Start of the canal trail in Buffalo -
Trek 620 from San Diego on 10/24/2018 07:12 AM
Ray, where does the canal trail actually start/end in Buffalo? I was at the anchor where the submarine ad ship were docked but saw no mention of the trail. It's starting/is cold on the trail as of this date with heavy frost along the trail in the mornings. Thanks
ctbiker from Norwich,CT on 10/24/2018 09:26 AM
I see Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal#Route) mentions various starting points but I personally don't have an answer. I cycled the western half a couple years ago and finished the eastern half yesterday (10/23).
As you mentioned, it's getting nippy throughout the day now.
My two friends and I were often confused by a lack of signage and disliked the broken route which dumps one out onto heavy, fast-traffic roads. We found riding the canal trail next to I-90 disquieting.
I especially liked the General Nicolas Herkimer estate area.
trek620 from san diego on 10/27/2018 08:55 AM
As far as directions go I found it useful to use the road markings put down by the New York Parks Department which are used on their ride from Buffalo to Albany in July (I believe). They consist of painted circles with a direction tab on turns, etc. I just used them backwards and it helped. The route I took last week was from Albany to Buffalo. I think prevailing winds are from west to east. Fought a stiff one most of the way. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/25/2018 05:04 PM
It starts at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. If you are in Canalside and are on the pedestrian bridge at the Commercial Slip you are at the beginning as you stand over the water. The lat/long is: 42.877337, -78.879350
From there the trail heads north (paved) along the city trails next to Lake Erie/Niagara River out to the Tonawandas where it then becomes gravel.
I will agree the signage could be improved down there for sure!
John Aulbach from York, PA on 03/18/2019 02:20 PM
My son and I rode the entire trail 14 years ago. The signage was poor then but the trail was relatively new. We did manage to find the trailhead in Albany very easily but had to wing it a few times. One of the most memorable was somewhere between Medina and Buffalo where we resorted to dead reckoning to find the canal by following a farmers lane beside a cornfield until we came to the intersection of the canal and a road. It made for a great adventure, a wrong turn or two but a great ride.
Erie Canal trail gaps -
CS from Washington, DC on 03/04/2019 07:51 AM
Apologies if this question has been asked, but...I have had a surprisingly difficult (for me, at least) time trying to get a comprehensive, up-to-date list of current gaps, with their distances, in the Erie Canal trail, end-to-end. (Main trail only). If anyone has this info or could point me toward it, I would be grateful. I have tried numerous on-line sources, but typically find them not up-to-date. Thanks in advance for any help or consideration.
Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga Springs on 03/07/2019 10:21 AM
Dear DS from DC,
The gaps I have encountered are Clyde to Newark (on road). Clyde down to Port Byron (on road),. Camillus to Dewitt (street paths across Syracuse). Some on road in Rome, NY.There is a small section now from Rotterdam Junction to Pattersonville. This section is very busy with commercial traffic.
Safe and happy travels! The Erie Canal Trail is a wonderful experience!
Amtrak Station in Albany -
Henry from Latham on 03/01/2019 08:27 PM
Is it easy to take a bike on the train from Albany to Buffalo? Thanks.
This website -
Joe G from Wildwood Mo on 09/13/2018 04:39 PM
I came across this website from the link from the Katy Trail website why does this website have a different look or format then the Katy and the others you host.
Ray (webmaster) on 09/13/2018 08:47 PM
Thanks for visiting the site, Joe.
I built the Katy Trail site 15 years ago, and used that framework to build other websites for the C&O Canal/GAP in MD/PA, Cowboy Trail in Nebraska, Silver Comet in GA, and Mickelson in SD.
When it came time to create a website for the Erie Canal, I decided to build a new site from scratch rather than copying the old Katy Trail framework. This new design could take advantage of the latest web technologies like "responsive design" (looking good and working well on any size screen), location awareness, better personalization, more extensive use of mapping... and just a fresher, more current look.
Having developed this new concept, next I will take these improvements and apply them to the other existing trail websites. So you can look forward to the Katy Trail site (and others) getting a face lift and improved trip planning tools sometime over the next year.
To make this new website framework the best it can be, I appreciate any feedback, ideas, critiques, or suggestions.
Thanks again, and happy trails!
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 04:12 PM
The form search tool directs you to the Cowboy Trail. How do you search the Earie Canal form for specific subjects?
Ray S (webmaster) on 02/19/2019 04:23 PM
Sorry about that issue with the search - it is fixed now to search the Erie Canal site.
I built the search feature on the Cowboy Trail site, and forgot to change the code when I copied it over to here.
Thanks for pointing out the problem so I could fix it!
Bop from Rochester on 02/21/2019 03:58 PM
Any idea how messed up the canal path is heading east to spencerport? Was on E canal road today and it looks like a mess. Same heading west to Holley?
Biking season is upcoming and I like to ride to hulberton and back.
Amtrak Station in Buffalo -
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 04:08 PM
Are unboxed bicycles allowed on Empire service?
Summer Trip for Familes on Erie Canal Trail -
Margaret from Amherst, OH on 01/04/2019 02:04 PM
I am planning a summer trip for two families on the trail. We did the GAP two years ago so some experience there. I am seeing that Cayuga State Park is kind of near the trail and would like to utilize it for camping possibly- but how far away is it actually from the trail and where exactly and would this be bikable from the trail- we would need the less traveled roads as we have kids with us the youngest being 12 years. Thanks for any tips you can offer.
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 01:08 PM
I somewhat heat intolerant. I also prefer storm free as possible bicycle travel. What time of the year would people from the area recommend as the best time to travel on the Erie?
Erie Canalway side trips -
BobTheBuilder from Cleveland, Ohio on 01/21/2019 08:38 PM
After riding the C&O / GAP last summer we're planning a leisurely ride on the Erie in July. Are there any recommended side trips to take besides the Genesee Riverway Trail?
mdadams1 from York PA on 01/30/2019 02:32 PM
When in Lockport it is so much fun to ride one of the boats that go thru the locks....Walking along the waterway in Fairport at dusk is amazing.
21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal -
Ray S (webmasyer) on 01/26/2019 02:26 PM
"Registration is open for Parks & Trails New York’s 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal, a 400-mile recreational bicycle tour from Buffalo to Albany on July 7-14..."
Full article: https://www.mpnnow.com/news/20190124/registration-open-for-cycle-erie-canal-2019/1
Rochester bike projects roll on -
Ray S (webmaster) on 01/20/2019 12:05 PM
[ City Newspaper, Jan 16, 2019 ]
For close to a decade, the City of Rochester has methodically worked to become more bike friendly. Officials have tried to incorporate bike lanes and cycle tracks into road resurfacing and reconstruction projects whenever possible. They designed a series of alternate routes that cyclists can take instead of car-packed main roads. They launched a bike-share program. And they've tried to make sure that people have a place to lock up or securely store their bikes when they get to their destination.
That work will continue this year. Construction is set to begin on several key projects, and design work will start on other important bike infrastructure, including some trail work and connections that will be part of Roc the Riverway.
Full article: https://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/rochester-bike-projects-roll-on/Content?oid=9332071
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!
riding with 2 10 year olds - looking for no/little road sections -
Manisha from florida on 11/28/2018 10:26 PM
We want to ride ~120 mile segment over 5 days. We'd prefer to have little to no roads.
Is there a section you could recommend
Weekend Scout Biking Trip -
JFro from Warwick, NY on 11/24/2018 01:33 PM
Looking for a weekend bike trip for a group of Boy Scouts. Looking to finish in Albany. 40(ish) miles on Saturday. 10(ish) miles on Sunday. Looking for places to CAMP on Friday night and Saturday night.
present towpath condition -
ctbiker from Norwich, CT on 10/05/2018 03:25 PM
I'll be pedaling the eastern half of the Erie Canal very soon. We've had lots of precipitation (i.e. flooding) so don't know the effect of it on the pathway.
I've looked for "current conditions on the Erie Canal but have seen nothing definitive.
Anyone know or have a source?
best rides near Skaneateles -
Andy on 09/24/2018 08:29 PM
We are staying in Skaneateles and want to know the most interesting ride near by between 20 and 30 miles on the canal trail
Tribes Hill Park and Boat Launch in Fort Hunter -
Jj on 09/21/2018 03:49 PM
There is no camping here
Ray (webmaster) on 09/21/2018 05:41 PM
Thank you for catching that - I have updated the listings.
Paved Erie Canal Trail Parking in Utica -
Jj on 09/19/2018 05:58 PM
Can we park overnight?
KB from Cazenovia on 09/18/2018 09:22 PM
I just traveled it today and rode this section. In Rome you will ride on a few roads after coming off the trail from Utica direction and will go over a bridge on Mill street. Then turn left into the park next to the canal and it will take you over the Mohawk river. But take your time because it's fantastic and very historic. It will take you to S. James street and I highly suggest going into visitors center and Fort Stanwix. This map is not correct on this page !!!! Go up a block from visitor center and turn left on Liberty and go to the end and turn left again on Gifford and then a right next to the bank (yes, on the very busy highway) and then a quick left at the light (Rt 46,49) and this will get you back on the main trail again. the rest is a mix of very smooth gravel and pavement and a couple road sections into Durhamville on the Canal road. I hope this helps.
Hometown Meats & Deli in Clyde -
Jj on 09/18/2018 02:05 PM
Homemade soup and sandwich.... delicious.
McColley's in Spencerport -
Jj on 09/17/2018 10:27 PM
Excellent..we had a great meal. Wings and cob salad.
Newb on 08/22/2018 04:00 PM
Is the trail hilly?
The Psychlist on 08/23/2018 03:01 PM
No I wouldn't call it hilly. Remember it mostly follows rivers and a canal, so there can't be too many hills.
Ray (webmaster) on 09/17/2018 07:50 AM
I added a page showing the elevation profile for the trail.
As the graphs show, it is mostly small changes in elevation, but there are a few significant climbs:
Rome to Durhamville - Paved or Gravel -
Rich D from Scotch Plains, NJ on 09/15/2018 08:08 PM
Just curious. Is the section from Rome to Durhamville paved or gravel? I'll be riding it next week and trying to decide which bike to bring. Thanks!
Psychlist on 09/16/2018 11:12 AM
If my memory serves, you'll be on the paved streets while in Rome and in Durhamville. And you'll be on a street for a few miles outside of Durhamville. But other than that, you are on the gravel trail.