Erie Canal Home
The Erie Canal Bike Trail of New York
Erie Canal Trail home Buffalo Tonawanda Lockport Medina Brockport Greece Rochester Lyons Pittsford Fairport Palmyra Clyde Weedsport Syracuse Durhamville Newark Rome Utica Mohawk Canajoharie Amsterdam Schenectady Watervliet Albany Erie Canal Map
Erie Canal Map

Erie Canal Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
Display format:
Expanded (see all replies)
Contracted (starting posts and reply counts)
West of Macedon
West of Macedon
Page: 1 2 ... 28
Gail B from Bennington VT on 03/07/2023 08:13 AM
Hi folks,
My boyfriend and I are planning a four day bike ride on the trail in June. We are looking for transportation with our bikes from Pittsford to Tonawanda or somewhere close by to these towns. Is there a bus, train, shuttle service, that anyone knows of? Also, we would love to find a service that could shuttle our luggage from place to place. Thanks for your input. ??

Bob from Albany NY on 03/07/2023 03:55 PM
Train stops near your points would be Rochester (near Pittsford) and Buffalo (near Tonawanda) shuttle for gear will be hard to find and probably costly. I’m not sure about bus service.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/07/2023 05:22 PM
Getting bikes onto a train when and where you want is a crapshoot. If I lived in Rochester near the train station and was planning to camp or sleep under a bridge, then I might try to take the train. But I don't, and wifey likes to sleep on a bed, so we need reservations, so I can't take the risk on the train.

So, I've been around here a bit, and I even looked to see where Bennington is, and here's what I'd suggest.

*Park at the Amtrak parking in Buffalo, which is supposed to be nice and safe and reasonably priced.

*Ride 4 days to Rochester. Get a hotel in Rochester, get some sleep.

*In the morning, pack all your stuff and your bikes and ask the hotel to hang onto it for you. (make sure they are cool with this ahead of time, of course). Check out of the hotel.

*Take Amtrak to Buffalo, jump in your car, drive back to Rochester, collect your stuff from the hotel, and then drive a little further and spend the night somewhere cool in the finger lakes area.

*Next day, drive the rest of the way home.

This saves you from trying to get your bikes and luggage on the train, but lets you have a train ride as a shuttle. Your car is parked somewhere safe. Your driving distances are easy.

Yankee John from Braintree VT on 03/08/2023 11:21 AM
Take the Amtrak from Rochester to Buffalo. You need to make a reservation for the bicycles, which locks in your dates, but it's reliable and inexpensive. The ride from Pittsford to downtown Rochester is pleasant. The bike trails around downtown Rochester have been improved over the years, with some information kiosks and overlooks on the Genessee River, etc.

Anonymous on 06/05/2023 08:21 PM
Wilderness Voyagers may offer some sort of shuttle service. I know that they do for the GAP.

share share this thread

Bike type
Frank M from Plainview on 06/04/2023 09:36 PM
My friend and I are planning to ride the trail in September. She thinks a road bike would be best but reading here that the trail is mostly gravel I'm wondering if a mountain bike would be better - I don't have a gravel bike. Please give me your thoughts. Thanks.

Bop from Rochester on 06/05/2023 10:05 AM
I've ridden a Trek Domane 4.3 25mm road bike between Medina and Fairport for thousands of miles over the years and had little trouble.

There are spots were the path washes out after a heavy rain that can be a pain depending on how many bikes have gone thru before hand. I can't speak for the enter length of the canal, haven't road the entire length.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/05/2023 04:32 PM
Found this - "Surface. Mostly flat and off-road, the Erie Canalway Trail includes various surfaces. About 45 percent of the trail is paved, while 41 percent of the trail is stone dust, and 14 percent of the trail is on road. Very few natural stretches of trail remain."

My wife and I ride a MTB and town bike on our long trips. We find them comfortable and reliable.

We saw lots of people on road bikes. You and your friend should probably ride the same type of bike so that you can hold similar speeds and share inner tubes.

We did encounter some softer spots that would have been a little sketchier on a road bike, but they would be doable.

share share this thread

Direction of travel
Andy Silber from Taneytown on 05/28/2023 01:07 PM
I have read that people typically start in Buffalo and finish in Albany. How crazy of an idea is it to start in Albany and finish in Buffalo?

Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga on 05/28/2023 07:32 PM
Good evening! I think there are two issues to consider. First, going west to Buffalo, there is a slight elevation change. Buffalo is a bit higher than Albany which is a sea level. Again, not huge but there is an elevation change heading west. Secondly , there is the wind factor. The wind seems to be more active in the spring. Two weeks ago I drove to Albion and headed west. It was a pleasant sunny day with an active west east flow making cycling somewhat of a challenge. Leaving Middleport to Albion, I had the wind in my back and all was very smooth. I find west to east more agreeable. Safe travels!

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/01/2023 08:42 AM
Either would be fine. Going along with what Joseph says, wind would be the bigger issue, I think.

Andy Silber from Taneytown on 06/01/2023 02:52 PM
Thank You!

Pat from Greencastle on 06/02/2023 04:13 PM
We cycled Albany to Buffalo last September. Did have a Dayton pretty Good headwinds, but by far, it was great to have the prettiest part of the ride the last 2 days. Out of all the cyclists we ran across doing the entire trail, we were the ONLY ones riding E to W. Glad we did!


Pat from Greencastle on 06/02/2023 04:15 PM
It should have said…. We had a day of pretty decent (hard) headwinds, but got thru it all okay

share share this thread

Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam Junction
Melinda from Niskayuna on 05/31/2023 09:42 AM
Launched the Kayaks last week. The park was lovely, and both the ramp and the kayak launch sites were in great shape. My paddling buddy and I went across Route 5S to the little country store for egg sandwiches and picnicked at the park. The very conscientious state boat inspector was there on duty.

share share this thread
Tagged: Kiwanis Park

Camping near Lockport
Jonathan from Kingwood, WV on 05/24/2023 11:28 AM
I am wondering about the road from the trail to Niagara County Camp Resort. The map says its about 3 miles from the trail. Is it safe to travel by bike?

Bop from Rochester on 05/25/2023 09:42 AM
I'd suggest you put Niagara County Camp Resort in street view and travel the road back to the canal. They appear to have gravel shoulders, the roads themselves look find. I'd, if anything, would watch out for dogs and nitwit monster pickup trucks buzzing you. The canal bridge is steel neck with the same type road bed.
should be fine.

share share this thread

picnic table use?
John from Little Silver, NJ on 05/24/2023 07:54 PM
Are the picnic tables found at the locks and lift bridges available for public use or are these reserved for the lock keepers and bridge tenders?

Ed Marrone from Springfield, MA 01108, USA on 05/25/2023 07:41 AM
I stayed at Lock 5 on the Champlain Trail last year and there were tables, grills, on overhead shelter over 2 tables. Porta privy on the the other side of the lock. You are supposed to call ahead but I didn't and had no problems with the lock keeper. Even got water from the barrels they bring to the lock.

share share this thread

Middleport Park and Marina camping
Sonny on 05/10/2023 11:13 AM
Hello, Does anyone have experience camping at the Middleport Park and Marina? I'm having trouble contacting someone there to see if it's a viable option. Thanks!

Bop from Rochester on 05/17/2023 02:24 PM
Have you looked this over?

share share this thread

Parking in Albion
Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga NY on 05/08/2023 03:54 PM
Good afternoon! Does anyone know about parking in Albion? Hope to start in Albion next week and go west but, I could not see any parking areas near the canal in Albion.

Many thanks!

Bop from Rochester on 05/09/2023 07:46 AM
I'm going to ride my fat bike from Albion to Medina. It looked to me when I stop by, there were places to park between to two lift bridges on the north side in town. Take a look on street view and a satellite view. I was only going to be there a few hours. I don't know about over night.

Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga on 05/09/2023 07:54 AM
Many thanks for the advice. I will take another look on Google. My trip is just a day one, so there should be no issues. Thanks again!

share share this thread

Amtrak Station in Rome
Mat on 05/05/2023 04:49 PM
Arriving via AMTRAK and looking for suggestions where to stay near bike trail

share share this thread

Parking in Buffalo
Tommy from Raleigh NC on 05/04/2023 08:11 AM
My wife and I are driving up to Buffalo this Sunday to ride the trail to Albany over the week. We will be taking Amtrak from Albany back to Buffalo. Any advice on safe week long parking near the Exchange St Amtrak station in Buffalo?

Also any other advice or tips are always welcome. We are doing a credit card tour this trip staying in hotels, airBnB's and Inns. We love finding places for a good beer, coffee, food etc.. when on a bike tour.


share share this thread

Western terminus marker???
John from Little Silver, NJ on 04/02/2023 09:39 AM
Is there an "official" marker for the western terminus?
Some info indicates Canalside (Parks and Trails guide Book) others (Google) about 2.5 miles south at Buffalo Harbor State Park.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 04/05/2023 08:32 AM
When I did Buffalo to Albany years ago, the marker wasn’t installed yet but it looks like a few years ago they built a marker at the top of the Commercial Slip (42.8776240, -78.8788791). Before that, I was told it was the middle of that little pedestrian bridge that crosses the water right next to it.


Bill in Houston from Houston on 04/05/2023 09:57 AM
I haven't ever seen anyone suggest that the western terminus would be at Buffalo Harbor State Park, but I do see on Google Maps that someone has taken a couple of miles of road between Canalside and the park, and labeled it as Empire State Trail.

I'd still say it's at the marker on Commercial Slip.

Bob from Albany NY on 04/15/2023 06:28 PM
30 Buffalo Skyway is the address of the zero marker. Walk towards the dockage slip I believe you may need to cross marine (st?) to get to fence that has the marker plaque it is Near Buffalo Bike Tours and Rentals

Bop from Rochester on 04/15/2023 11:34 PM
Putting that address into street view shows a bus stop near a parking lot. Nothing clear as far as I can tell.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 04/17/2023 08:31 AM
Right here.

Bop from Rochester on 04/17/2023 04:52 PM
Great....Looks great thanks

share share this thread

Dunn Memorial bridge in Albany
Mickey from Central NJ on 03/23/2023 07:39 PM
Hello All - I read that the Dunn Memorial Bridge (Albany) pedestrian access is closed. Does anyone know anything about when it may re-open? Riding the canal at the end of April and wondering if I'll need to plan to ride the detour through Troy to get to the train station. Thanks in advance!

Bob from Albany NY on 03/25/2023 08:38 PM
A temporary barrier and walkway was installed and it connects to the bike trails. Opened for pedestrians and cyclists around March 6th

Mickey from Central NJ on 03/29/2023 06:42 PM
Great news! Thanks for the info - much appreciated!

Beth from Albany on 05/03/2023 11:56 AM
The detour is very easy to follow. It's right next to Jerry Jennings landing.

Beth from Albany on 05/03/2023 11:56 AM
The detour is very easy to follow. It's right next to Jerry Jennings landing.

share share this thread

First time Erie Canal biker!
Jw from Port Jeff on 04/29/2023 06:07 PM
Hey my fellow trekkers !! I’m about to embark on a trek from NYC roundabouts to Rochester planning to take the canal trail the whole way
Been jumping around maps feeling everything out planning etc .. just looking for any useful advice tips anything! Anyone might want to share .. has anyone camped out on the trail itself? If so how does that work .. I have a fantastic portable hammock ! How’s the peace and quiet level for camping on the trail? Thanks for your help!

Bill in Houston from Houston on 05/01/2023 05:03 PM
The trail jumps from street, to canal path, to highway, to bike trail, to dirt track. Make sure to trace the path of the trail and understand every interchange. Many of them have signs. Many do not. There are improvements every year.

We had a great time. I hope to ride the trail again some day.

share share this thread

What sections are paved
FJP from Utica on 04/22/2023 08:48 AM
What sections of the trail are paved.

Statsanalyst from Rome on 04/22/2023 12:21 PM
As I recall from my 2022 trip:

Everything from Buffalo (Naval Park) to Lockport is paved as is the stretch from Rochester to east of Fairport. You'll be on the road for about 10 miles prior to reaching Weedsport. After that, and points in-between, it's stone dust. Once you hit Syracuse, it's paved through to Cicero. Be mindful of signage on that stretch or you'll miss the trail around SYR and travel through downtown SYR. After Cicero, it's stone dust all the way to the Marcy lock with the exception of navigating the miserable traverse on surface streets through Rome. (signage sucks!!). It's paved from the Marcy lock through Utica. There's ~3 miles of road travel just east of Utica. From there it's all stone dust until Schnectady where it's fully paved to downtown Albany. You'll hit surface streets in Cohoes. This isn't an exhaustive list of paved sections since the trail is also paved through each small town or you're on surface streets through those towns. Recommend 32mm tires at a minimum for the ride. Wide 650B's are overkill. Thirty-sevens are perfect. Sign up for the 360 challenge. Ride it. Enjoy it. Hope this helps.

Statsanalyst from Rome on 04/23/2023 12:03 PM
Correction: Paved from Naval Park through N. Tonawanda. Stone dust from there to Lockport.

Lancaster Cyclist from Lancaster NY on 04/24/2023 08:49 AM
Referring to Statsanalyst's correction, the trail is indeed paved from North Tonawanda to Lockport with some limited roadway segments. It is a great ride with a handy ice cream stand along the way. One has to be careful at some roadway crosses near Lockport; traffic seems to be blind to the presence of these features and move fairly fast without yielding to cyclists.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 04/24/2023 09:48 AM
this map shows trail surface.

share share this thread

Mark Bauman from Madison, Wisconsin on 04/08/2023 07:22 PM
Does anyone know of a good place to park for 9 days in Albany while we're doing the Erie Canal Trail? We're planning to leave our cars in Albany, then take the Amtrak to Buffalo and bike west to east, arriving in Albany about 9 days later.

DK from Fultonville on 04/09/2023 09:00 PM
You might want to contact the Amtrak station there is long term parking there. 1/2 mile from the trail.

share share this thread

Ice Cream and Burgers
DK from Fultonville on 04/13/2023 11:49 AM
Karen's Ice cream and produce is a good stop along the way.

Between Amsterdam and Fultonville.

I am unable to pass it by on my regular rides.

Nearby is Auriesville Shrine. Remains of the Aqueduct over Schoharie creek.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 04/17/2023 08:33 AM
I agree. A great place to get ice cream or a milkshake. I was having a bad day, so I got some ice cream, and went down to the Schoharie park and had a nap, and it did wonders for me.

share share this thread

The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa in Pittsford
MG from Manlius, NY on 04/16/2023 05:16 AM
Very, very nice hotel. However, no pool. When I booked, the website stated it had a pool, which I really wanted after a 100 mile ride!

share share this thread

Long term parking in Albany, ny for the Erie Canal bike trail
Joe from Millis,ma. on 04/07/2023 07:42 PM
I plan to start my ride in Albany ny. I will need long term parking. Can someone recommend where I should start from and where I can park long term. In addition, trail directions via Albany to Amsterdam ny. Thank you, joe

Ed from Western Mass on 04/10/2023 08:25 AM
there are 3 lots near the Amtrack station and the cheapest outdoor one is $7 a day.

Ed from Western Mass on 04/10/2023 08:25 AM
there are 3 lots near the Amtrack station and the cheapest outdoor one is $7 a day.

share share this thread

DK from Fultonville on 03/15/2023 10:50 AM
I have recommended Shorties Southside in Amsterdam NY as a good place to eat. Unfortunately, they are now closed until further notice.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/17/2023 02:47 PM
Awww, man, that was one of my favorites. Chowing down with the locals.

DK from Fultonville on 04/07/2023 02:32 PM
Just now got a notice that Shorties will be reopening April 14.

Page: 1 2 ... 28