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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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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 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 05:56 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 04:57 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!

 
lindsey english from amesbury ma on 08/19/2019 08:43 AM
Gday!
I'm considering doing a section of the canal trail going west to east at the end of this month. I've been checking out different websites to inform myself about the bike trail but thought I'd ask about some specifics.
I'd do a more eastern part since I'm driving from the Boston area. I'm thinking of a 3 day trip, staying in cities/towns along trail. Good places to eat. Then of course, transport back to my starting point.
I haven't done a whole lot of riding lately and I'm not exactly a spring chicken (I'm an active, healthy 71).
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you;
Lindsey English

 
Swiss Foot from Albany on 11/03/2019 01:13 PM
Planning On cycling the Canal next weekend in its entierity, heard of a lot of rain hitting central New York last few days, curious if anyone has intel on conditions of the path now.

 
John from Cobleskill on 11/06/2019 04:06 AM
Wet. There has been a lot of flooding on the eastern end of the EC. This doesn't effect the trail much but where there is "stone dust", you might run into a certain amount of mud.

If you are tenting, finding a dry piece of ground will not be as easy as if you were doing in mid July. But none of this should stop your efforts. Best of luck to you.


Three day section of the EC
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JH from Bourne Ma ( Cape Cod ) on 10/27/2019 10:09 PM
I'm planning a three day ride with my pal who has asthma. Would like to do about 35-35 miles a day. We are planning to stay at local B&B's. Can anyone recommend a section of the EC that would be scenic and have B&B's available for three nights ? Also , I was thinking of hiring an Uber each morning to bring our gear / gym bag to our next stop . Any thoughts on that cost ?
Thanks for your assistance....


Buffalo to Tonawanda section?
 - 
John from Cobleskill from Cobleskill on 09/14/2019 02:28 PM
I just met a couple that were doing the Buffalo to Albany trip and they said that the only thing they would change on the trip is that they would NOT start in Buffalo but rather at the start of the Erie Canal itself in Tonawanda. They didn't offer details but they were less than thrilled by this section.

Does anyone have insight to this section? Is it "bad"? I've thought about starting in Tonawanda but I'm not sure. Please advise.


 
Chris from East Aurora, NY on 10/01/2019 03:09 PM
This 1st part pertains to part of the EC trail leaving downtown Buffalo, along the Niagara River heading North:

The part of the Shoreline Trail that was closed since spring for water line repairs at the GM Tonawanda Engine plant has reopened to walkers and bicyclists.

The project's general contractor informed Erie County officials Thursday that they've refilled and paved over where crews had worked and they've removed the fencing that cut off the trail.

The lengthy construction period frustrated users of the Riverwalk section of the trail that runs along the Niagara River and Lake Erie.

This is a another piece of recent good news:

A 2.1-mile gap in the Erie Canalway Trail was closed this year with the construction of a trail along East Canal Road in Pendleton, from Tonawanda Creek to Feigle Road.

The completion of the $4.5 million project will be marked with a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Feigle Road trailhead parking lot.


 
Chris from East Aurora, NY on 10/01/2019 03:35 PM
John,
Canalside is downtown Buffalo is a beautiful recently restored area with lots to see and do, including the adjacent Naval Park with a couple large Naval ships and WW II era submarine. The trail leaving Canalside winds through some downtown parks and townhome developments along the Lake Erie Harbor to the beginning of the Niagara River at the Peace Bridge where there is a brand new scenic ramp taking bikers and walkers from one grade to another. From that point there are some not great sections along Niagara Street for less than a mile, and then that wind around various roads and hwy on/off ramps for another mile or so. You have to be on your toes to follow the trail, as it is pretty choppy in this section. Eventually the dedicated path resumes and follows the edge of the Niagara River, which is beautiful, even though a highway runs next to the path but is well separated by a fence and landscaping. The trail then passes by some older industrial areas on the way toward Tonawanda, but over all this section is good to go.

 
John from Cobleskill on 10/14/2019 09:10 AM
Thank you for the information!!


October Buffalo to Albany
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Adventurous cyclist from Glastonbury on 09/03/2019 09:25 PM
Would love to plan a ride this October and am looking for companions. Will use my road bike with wider tires(32's) and hope to do about 40-60 miles per day. Maybe camp, Warmshowers.org or hotel, whatever is closest to the trail. I'm open. Would like to stop and enjoy some of the history. I'm a 62 year old married triathlete in good shape but not particularly fast (c or c+ level). I can go slow or be encouraged to move along faster. Let me know if there is any interest.
Thanks.

 
david gorman from hollidaysburg, pa on 09/11/2019 11:19 AM
Yes I am interested and would love to do it as a group. I am a former triathlete (hip issues) who now does aquabikes so your "formula" sounds perfect. Let me know what and when you have this in mind. Perhaps a week, plus or minus.

 
John from Cobleskill from Cobleskill on 09/12/2019 07:43 AM
I'm maybe open to the idea. Please let me know what you are thinking because I'm a C rider and using a road bike too. 40-60 miles a day is right in the area what I'm looking to do.

 
Frank from Heber Springs, AR on 10/11/2019 10:20 PM
Is there a date in mind for this ride? I'm heading to Rochester week of 20th and plan to ride Buffalo to Rochester and maybe beyond. Can I get this done on a road bike (30mm).


First Century Ride
 - 
Frank from Heber Springs, AR on 10/10/2019 09:56 PM
I'm heading to Rochester the week of Oct 21st by plane. I'll be there leaf peeping but need to check off a bucket list item...my first century ride. PLanning from Buffalo to Rochester on the towpath but open for suggestions. Also need bike advice. I can ship mine or rent one locally. I have a touring bike (40mm tires) and a road bike (30mm). Could use help on condition info for the towpath or other options as well as bike rentals available.


Ebike
 - 
Bob Blakey from Lewiston Idaho on 10/10/2019 05:18 PM
Coming east this summer with my class I ebike. Are they still not allowed on the canal trail.


Albany
 - 
Judy Stoecklin from Sanbornton, on 09/29/2019 01:29 PM
What is the address for the start (well end) of the Erie Canal
bike trail in Albany?


Middleport facilities
 - 
PJ from Waterloo, ON on 09/28/2019 08:26 PM
Glad we stayed on recommendation of the Lockport lockmaster. There were public washrooms and showers available for a donation. Recommend $20. Pony's was affordable.


biking the erie canal
 - 
homer from CANANDAIGUA on 09/12/2019 05:43 PM
I want to bike the erie canal from Buffalo to Albany. should i ride alone or try to find a companion?

 
JB from Hull, MA on 09/27/2019 09:38 AM
I just finished alone from Albany to Buffalo in 4 days. On the whole, I think I would have preferred company to break up the monotony, share the load of a tent, etc. Still doable and has some nice perks going solo though.


Lock 15 State Campsite in Fort Plain
 - 
Tom Ritchey Breakaway traveling Utica to Albany 9/14/19 on 09/13/2019 06:27 AM
Expecting to camp at block 15. Can someone tell me if they think there will be room there for us me

 
John from Cobleskill from Cobleskill on 09/14/2019 02:23 PM
yes there's a lot of room at Lock 15


Watervliet to Canajoharie Two Day trip
 - 
PJT from Montreal Quebec on 09/09/2019 11:18 AM
looking to do a late fall, two day trip along the very eastern end of the Erie Canal trail. I'll plan the length of the days dependant upon the trail condition. Looking for some local knowledge on the section between Albany and Canajoharie. What percentage is paved? How passable will the unpaved sections be in early November? Thanks!

 
Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga Springs on 09/10/2019 06:56 AM
Bonjour et bienvenue aux Etats-Unis!

I very often cycle this segment and it's safe to say that 90% of your proposed travels will be on paved surfaces. If I am not mistaken, the largest un-paved section is from Fort Hunter to Fultonville.

Bon sejour!

P.S. Be careful of a section between Rotterdam Junction and Pattersonville. This is on road (1 mile and 1/2) and very busy with trucks whizzing by.

 
John from Cobleskill from Cobleskill on 09/12/2019 07:34 AM
I often ride this section often and as far as being paved, I think from Albany to St Johnsville is one of the nicest (easiest, smoothest) sections of the Erie Canal. There is a short section (4 miles) between Amsterdam and Fultonville that is stone dust but that's no big deal in November. That starts close to the Schoharie Crossing site (which is worth a stop).

Good luck

 
PJT from Montreal Quebec on 09/13/2019 01:04 PM
thank you Joseph and John....much appreciated


Lock 15 State Campsite in Fort Plain
 - 
Tom Ritchey Breakaway traveling Utuca to Albany 9/13/19 on 09/13/2019 06:23 AM
Does any have an opinion about my chances of being able to camp at Lock 15. Will it be full? Is it safe? Thank you.


Peace Bridge to Niagara Falls video
 - 
Ray S (webmaster) on 09/11/2019 09:23 AM
Not directly on the Erie Canal, but it's very accessible in Buffalo and very cool - a ride to Niagara Falls from the Peace Bridge.
https://youtu.be/Tmy5Imz9fKw
Thanks to Pat StillRiding for sharing

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh, PA. on 09/11/2019 11:41 AM
Thanks for sharing Ray. This ride was so fun.


Lockport to Palmyra on the EC Bike Trail
 - 
Chris from East Aurora, NY on 08/27/2019 03:18 PM
Our 2 day/1 night west to east ride the last weekend of June 2019 on the ECBT from Lockport to Palmyra, midway between Rochester and Syracuse was really fantastic and memorable. We left a car near the police station in Lockport and the same in Palmyra. We overnighted in Brockport at the Victorian B&B and did about 45 miles both days, which was perfect for recreational bikers. The trail mostly followed the canal closely and was like one long beautifully maintained park. The villages along the way were scenic and historic, and we found a great lunch spot in Albion at the Village Café, less than a mile off the trail. For the most part the trail surface was great for the crossover/hybrid type bikes/tires we rode. A few lengthy sections were recently "repaved" with a hard packed sand-pebble type material that should be great with a bit of time/use and seasoning. It was a bit tacky being recently put down, but not a big deal. The section thru Rochester was on paved trail through more suburban, urban and industrial areas (with quite a few tree root bumps), but all in all just fine. If you are looking for a great overnighter or a couple one day sections, I would highly recommend Lockport to Brockport or Spencerport, and on the other side of Rochester, Pittsford to Palmyra, Newark or Lyons. Really beautiful, peaceful, scenic and easy to ride!!

 
Corinne on 08/29/2019 07:07 AM
Is there transportation if I only have one car?


Road bikes
 - 
Eva on 08/06/2019 06:40 PM
Are the trails road bike friendly??

 
Nicole from Newark, NJ on 08/06/2019 07:14 PM
I'm really eager to hear the answer to this as well!

 
Bop from Rochester on 08/06/2019 08:17 PM
What do you consider road friendly? I'm riding a Trek Domane and have see many different road bikes along it all the time. It's a hard pack trail that I have traveled many times from Hulberton to Newark. If you're looking for a smooth piece of asphalt, ride where your at.

The paved section in my area has root bumps bulging up here and there from the trees. Spots that will require you to cross roads. People walking dogs, kids. It's a MUP path in the larger towns.

Here, watch this. See if it's your cup of tea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziRwUGTwfQw

 
Bop from Rochester on 08/07/2019 10:13 AM
Here's another good look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODe2OvBQtMo

 
Margaret from Amherst on 08/07/2019 10:58 AM
HI, We did a trip from Lockport to Syracuse on the Erie Canal in June and I had a road bike- I was fine- There was a sandy section on the first day and our group elected to ride on the backroads for that small section- But most of the trail was absolutely fine.

Margaret

 
John from Cobleskill on 08/21/2019 10:10 AM
I am asking the same question myself since I love my road bike.

From Utica eastward is mostly paved thus a road bike is fine. The "stone dust" is okay with my hybrid but I'm going to take my road bike on stone dust soon (like in the next week or so).

But I'm wondering if all "stone dust" is created equal because there's a part of it, east of Little Falls, that listed as stone dust and is more like a 4 wheeler path through the forest than anything else.

In the end, I might upgrade my road bike tires to the biggest, fattest ones I can put on it and go for it!

 
John from Cobleskill on 08/24/2019 09:55 AM
Eva.... How far are you going on the Canal?

If you are doing a day trip, road bikes are fine.

But I am trying to do a Buffalo to Albany trip and I'm asking myself the same question and I've spent the greater part of this summer trying to get the right answer, trying different bikes (Mtn, road, Hybrid etc) and different tires. I've decided that doing end to end is possible with a road bike but I'm outfitting it with the best/widest/most rugged tires and tubes I can buy because parts of the canal trail is less than ideal for a road bike tire :) And I'm assuming a flat tire or two but that's the price I have to pay to use my beloved road bike.

Enjoy.

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