camping on the trail -  + Good morning all. I am in the process of planning to cycle the canal from Albany to buffalo sometime before the end of Autumn in 2024. I have family in buffalo I am going to visit. My intention is to ...
Discussion started 01/27/2023 05:58 AM by Bill Mackay - 11 replies (last reply by Sarah at 03/01/2023 09:07 PM)
Bill Mackay from Glasgow Scotland on 01/27/2023 05:58 AM
Good morning all. I am in the process of planning to cycle the canal from Albany to buffalo sometime before the end of Autumn in 2024. I have family in buffalo I am going to visit. My intention is to camp on the trail. As I am flying in with my bike I do not actually want to carry a tent. In the campsites along the trail are there any that offer one night hire of tents.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2023 05:18 PM
That's not really a thing here, and certainly not frequently enough to cover you for the whole trip.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/28/2023 04:24 PM
Agree with Bill. I’ve not heard of tent rentals and certainly not in all the small towns you’ll be stopping at. If you’re set on not carrying any gear (or you don’t have a support crew carrying it for you), I would just “credit card camp” and stay at motels/BNB’s.
Bill Mackay from Glasgow Scotland on 01/29/2023 06:34 PM
Thanks for both comments fellas, I have plenty of time to plan, so will now look at bed and breakfast along the route and weigh it again st carrying tent and sleeping bag.
DK from Fultonville on 01/30/2023 10:42 PM
You may want to buy a tent and sleeping bag in Albany. Then donate it to good will in Buffalo.
Bill Mackay on 02/01/2023 12:03 PM
Good call on buying tent and then donating.
Pat from Greencastle on 02/10/2023 08:35 AM
Hey there! We are not rent campers, so won’t comment on that. But, September 2022, my husband and I rode the Albany to Buffalo thru trip. We were the ONLY riders going East to West. There are a few spots along the way that the tailwind you may benefit from when going West to East would be helpful, but I can honestly say that the last 130 miles or so into Buffalo were by far the prettiest! We are glad we chose this direction, although the vast major of riders go not.
I have our entire itinerary I can send if you want. We stayed at motels or hotels over the 7 nights.
Let me know if you are interested in our itinerary and I’ll be happy to send it along. If do, you might provide an email I can send it to
Donna from Hudson Falls NY on 02/11/2023 07:08 PM
Pat from Greencastle I would be interested in your itinerary email@example.com thanks!
DK from Fultonville on 02/19/2023 11:28 AM
If you haven't yet discovered this site.
Lots of good information and a free map to order.
Bill Mackay from Glasgow Scotland on 02/19/2023 07:17 PM
Thank you Pat. I would appreciate having a look at your itinerary.
Williammckay596@gmail.com is my e mail
johnine mccartney from HOPEWELL JUNCTION on 02/27/2023 07:22 PM
Thank you Pat, I would appreciate your sending me your itinerary. Can you tell me do you ride on city streets as you go through Syracuse? My email is Jmccartney@ithaca.edu.
Sarah from Watertown MA on 03/01/2023 09:07 PM
Pat, I would love to see your itinerary too!
Albany to Buffalo -  + Hi all,
There are 10 women who are looking to do the full trail in 8 days in September. Would welcome any and all recommendations for B&B's, AirB&B, restaurants, sights to see, do's and don't etc. B...
Discussion started 03/27/2023 03:22 PM by Mickey - 6 replies (last reply by Sal the Mule at 03/28/2023 06:07 PM)
Mickey from Indianapolis on 03/27/2023 03:22 PM
There are 10 women who are looking to do the full trail in 8 days in September. Would welcome any and all recommendations for B&B's, AirB&B, restaurants, sights to see, do's and don't etc. Best way to get from Buffalo to Albany and safe place to park the cars.
This is not our first long ride, we do a rail to trail ride each year.
Look forward to your suggestions.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/27/2023 03:51 PM
I have an itinerary that's too long to post here. What's your email address, and I can send it to you.
Phil from Many Places from From Albany to Buffalo on 03/27/2023 05:57 PM
Maybe try to find a reasonably priced used issue of "Cycling the Canal" which is currently out of print, although published by NYS Parks and Trails of NY. It seems to have detailed vistor information (address, phone, and sometimes web sites for many of the segments.
Linda from Indy from Indianapolis on 03/28/2023 08:00 AM
I have a group of about 10 ladies doing the same but from Albany to Buffalo this September. I would love to have anyone itinerary and suggested B&B or places that can take a large group each stop.
Old Man on A New E-Bike from 16 miles on the Erie Canal on 03/28/2023 11:51 AM
The book entitled:
Cycling the Erie Canal, Revised Edition: A Guide to 400 Miles of Adventure and History Along the Erie Canalway Trail (Parks & Trails New York) by Erie Canalway (2015-08-01) Paperback
is available on Amazon, used, for $64. Seems like alot, but it is worth it, especially if 12 women want something that they can study and is authoritative. Lots of great maps, and info on exactly how to get local information.
You will not be sorry to buy this. Snag it and you'll be glad you did.
DK from Fultonville on 03/28/2023 01:10 PM
Get it from the source.
Sal the Mule from From Albany to Buffalo on 03/28/2023 06:07 PM
Many, many thanks! Got a new copy!!!
Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda -  + Is it safe to park here then travel the Erie canal bike trail for 4 or 5 days?
Discussion started 02/19/2023 04:18 PM by Bob - 3 replies (last reply by Yankee John at 03/05/2023 05:56 AM)
Bob on 02/19/2023 04:18 PM
Is it safe to park here then travel the Erie canal bike trail for 4 or 5 days?
Bop from Rochester on 02/19/2023 05:30 PM
Take a look on https://www.instantstreetview.com/ and see what the area looks like. Best I can do.
Bob from Fort Collins CO on 02/20/2023 12:05 PM
Thanks for parking info. I'm also considering parking near Amtrak Station in Buffalo (we ride to Rochester then Amtrak back). Any ideas on parking near Amtrak / Buffalo?
Yankee John from Vermont on 03/05/2023 05:56 AM
The downtown Buffalo AMtrak station at Exchange Street has been recently renovated - the old station looked like it was
was circa 1945 and was dark and dirty. This area is part of the renovation of downtown Buffalo, including the one of a kind Tim Horton's restaurant where Tim Horton himself played hockey back in the day. There is some parking at the new Exhange station, but not all of the trains stop there, some only stop at the larger Amtrak station in Depew outside of town near the airport, and it's unstaffed and in a part of town where there isn't much activity at night, so safety might still be a concern. Only a few blocks from there are the multi level City of Buffalo Parking structures that have cameras and staffing. We stayed at the downtown boutique Curtiss Hotel and left our car overnight in a nearby parking structure in 2018. It worked out well and it wasnt expensive.
Niagra Falls -  + Plan to cycle the entire trail in June Buffalo to Albany. How many additional miles am I adding if I elect to go to Niagra Falls?
Discussion started 02/23/2023 08:48 PM by Jack Rafferty - 2 replies (last reply by John W. at 02/27/2023 09:47 AM)
Jack Rafferty from Orange, CT on 02/23/2023 08:48 PM
Plan to cycle the entire trail in June Buffalo to Albany. How many additional miles am I adding if I elect to go to Niagra Falls?
Tori M on 02/27/2023 08:34 AM
Check out the shoreline trail.
27 miles round trip from Tonawanda.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 02/27/2023 09:47 AM
Beautiful Story Map!
I was surprised to see it not suggest going over the two Grand Island bridges. I used to take that shortcut but that was over 30 years ago! :-) But that route suggested looks really nice.
Alternatively, if you have a passport, you can hop over the Peace Bridge into Fort Erie and take the Niagara River Recreation Route that follows the Niagara River all the way to the Falls.
Bikes in hotel rooms -  + Has anyone had any issues with bringing bikes into hotel rooms? I'm looking at a Choice Hotel. There is nothing on their web sites.
Discussion started 02/17/2023 04:31 PM by DK - 2 replies (last reply by Bob at 02/26/2023 09:25 AM)
DK from Fultonville on 02/17/2023 04:31 PM
Has anyone had any issues with bringing bikes into hotel rooms? I'm looking at a Choice Hotel. There is nothing on their web sites.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 02/18/2023 11:15 AM
I would call the front desk and ask. If they’re near the trail, they will have had many guests who have arrived by bike so they’ll have a pretty clear rules.
The good ones have hoses outside to remove the grit off of your bikes. Most should allow them in the rooms or will at least have a separate storage room if not.
Bob from Albany on 02/26/2023 09:25 AM
On our trip we will be staying in The Castle in Amsterdam which does not allow bicycles in the room. They do have a private secure parking garage for guests which is where our bikes will be kept.
Our itinerary also has us staying at Buffalo Marriott, Becker Farms Vineyard, Del Monte Spa, Red Roof Inn, Days Inn and Best Western. I called each to verify and they allow bikes in the room, at least the ones we have booked. So call and find out and make reservations accordingly. Enjoy the ride, stay safe.
Car rental vs train -  + We are planning on riding from Buffalo to Albany this summer. Are there any car rentals in Albany set up with bike racks that we can use to drive back to Buffalo? It would seem this would be easier t...
Discussion started 02/07/2023 08:32 AM by Jim M - 7 replies (last reply by Jim M at 02/23/2023 09:59 PM)
Jim M from Canton Oh on 02/07/2023 08:32 AM
We are planning on riding from Buffalo to Albany this summer. Are there any car rentals in Albany set up with bike racks that we can use to drive back to Buffalo? It would seem this would be easier than a train and good opportunity for a car rental company. I assume they could advetize their services on this site.
M greene on 02/08/2023 11:08 AM
I was looking into car rental also but at this point I’m leaning toward renting a uhaul truck.
There are several along the way and can be dropped off at the starting point. For us that would be Lockport. Riding about 100 miles in two days loading the bikes and driving back.
Uhaul would be about $125
Oldest of the Old from all over the place on 02/08/2023 01:24 PM
I'd be interested in learning about renting a bike rack, too. Never heard of it. How about buying a used one cheap, using it, and selling it cheap? Or, run an ad. Pretty sure there are alot of racks in garages no longer being used. Put an ask out on the trashnothing web site in Albany, and make an offer.
Or, how about rent a van and stash the bikes in it?
Just a few ideas.
Yankee John from Vermont on 02/09/2023 06:17 AM
The Amtrak train has become more rider friendly, and it's not expensive, but you need a reservation for the bike which locks your trip into certain dates. You can rent a van that will hold 2 or 3 bikes, or more bikes if you want to break them down, but van rental is expensive, and you are limited to pickup and return at airports. UHaul rentals are much cheaper, with many choices for pickup and return. The truck will hold several bikes, which you can roll on and roll off, but you will need to carry or buy quite a few ropes or bungees to secure the bikes to protect them from damage in the back. At ~12mpg Uhaul is not the green way to travel, and if gas prices become stratospheric again the cost of the gas might be significant.
Bop from Rochester on 02/09/2023 10:47 AM
I'd stay home.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 02/09/2023 05:15 PM
We rented a minivan one way for the two of us when we rode the GAP. Cheaper than Amtrak.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 02/13/2023 09:25 AM
I second Bill’s mini-van idea. I’ve done this before. Just put the back seats down and maybe remove your front tire(s) and they will easily fit. You will need to figure out how get from drop off/pickup point to and from the trail of course.
Jim M from Canton Oh on 02/23/2023 09:59 PM
Thanks for the ideas! I will check into van and uhaul rentals.
Dick Sonne's Cycles in Utica -  + Do you rent bicycles? or are you able to direct us to a shop that does?
Discussion started 02/22/2023 07:13 PM by paul richman - 1 reply (last reply by Ray (webmaster) at 02/22/2023 08:07 PM)
paul richman from del mar on 02/22/2023 07:13 PM
Do you rent bicycles? or are you able to direct us to a shop that does?
Ray (webmaster) on 02/22/2023 08:07 PM
That shop might not see your question here, but I am pretty sure they do not offer rentals.
Here is a link to all businesses that I know of, on or near the Erie Canal towpath trail, that offer bike rental:
If anyone sees errors in this list, or knows of others that I might have missed, I welcome your input.
RV camping -  + My group ( we’re in our mid 60’s)is planning to ride a large portion of the trail in early June. We are planning to start near Buffalo and ride about 50 miles a day for four days. What is the best sta...
Discussion started 02/06/2023 10:31 AM by Don Kleber - 2 replies (last reply by Bob at 02/13/2023 12:53 PM)
Don Kleber from Fairfield Ct on 02/06/2023 10:31 AM
My group ( we’re in our mid 60’s)is planning to ride a large portion of the trail in early June. We are planning to start near Buffalo and ride about 50 miles a day for four days. What is the best starting point? Is it Buffalo or should we move East a bit? Can anyone recommend towns to overnight at about 50 mile intervals? In the past since we have 10-12 riders we’ve used RV’s. Are there camp grounds/RV parks within a short drive of each overnight town? Lastly, we are mostly road bikers and May look to rent some gravel/hybrid bikes at a shop near the end of our ride. Any recommendations?
Thank for any response. Remember ride fast, stay upright!!
Bill in Houston from Houston on 02/09/2023 05:28 PM
Assuming you don't want to see Niagara Falls, you couldn't go wrong by starting at Lockport and riding to Rome, I think.
Brockport and Weedsport would be decent places to stop, with an approx 50 mile spacing. Not sure which town in between them would be best.
No idea on RVs or camping, sorry.
The Trip Planner link above and Google Maps can really help you nail down the amenities you want.
As road bikers, do you have an idea what it feels like to ride 50 miles on the gravel trail? 50 miles of gravel would be about 80 miles of road.
Bob from Albany on 02/13/2023 12:53 PM
This is my itinerary from Buffalo to Weedsport. Although I do have a breakdown to Albany. The referenced mileage is from the zero mileage trail marker in Buffalo to the lodging facility. Lockport is a pretty good start as previously mentioned. We are doing the whole trail in a few months where we will take the train from Albany to Buffalo. Except for the winery we are lodging pretty much on the trail.
2.5 Arrive Buffalo 6:45 pm stay Buffalo Marriott 2.5 miles
43.1 Arrive Gasport
Lodging Becker Farms vineyard / brewery 1.4 mi from trail
103.0 Arrive Pittsford Lodging Del Monte Hotel & Spa
163.0 Arrive Weedsport Lodging Red Roof Inn
enjoy the ride. let me know how you broke down your ride.
Charged E-Bikes in Pittsford -  + Is this a place to stop and charge our batteries?
Are there any places on the trail to do this?
Discussion started 02/08/2023 11:34 AM by M greene - 1 reply (last reply by Bill in Houston at 02/09/2023 05:18 PM)
M greene on 02/08/2023 11:34 AM
Is this a place to stop and charge our batteries?
Are there any places on the trail to do this?
Bill in Houston from Houston on 02/09/2023 05:18 PM
You should call and ask them. I would expect that they are a bike shop of some sort, rather than a charging station.
Trip advice -  + Will be first time on this trail. Is it fairly flat the entire way? Looking for best itinerary for 3 days of riding, about 125 miles total. What 125 mile section would you reccomend and where would yo...
Discussion started 01/20/2023 08:18 PM by Dan - 2 replies (last reply by Elevation at 01/25/2023 12:46 PM)
Dan from Phillipsburg, NJ on 01/20/2023 08:18 PM
Will be first time on this trail. Is it fairly flat the entire way? Looking for best itinerary for 3 days of riding, about 125 miles total. What 125 mile section would you reccomend and where would you start. Better to travel east or west? Did the Gap trail last year and loved it. Any info would be appreciated.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/23/2023 10:22 AM
If I had 3 days and wanted to do that distance, I'd start in Buffalo, and ride to Palmyra or Newark.
You are parallel to the old canal, which is so nice, and the towns along the way are great. Lots of older history.
There is also less road riding, and it's fairly flat.
If you have concerns about hills, try to avoid the section between Newark and Weedsport. Some people say it doesn't have hills, but when I was there, I was on hills. I guess it depends on your frame of reference. A lot of it is also on roads.
Elevation from Erie Canal Shuttle on 01/25/2023 12:46 PM
If you look through the bikeeriecanal site you will find an elevation chart to help in your planning
Data discrepancy between the "Mileage Chart" and the .CSV Download -  + Hello, and thank you for this excellent planning tool> Highly useful and generally excellent quality tool.
I did ‘discover’ what looks like a serious discrepancy in the results using different parts o...
Discussion started 01/13/2023 12:16 PM by Gordon in WA - 5 replies (last reply by Bill in Houston at 01/20/2023 11:11 AM)
Gordon in WA from Vancouver, WA on 01/13/2023 12:16 PM
Hello, and thank you for this excellent planning tool> Highly useful and generally excellent quality tool.
I did ‘discover’ what looks like a serious discrepancy in the results using different parts of the Web-tool:
If I use the Mileage Chart and look, for example, at the distance between Buffalo and Medina, the result displayed is 51.4 miles.
If, on the other hand, I use the Trip Planner Tab and download the underlying data ("Download your planner info in Excel-ready CSV format: planner csv file”) the facility farthest along the Trail from Buffalo to Medina is 44.3 miles. That’s a big difference!
So for planning purposes (daily mileage), which number is accurate?
I really appreciate the option to download the full data set of Trail facilities. I’ve used this to create a planning too that really helps us (similar to what we did when planning the GAP-C&O Ride). Once I got the data arranged, I just input the ‘Day number’, and copy that number down until I get to our preferred mileage (~40 miles). Then I increment the Day Number, and repeat.
Anyway, this is overall a great utility. I will look forward to your explanation on why the Mileage Chart doesn’t seem to agree with the downloaded .CSV file.
Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 01/13/2023 04:23 PM
This past June 14th, my brother and I began our Erie Canalway Trail bike tour and started from the Hampton Inn in downtown Buffalo. We ended that day at the Hart House Hotel in Medina. My 'Ride With GPS' App showed exactly 51.9 miles. Most of the other daily rides, when compared to the Planning Tool on the website, differed from between 2 and 8 miles, with some being right on the money. I'm not sure how the mileages were calculated, but some of them are not exact and you should be prepared for some discrepancy. All in all, it was a fabulous tour and I plan on doing it again. Have fun!
Ray (webmaster) on 01/13/2023 07:58 PM
Hi Gordon, thank you for reaching out about the Trip Planner. I always appreciate anybody pointing out issues with the website like this, so I can get it fixed.
But with this issue I can't reproduce the problem. When I do a trip planner for Buffalo to Medina, the Medina businesses are all showing up with mileage in the low 50's, as they should be. I also tried Medina to Buffalo, and a few other combinations with other towns, but it's all looking correct.
Do you happen to still have the CSV file that you created? If so, could you please email me a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org - this might help me see what was going on at the time it was run.
Again, thank you for saying something about this - we'll get to the bottom of it!
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/17/2023 03:10 PM
Ray, would this old explanation that you sent me explain the difference? Sorry, you'll have to scroll down a bit.
Ray (webmaster) on 01/17/2023 07:46 PM
Hey Bill, you have a better memory than I do, I had forgotten about that issue!
Thank you for the suggestion - that would have been a good explanation, but it was fixed quite a while ago - all mileage measurements go to the trail's end in Buffalo, so no discrepancies.
It looks like the trip planner is also giving the right mileage. I haven't heard back from Gordon, but all the numbers coming out of the planner are currently correct: 50-ish miles from the trail start in Buffalo to Medina.
Again I appreciate anyone pointing out anything that doesn't look right, but at this point it's all working correctly to the best of my knowledge.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/20/2023 11:11 AM
As always, thanks for running a great site, Ray.