different thread that is primarily camping, but i may do the trip with my wife too and she would prefer not to camp

Thanks

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2022 03:40 PM
sent!

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 - 
Dion from Syracuse on 01/25/2022 07:04 PM
Looking for accommodations near Fairport

 
PVS from Rochester, NY on 01/26/2022 08:08 PM
I'd focus your lodging search in Rochester in the vicinity of Monroe Community College and Univ. of Rochester and also Fairport/Bushnell's Basin area, there are hotels in each area within a short walking distance to the trail.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2022 02:20 PM
Pittsford has a couple of decent places as well. We stayed at the Canal Lamp Inn. If you want good wifi, make sure you tell them when you make your reservation.

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Suggestions on itinerary?
 - 
Mark Moore from Glenmont NY on 01/27/2022 12:09 PM
Below is my first stab at an itinerary for the Canal - hoping to ride in May. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Erie Trail General Plan
Camping Option

Train to Buffalo Exchange Street
Stay at Courtyard Marriott https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bufdt-courtyard-buffalo-downtown-canalside/?scid=45f93f1b-bd77-45c9-8dab-83b6a417f6fe

Day 1 - 60.9 Miles: Camp- Red Rock Ponds RV Park. https://bikeeriecanal.com/red-rock-ponds-rv-resort-holley.aspx
Food - Lunch: Gas Port Dinner: Albion or In Camp

Day 2 50 Miles: Camp- Lock 30. https://bikeeriecanal.com/lock-30-state-campsite.aspx
Food: Brunch in Brockport; Late Lunch Pittsford; Dinner - Light in camp or walk to town

Day 3 46 Miles: Hotel- Weedsport Days Inn or Rodeway Inn
Food: Lunch and Bowling at Stone 8 Tap House; Dinner: Lunkenheimer Brewery

Day 4 63 Miles: Camp- Lock 21 https://bikeeriecanal.com/lock-21-state-campsite.aspx
Food: Lunch - Syracuse somewhere; Dinner: Canastota Mex, farm to table, BackRoad Tavern or in camp

Day 5 64 Miles: Camp -Lock 15. https://bikeeriecanal.com/lock-15-state-campsite.aspx
Food: Lunch- Utica McGills Whiskey Tavern and Grill; Dinner - Fort Plain options or in camp. Coffee and treats in the AM at Highwheeler Coffee!

Day 6 72+ (paved)Miles - Bike Parking Albany - catch a ride home
Food: Lunch - Options in Amsterdam; Rotterdam Jct; and Schenectady

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2022 02:13 PM
Looks good. Just a few random thoughts.

Whatever store or restaurant you want to use, make sure they are open on the day you want to use it. Hours can be short and sporadic.

Red Rocks got some bad reviews for being rude to bikers, but I only got one side of the story. Call and make a reservation, and see if they seem friendly or not.

Days Inn in Weedsport was great.

The Mex place in Canastota really hit the spot.

We only stayed in hotels, so I don't have any insight on the camping.

Have fun!

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 01/27/2022 02:18 PM
Day 1: If you are bringing your bike on Amtrak, you can’t unload at Exchange St. You can only un-board w/bike at Depew. Not necessarily close to the trail or Canalside, but close to much lodging. Evening – Albion stop makes sense.

Day 2: Lock 30 -- Awesome. There is a Speedway (Gas/Convenient store) just up the road at the intersection. You can see it from the lock.

Day 3: Nice. There’s plenty of options in Weedsport for dinner. Plus a really fine ice cream stand right on the Main Street near the Brewery.

Day 4: MORNING-- There’s a Dunkin Donuts at the far end of town next to a decent convenience store & gas station. Across the street there is an Arby's. Looking at Arby's there is an entrance to the trail *on the left* that travels across grass. This is a fun single track path that will connect to Towpath Road. Make a left and follow around the curve past the town buildings and the trail will exit the road on the right back on the canalway.
Lock 21 – love it. Lots of grass, picnic tables but there are no facilitaties. Have no idea why they haven't added any portable toilets (I travel with a small hand trowel). Nothing close for food, so eat before (or carry in) and know that Rome is a little bit of a ride in the AM. I believe I found a live electrical outlet on the lock building.

Day 5: I haven't stayed at Lock 15, but you'll be fine. I'm sure your eating choices are fine.

Day 6: Doable. If you can work it in, a stop in Amsterdam (right off the trail) is Evolve Eatery. Awesome healthy eatery, smoothie, coffee, etc. Google it.

Enjoy the ride. Looks like you have a decent plan… you’ll just need to figure out Buffalo. If I can help with logistics or maybe get you a ride into Canalside, reach out to me.

Final thought: there are many, many options to throw up a tent along the Canalway -- especially between Bflo and Rochester. Wide, mowed spot that looks good away from private property... do it.


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One-way bike rental
 - 
Nina from Portland, OR on 04/15/2021 10:37 AM
A friend and I want to do this ride from Buffalo to Albany or vice versa on our own. I live on the West Coast and instead of shipping/flying with my bike and having to assemble/disassemble it, does anyone know how I could rent a bike in the starting city and return it in the ending city?

 
Bop from Rochester on 04/15/2021 01:01 PM
I have no first had knowledge on rentals. If you use the search function at the top of this page and type in "rental" you'll find many past posts on this topic.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 04/15/2021 01:15 PM
Nina: I would call bike shops in Buffalo or Albany and see if they do it. I suspect if they do it, it might be pricey as they have to come and collect the bikes 380 miles away. Might actually be cheaper to bring your own bike (as much as shipping and assembling bikes sucks).

Let us know your findings ok? This question comes up from time to time.

Good luck,
John


 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 04/15/2021 01:29 PM
I do know there are shuttles that could return you and your bikes. I’m certain this will be easier for you to find this service as opposed finding one way bike rentals.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 04/15/2021 11:43 PM
One of the previous posts on the topic suggested buying a bike and selling it at the end. At the time I hadn't considered a used bike, but if you considered that option, finding something on Marketplace could be reasonable (whether you sell it at the end or not). You could arrange the purchase ahead of time and have it waiting for you. I'd consider a day to tune (or schedule to have it tuned) and get it ready for the trip -- take into consideration what you are using to carry gear, etc. You could pack things like pump, tube, etc. ahead of time.

Other than that, catch this... Campus Wheelworks, a long time bike shop in Buffalo, highly rated and quite involved in the Bflo biking community does rent bikes (I visited their website). Copied from:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Here at Campus, we offer high quality bike rentals. Our fantastic rental bikes are available in multiple styles and sizes so you can choose one that is best suited for your own personal adventure, be it a fat bike in the winter, road bikes for riding your triathlon or century, mountain bikes to hit the trails, or something to cruise the sights of Buffalo. Locks are included with rentals if desired, as are flat fix kits and helmets.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Here's what that will cost you (although you may be able to negotiate a weekly rental price).
Rental Bike Pricing:
$15: 1 hour
$50: 24 hours
$25: additional day after the first 24 hours

Then there's the logistics of getting it back unless there is some type of shuttle service.

You can find a decent bike on Marketplace for $150! LOL
(and if you did I'd consider helping you out if needed... I think!)

 
dh from San Diego on 05/24/2021 10:25 PM
Ship your bike with Bike Flight to Dick Bike Shop in Tonawanda. They will put it together and have it ready for you. We have used them three times, great service. Albany bike shops will do the same. Call Dick's to let him know you are shipping bikes and date you need them ready. REI will pack and ship for you, allow two weeks.

 
Nina from PORTLAND on 01/23/2022 10:59 AM
I registered for the 2022 event. So excited! I found a couple of shops that rent bikes. Of course I'd have to shuttle/Amtrak back to Buffalo to return it. Has anyone else rented a bike for this tour yet? I'm weighing the costs of shipping my bike vs. renting. Thanks for any advice!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/25/2022 02:39 PM
Nina, did you mean you registered for the “Cycle the Erie Canal” event? If so, I know you can pay a fee for the shuttles they arrange to get your bike and luggage back to Buffalo. I did that and it was a really smooth operation. Pretty much everyone except SAG people with vans do the same Just bring your bike to the truck(s) at the end of the ride and collect it when you get back to Buffalo after you hop off the bus.

John

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Vranken Deli Grocery in Schenectady
 - 
BG from Richmond, VA on 01/23/2022 12:37 PM
Google is reporting this place is permanently closed. Clues?

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Buffalo Long Term Parking Availability
 - 
Mph from Saint Louis Missouri on 01/10/2022 04:18 PM
Looking for info on any long term parking available by the Buffalo Amtrak Station?

We are taking the train to Albany and riding back to Buffalo, hotels also seem limited in Buffalo for a stay the night before we leave.

Any suggestions?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/14/2022 06:06 PM
The Buffalo Grand was a dive, but it's cheap, and felt safe, and the staff is nice.

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Need to rent a car, a bike rack and 3 bikes from Buffalo
 - 
Out of town rider from Los Angeles on 12/31/2021 12:43 PM
3 of us will like to ride the Errie canal and Hudson Valley trails. We are from Los Angeles, we plan to fly in Buffalo and depart from NYC, so we need to rent a car, bike rack (we may skip some sections) and 3 bikes from Buffalo and possible return them in NYC. Any recommendations? Thank you for your help. Happy New Year!

 
Aethos from Boston on 01/10/2022 12:17 AM
I'm also from out of town so can't help with recs sorry, but am looking at a similar trip this spring. Curious what you anticipate needing the car for, what you've planned so far, and if you'd share what you have.

 
Lindsay from Rancho Santa Margarita on 01/10/2022 08:31 PM
We are planning for (maybe) 2 of us to ride each day while the 3rd drives ahead to the destination. Switch off each day.

 
Out of town rider from Los Angeles on 01/11/2022 06:34 PM
Aethos from Boston, we need a car to transport luggage. I have purchased the Erie Canal and Hudson Valley books from the NY Parks & Recreations. I have some idea but no solid plan yet.

 
Out of town rider from Los Angeles on 01/11/2022 06:36 PM
Lindsay from RSM, we thought about doing that too.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/14/2022 06:05 PM
I have not ever heard of renting a rack. Maybe you could rent a full size van, and have room for your bikes inside? More secure that way, too.

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Fairport Village Inn in Fairport
 - 
mike kirkland from friendsville tn. on 01/14/2022 01:14 PM
I was the 2nd chef at the Village Inn back in the late 70s and 80s and still stop in when we get in the area. They have kept up a great little business!! Keep up the good job!!! Tim was in charge the last time we were there!

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Recent Guidebook
 - 
Mph from Saint Louis Missouri on 01/11/2022 11:19 AM
Does anyone have the fifth edition guidebook they would be willing to sell?

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Bike rental in buffalo
 - 
Terri from South Dakota on 11/23/2021 06:09 PM
Looking to ride Buffalo to Albany. Is there a bike rental in buffalo that rents for a thru ride? Perhaps return with bike on train? Searched the forum but did not find an answer.

 
TC from Tucson on 12/03/2021 03:04 AM
Check out Campus Wheelworks in Buffalo. Post what you find out please.

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How much of the buffalo to Albany trip has gravel.
 - 
GK on 11/27/2021 08:36 PM
How much of the buffalo to Albany ride is gravel and can a road bike do the ride

 
Bop from Rochester on 11/28/2021 10:28 AM
I've ridden my Trek 2014 domane 4.3 for thousands of miles on the canal since I got it. 25mm tires, two flats in all that time.

Between Medina and Palmyra my riding area, it's mainly crushed limestone. Asphalt between Greece and Pittsford.





 
Ray (webmaster) on 11/28/2021 12:19 PM
Here's a map from NY State showing which parts of the trail are on-road, off-road paved, or off-road gravel:

https://empiretrail.ny.gov/map

You'll need to zoom in a bit to differentiate between off-road paved vs gravel.

Happy trails!

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Best time of year to ride
 - 
Mph from Saint Louis Missouri on 11/28/2021 07:35 AM
We are just starting to plan a trip to ride the Erie Canal Albany to Buffalo. What is the best time of year to ride for the best weather.
We are thinking of doing the trip in August.

 
Bop from Rochester on 11/28/2021 10:54 AM
Check
https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/New-York/temperature-july.php

Look at Finger Lake and Western NY. You can check all months temps here.

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