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Trail conditions and detours from Albany to buffalo?
Steveo from THE BURGH on 07/29/2021 10:13 PM
We will be riding the trail in August from Albany to Buffalo, can anyone let us know of any and all detours and closures along the way . thank you

Wrigs on 07/30/2021 11:03 AM
There were two spots (but only two!) that messed me up on my ride from Buffalo to Albany this week. One is in Buffalo around the location where a path goes into the northern part of Unity Park, there is a lot of street construction and I missed how to get onto the trail, and in Tonawanda, there is a sign and construction stuff blocking a pedestrian/bike bridge. I circled forever and couldn’t figure things out and met three others that had done the same. We asked a local and we’re just told to sneak our bikes off and around barriers, that everyone is still using it, and we did.

The rest of the trail was shockingly good and well marked.

AnotherTuba from Rochester on 07/30/2021 11:10 AM
Wrigs, you're a hero! Next week I'm riding from Lockport to Buffalo and your post was EXACTLY what I needed, thanks!

Now let's see if I can figure it out while riding!?!

Steveo from THE BURGH on 07/30/2021 09:24 PM
Thank you for the input Wrigs !!! I was hearing the trail was closed between Utica and Rome from a wash out. So you had no problems there ?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/02/2021 03:23 PM
We got lost/ turned around in these two places:
Utica Swamp:

The trail really should be open right here on the east side of Utica, BUT IT IS NOT, last I heard:

Coming into Syracuse from the east on the new route has confused some people.

Wrigs on 08/02/2021 08:16 PM
I had no problems leaving Utica. Coming into Rome was a little weird, I felt like there may be markings for an old and new route (I may be wrong) but both led you where you needed to go. I avoided staying on the official route and did a little side trip to Copper City Brewery.

One other really helpful thing was orange spray painted circles with lines on the ground that I believe were used for the big event a few weeks ago. They could occasionally lead astray to what I’m guessing is fuel stops, but they were a big help. Weirdly, people I talked to riding west usually didn’t notice them. Keep your eyes peeled!

Wrigs on 08/02/2021 08:23 PM
And east of Syracuse was no problem either! Nice new paved route out of town. The biggest advice I would have for route planning is not using google maps. Ever. On any ride. Their information is so out of date and they will drag you onto some stupid roads. I’m convinced they have a plan to turn me into a nasty gravel rider.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/03/2021 08:23 AM
I agree with Wrigs' observation regarding Google Maps.

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trip planning
Amy from Annapolis on 08/01/2021 11:39 AM
Looking to bike this trail in 2022. Is 50 miles per day fairly easy on the terrain? I biked the GAP trail and 50 was doable but general pace was 12mph. due to terrain. Also is it better to go from east to west or west to east. THX

Wandering soul from St. Mary's City, MD on 08/01/2021 01:18 PM

I did the GAP and C&O (Pitsburgh to DC) in one trip 3 years ago and averaged about 45 miles/day without exerting myself. I just finished the Erie canalway in early June from Buffalo to Albany (actually Colonie) and went 45-50/day, again without undue strain. My average speed was only about 9-10 mph. So, I believe that 50 miles/day at 12 mh is very doable for bikers in average or above average physical condition. BTW, I started the Erie canal trip the day after I turned 75. I assume you are younger than I therefore you have youth on your side.

Regarding the east-west-east question, I do not believe it makes much difference as the gradient change is very minimal (much less than the GAP!) While the prevailing wind is westerly, again it was not a significant factor in June. Therefore where you start should depends on the logistics of getting yourself and your bike to the starting and from the ending points.

I am a fellow Marylander around your neck of the woods. Feel free to shoot me additional questions:

Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/02/2021 11:20 AM
When the trail surface is gravel, it's just like the GAP.

A good bit of it is paved trail or on-road, so the pace is a little faster on those stretches.

I'd go West to East. We went that way, and had a nice tailwind that made life quite pleasant.

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Charging electric bikes
KGL on 07/28/2021 04:24 PM
Can anyone recommend good places along the trail to charge an ebike during the day? My bike has a battery that cannot be removed so the bike itself needs to be plugged in. Thank you

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/29/2021 08:21 AM
If you want to plan it tightly, you could look ahead to places where you could eat lunch, and then call them now to see if they have an outlet outdoors. And you better bring a long cord...

Some of the towns on the eastern half have boat tie-ups with utilities that you ought to be able to plug into.

Seems like you can find outlets on the outside of convenience stores, grocery stores, little shopping centers, gazebos at parks, churches, etc.

As long as you are physically able to pedal your bike with a dead battery, I wouldn't worry about it. Stop and have a drink and a snack at an outlet every so often.

Just make super sure that you don't have a dead battery for the on-road stretches, as those are much hillier, especially on the day you ride into Weedsport.

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Lockport to Buffalo
AnotherTuba from Rochester - Gates on 07/25/2021 08:45 PM
I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice on this section of the ride. I've done from the West side of Rochester over to Gasport so far, driving, parking the car and biking West 'til I turn around and ride back to the car. But after that...

I've done this process all the way to Buffalo years ago, but I really can't remember much after Albion and Medina - any information is appreciated, thank you!

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/27/2021 12:53 PM
Medina is a nice little place. Should be able to park in a lot or even on a street and do your ride.

Over towards Tonawanda you'll find lots of places to park. The trail isn't very remote over there.

I might not be understanding your question, though.

AnotherTuba from Rochester on 07/27/2021 05:30 PM
I rode Gasport to Lockport and back today, so my next ride will be Lockport to Pendleton and back. I'll figure out the parking in Lockport, then find today's turnaround spot and head out again. It might be 3 or 4 more rides to finish this off, since I keep this down to about an hour of riding, give or take. I just retired 32 days ago, I don't want to drop dead any time soon.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/28/2021 03:03 PM
Yep, you got plenty of time left to ride. Don't do yourself in prematurely.

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RV&E Bike and Skate in Fairport
john from madison on 07/18/2021 01:53 PM
do you rent bikes

Ray (webmaster) on 07/18/2021 03:14 PM
You'll probably want to call them directly to find out - they may or may not be watching this forum.

One thing I can tell you is that some of the shops that normally do rent bikes have not been able to offer rentals this summer. Like with a lot of things post-covid, there are supply chain problems causing a shortage of new bikes, resulting in fewer bikes available for rental.

I was looking for a rental back in May and couldn't find much anything between Rochester and Albany. I ended up going down to Poughkeepsie.

Having said that, hopefully the situation has changed since then and availability is more back to normal by now.

Here's a link you might find helpful:
That's all the bike shops that I know of, located close to the Erie Canalway Trail (and actually the whole Empire State Trail beyond that). The shops that USUALLY offer rentals have a little dollar sign icon next to their listings.

Good luck!

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bike for sale
winey from Erie on 07/18/2021 02:44 PM
I plan to finish the trial in Albany on July 26/27and I'll be selling the bike. 400 bucks.

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Parking Downtown Buffalo Amtrak station
Doug from Pittsburgh on 07/16/2021 02:38 PM
Can anyone provide information on the best place to park for a week at the downtown Buffalo Amtrak station. Thanks

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Long term parking near Buffalo Amtrak Exchange Street Station
Doug from Pittsburgh on 07/16/2021 02:31 PM
Looking for advice on best place to park car for one week near train station in Buffalo. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide.

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Long term parking near Buffalo Amtrak Exchange Street Station
Doug from Pittsburgh on 07/15/2021 08:13 PM
Looking for advice on best place to park car for one week near train station in Buffalo. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide.

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Trains and bikes..can we take our bikes and panniers on trains from Buffalo to NYC??
Barbara Smith from Shawnee Oklahoma on 07/14/2021 03:42 PM

Tom Ham from Saugerties on 07/14/2021 05:26 PM
Yes but there are limited spots available. I went from Rhinebeck to Buffalo on a train originating in NYC and there were only 4 bike lockers on the entire train. I had to go on a Thursday evening because all bike lockers were booked on all trains Friday. You need to purchase a separate bike ticket for $20 in addition to your ticket. The Amtrak website is a little confusing on this. You first begin booking your trip and then select the additional bike ticket on the next web page that comes up.
The bike racks will NOT handle a fat tire. I was running 1.75" wide tires and they barely fit.

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 07/15/2021 07:16 AM
Went from Albany to Buff. Depew Station. Removed front tire and hung bike. Panniers were carried on by had and stayed with me. Its not fun trying to hang bike while everyone else is getting on. Used Empire Service. $20 for bike. 4 spots on whole train. Book early

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Amsterdam Castle NY in Amsterdam
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:52 PM
This place is nuts. Don't stay here, but sneak inside to see the crazy castle stuff they built inside. And if you love JFK, go to the second floor, where ha gave some sort of speech.

Internet didn't work, nor did AC. Complained and got moved to a room with functioning versions of both.

Bikes stayed in the garage, which is fine, but I do love to just stare at my bike sometimes in my hotel room at night.

Yankee John from Vermont on 07/07/2021 06:41 AM
Bill from Houston: Why do you advise against staying at the Amsterdam Castle? Price, service, or having to ask for a room with working A/C? The alternatives in Amsterdam are limited.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/07/2021 11:40 AM
When questioned about the internet and the AC, they knew that both were not working, yet put us in that room anyway. Charge me a premium price, then put me in a room that you know doesn't have AC or internet, and then just see if I complain? The level of services and amenities and basic functions didn't line up with the price. Just one man's opinion. Different people like different things.

Yankee John from Vermont/Rexford on 07/07/2021 12:22 PM
After two different stays at the Amsterdam Castle we haven't had your unfortunate experience. The only other place to stay are hotels next to the thruway which are for interstate travelers and truckers. They are noisy, up a big hill which you have to ride back down to resume your ride the next day, and there isn't anywhere to walk after getting off your bike and taking a shower. We have enjoyed walking from the Castle
around the South Side Amsterdam/Little Italy, getting an Italian dinner, and walking over the canal/river on the amazing new pedestrian bridge to Riverlink Park.

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 07/09/2021 07:13 AM
We stayed here Hart House Hotel in Medina. Real nice place still be renovated. We were on 3rd floor. They were working on installing elevator at the time. Bikes were locked up in the back lobby.
Good Good breakfast place on Main St. and good pizza place right near hotel

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 07/09/2021 07:14 AM
We stayed here Hart House Hotel in Medina. Real nice place still be renovated. We were on 3rd floor. They were working on installing elevator at the time. Bikes were locked up in the back lobby.
Good Good breakfast place on Main St. and good pizza place right near hotel

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Days Inn Weedsport in Weedsport
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:32 PM
Nicer than you expect from a Days Inn.

Filled a wastebasket with ice and sat in the coldest tub I have ever sat in after doing 63 grueling miles.

It's right next to the world's most delicious Arby's and the trailhead. Can't imagine any reason to stay anywhere else in town.

Joe Z from Niskayuna, NY on 07/09/2021 06:46 AM
I agree with Bill (from Houston) about the Days Inn in Weedsport. Very comfortable and nice beds. We skipped the Arby's and went down the street and to Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing for an excellent wood-fired pizza. Then stopped for ice cream on the way back to the Days Inn. Met some other riders at the restaurant and had a good time.

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Jefferson Clinton Hotel in Syracuse
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:27 PM
Nice room. It had a full size fridge and a little kitchen, which was a nice surprise.

Tiny elevator. You aren't getting a tandem in there.

A/C quit working in the middle of the night. Complained in the morning and counter person was like "oh yeah that happens all the time, you just have to call us to reset it." Information I could have used four hours ago. :)

Washed clothes, which is a nice thing to be able to do.

Yankee John from Vermont on 07/07/2021 07:04 AM
Stayed there last year. They let me store my bike in a first floor meeting room, and I locked it to a heavy table. The breakfast was a disappointment, and the staff lukewarm, but I liked the location and the old historic building.

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Canalway Bike Parking lot in Amsterdam
BRT from Dutchess County, NY on 07/06/2021 05:19 PM
1. Is there overnight parking at these parking lots?
2. How safe would it be to leave a car there overnight?

Yankee John from Vermont on 07/07/2021 06:57 AM
There isn't any signage prohibiting parking overnight, unless it has been posted in the last year. The parking lot is in an area without a lot of activity at night on the Little Italy South Side of Amsterdam that is still a generally safe working class neighborhood. Your car should be safe and unmolested overnight.

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Yankee Hill Lock Picnic area in Amsterdam
BRT from Dutchess County, NY on 07/06/2021 05:20 PM
Is overnight parking allowed at this place?

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Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Albany Downtown in Albany
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 03:10 PM
Nice room. Nice staff. Lots of food close by. I'd stay here again.

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The Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 03:07 PM
Come watch the young, hip people of Albany while you sit in your frumpy biking clothes. Great people-watching. Good food. We had to wait a bit for a table but it was worth it.

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20 North Broadway Tavern in Schenectady
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 03:01 PM
The server was a character. Good food. Good place to park bikes outside. Outside and inside seating. Nice selection of beers.

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Shorty's Southside Tavern in Amsterdam
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:56 PM
This is the kind of place I like to go to on a trip like this. Feels like this is the place where the locals hang out. Good "Chicken Riggies", which I had not heard of before this trip, and a nice local beer.

Closed at 8pm on the day we were there, so don't let that take you by surprise.

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Best Way to Cycle through Syracuse??
Dan H from NYC on 06/18/2021 04:31 PM
We followed the ECT map which took us up past LeMoyne College before heading back down Ron Erie Canal Blvd. it seems there must be a safe secret route we missed! Anyone care to divulge.

Fred from Cato on 07/03/2021 02:01 PM
You must be using an old map. The new route goes right down the middle of Erie Blvd. in it's own bike lane, no where near the college anymore. The new edition "Cycling the Erie Canal" has current info.

Yankee John from Vermont on 07/06/2021 02:51 PM
I stayed overnight in downtown Old Town Syracuse so that I could walk to see the night illumination of the Art Deco Niagara Mohawk Building, which did not disappoint! Also wanted to eat at the legendary Dinosaur Barbecue, which did disappoint. The next day I rode east on East Genessee all the way to the ECT with a short connection on Butternut Road at the end. Like Erie Blvd it is a busy city road, but IMO more pleasant than Erie Blvd. It does have a hill...

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Tagged: Byrne Dairy

Karen's Produce in Fort Hunter
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:46 PM
Ice cream! What more do you need to know?

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Aqua Vino in Utica
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:40 PM
Really nice canalside seating. Very convenient to the trail.

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Tagged: Aqua Vino

Quality Inn Rome in Rome
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:38 PM
We should have asked for a first floor room in advance. Not fun carrying bikes up stairs after a long ride.

Looks like the kind of place where you wake up in the bathtub with only one kidney.

But, you can't beat the location. Easy access to Ft Stanwix and SugarBeets and Tops grocery store, and the trail out of town.

Nice bed, good sleep.

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Arby's in Weedsport
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:23 PM
duplicate post

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Tagged: Arby's

Arby's in Weedsport
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:23 PM
I had not had Arby's in maybe 20 years. We rolled into town just shattered from a long day and the hills that people swore do not exist on this trail. The salty fatty meaty goodness at Arby's was perfect.

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Tagged: Arby's

Craft 120 Brewery in Newark
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:17 PM
Good food, nice selection of beer, nice staff. Great outdoor seating area with a perfect view of the canal. Would def eat here again.

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Simply Crepes in Pittsford
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:13 PM
Nice little place. Good service. Great food. Nice staff.

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Canal Lamp Inn in Pittsford
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:11 PM
Nice room. Internet didn't reach our room. Nice common area to sit and use the internet. :) No food on site, but they gave us a gift card to use at a local spot.

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Barber's Grill & Tap Room in Brockport
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:08 PM
Good food, friendly people, nice selection of beers, outdoor tables with a view of the drawbridge. Would go here again.

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Fitzgibbons Public House in Medina
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:04 PM
Good pub food. Amazingly small selection of beer. But, I had that thought everywhere we ate. Maybe I'm spoiled.

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Garden View B&B in Medina
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 02:03 PM
Cute place. Nice grounds to wander around. Able to keep bikes in a locked garage overnight. Hostess was really nice. The ride to town for dinner and back was pretty easy and traffic was light.

We shared a bathroom with another couple, which we figured out was not our favorite. We knew ahead of time, so it's not the fault of the B&B. Just a learning experience for us.

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Rick Cycle Shop in Buffalo
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 01:57 PM
The nice people here let me use their pump to inflate my tires. Seemed like a good shop.

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Buffalo Grand Hotel in Buffalo
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/06/2021 01:54 PM
This place is an absolute dive. But, the staff was nice and the price was cheap and the location was very close to the start of the trail. I have paid a lot more for significantly worse rooms. If I rode the trail again, I would stay there again.

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Empire State Trail - Hudson Valley camping
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 04/07/2021 08:35 PM
Hopefully this is not too far off topic for this forum, but... I am planning to add the trip from Albany to NYC to my cross-state Canalway ride this June.

I will be bike-packing/touring. I'm quite comfortable with finding places to camp overnight on the Canalway, but I'm wondering what to expect as far as finding camping spots along the Empire State Trail heading south -- especially south of Kingston when I will be in more urban settings as I get closer and closer to the city.

Do any of you have any relevant beta or experience on the different pathways that the new EST utilizes? [Worse case I could utilize private campgrounds or if it was necessary.] Thanks in advance.

Chris from Long Island on 04/10/2021 09:56 PM
I am riding from Buffalo to Long Island at the end of May and I am struggling with finding places to stay south of Albany. If anyone has suggestions it would be great or if anyone knows of an interactive web page similar to this page for the portion of the Empire State Trail from Albany to NYC

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 04/11/2021 09:41 AM
Look at Fahnstock State Park & Bear Mountain SP & Harriman SP
Also look into

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 04/11/2021 12:15 PM
Bktourer1: To use Warmshowers, would I need to list my own home as a place people could stay? Is that generally how it works and the minimum requirement? I don’t live right on a trail. Thanks.

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 04/11/2021 03:40 PM
I've been looking around and have come up with some options -- I'll let you know how things progress. For my tour, I have friends in Kingston that I will stay with. The second overnight is where I am finding that nothing apparent is close-by. FWI, I noticed that one 20+ mile section runs along an abandoned (I believe) railway and appears quite isolated from everything -- woods on either side, underpasses so you are not at ground level at many intersections, etc. It's quite different. (BTW, I could see this on Goggle Satellite view.)

Yes, is a member community where you return favors of hosting. Quite frankly, it's not an issue of whether you are on a trail or not -- just that you will -- at some time (not always) -- offer a place to stay. Those who host most generally enjoy being able to meet people and engage in sharing stories. However, accepting a member as a guest is up to the host. He/she may/may not chose to offer you a place after you inquire, and you do not have to *always* be accepting guests. Also, as a host you can offer different options from camp in my yard and use my bathroom to stay in a bedroom, bathe, have dinner and breakfast and hang out together during your stay. It's up to the host. I'm a host with a great three bedroom lower area with private bath, family room, kitchenette and separate entrance but really not near any trail. Letchworth State Park is about 16 miles away -- conceivably a biking destination and about 3 miles (uphill) from State Bike Route 19.

I really couldn't find any good options as far as State Parks or state land. Fahnstock State Park is a good 12 miles from the Empire State Trail. For me, that is way too far off trail to be a consideration.

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 04/11/2021 03:49 PM
I too am a hoster on warmshowers, the state parks I mentioned were the only ones I had any info about as I used them for AT camping.c
PTNY at one time did a ride I believe from ALbany to NYC. Maybe they still have cues for that trip with info

Ray (webmaster) on 04/24/2021 09:52 AM
Unfortunately I came up mostly empty on looking for camping between Albany and NYC.

I expected that some of the towns along the trail would be willing to let cyclists set up a tent in their local city parks - this is a common practice along other long-distance trails like the Katy Trail in MO and Cowboy Trail in NE where the trail towns welcome cyclists to overnight in city parks. However, after talking with the parks people and/or town hall people in about a dozen communities between Albany and NYC, every last one of them told me that cyclists are NOT allowed to set up a tent in the town parks.

There are two established campgrounds along this portion of the Empire State Trail, not on the trail but within a reasonable distance for cyclists - Sam Pryor Campground near New Paltz, and Sylvan Lake near Hopewell Junction. However, both sites require riding a few miles on county roads. The road to Pryor lacks a good shoulder about half the way.

I wrote up everything I could find on this web page: Camping Along the Empire State Trail

If anybody knows of, or discovers any other good camping options, please share the info. Lack of camping options will discourage many touring cyclists from using the Hudson Valley portion of the Empire State Trail.

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 04/25/2021 11:29 AM
Thanks to everyone on this thread for your feedback. It looks as if the majority of camping on this route, sadly, will be “credit card camping”. : ) Unless you go the stealth route or warm showers route.


Ray (webmaster) on 06/08/2021 09:16 PM
I recently learned about one other camping option between Albany and NYC: Livingston State Forest allows PRIMITIVE camping. The park is along the Empire State Trail a little north of Linlithgo, between Hudson and Germantown.

Here's a page with a map and contact info:

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 07/05/2021 10:05 PM
I suppose I should post an update here... I did finish the ECT and Empire State Trail a few weeks ago into NYC. First - I did not follow the EST out of Renesselaer, rather followed Rt 7J south along the Hudson and stopped at Schodack Island SP which was excellent and worked fine. Next morning I stayed on the State Route and planned to pick up the trail around Stuyvesant Falls, but had an issue and called for a ride into Kingston -- where I had plans to stay over at my friends home. From Kingston I elected to eliminate extra miles and time taking the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail to Poughkeepsie so I just stayed south on Rt. 9W right to the Pedestrian Bridge. It was easy with a wide apron.

From there I was on the EST. Bike Paths were great right into Manhattan -- except the South County Trail that is being worked on currently, but the trail is in pretty rough shape.

So where to stay for that next night before the day riding into Manhattan? I had called a LOT of places and only got one positive answer. It was Trinity Lutheran Church in Brewster -- spitting distance from the trail with delightful grounds to use. There is actually a small post that has a hot electrical box to use. A close-by shopping area with chain food, grocery store and an excellent Mexican restaurant among other options. For the Church -- find the phone online and call to ask permission. Peter, the person that I spoke with, was most cordial, accommodating and super at quickly communicating with me.

Heading south the next morning -- turn right off the trail when you cross the main drag in Mahopac. There is a great Deli just a block or two in a triangle between roads serving wonderful breakfast and a lunch sandwich for the road.

All 450+ miles were fun. EST needs to invest in a few more signs and a lot more Pointy Arrows --]

Maloufs Mountain Campground from Beacon NY on 07/06/2021 01:13 PM
Just wanted to let everyone to know passing by us, we have had an increase in bikers camping with us and we are thrilled to be able to accommodate you.
We have hot showers, flushing toilets , fresh food to cook and camping spots.
You can get all the details on our website.
let me know if you have questions about getting to us or reserving.
Happy Biking!

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4 regions
Paul from Amherst, NY on 06/18/2021 01:08 PM
What are the four regions of the Canalway trail?

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 07/05/2021 09:38 PM
SYR -> Little Falls
Little Falls -> ALB

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