Erie Canal lodging -
The Rusty Gear from Camillus, ny on 08/27/2020 08:45 PM
Looking to buy land near canal to build anything from platforms to lean tos to yurts. We are few miles outside of Syracuse. Might offer additional services. Would you stay? How much would you pay? What services would you like offered? What type of facility would you most like to spend the night in? Thanks for the input!
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 08/29/2020 11:40 PM
I would consider a yurt as opposed to a hotel if one were available. The biggest thing would be shower availability somewhere on the campgrounds, somewhere to charge devices, and drinking water available. I’m not sure how large these would be built. I would say small 1-2 person yurts would be the best and priced lower than a typical hotel.
Definitely would use a lean-to/Adirondack, obviously cheaper than a yurt. There are a few free ones along the GAP in PA and everyone claims them first when I stop by them, people love them.
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 08/30/2020 10:52 AM
From a self-contained rider perspective -- I think that John W. is probably right about availability to camp and have water. Comparing it to the GAP Trail is ideal as there are many options along the trail ranging from [A] Free campsites with lean-tos, flat ground areas, pit toilets and water [B] limited "hiker/biker" lawn areas at regular campgrounds that are walk-in free or $8 reserved, [C] primitive campground @ $15 to the usual campground experience.
Personally, I do not care for hard surfaces such as a L/T or platform to set up my tent, rather just a flat space on the ground is fine. Having fire-pits is great, but availability to wood is necessary but a wonderful nicety if it is complimentary!
I'm okay with water and no shower... however, availability to a shower is an awesome find. The above [B] actually had availability to campground restrooms with free showers! Definitely if electrical outlets were available, they are greatly helpful, but that's something that any rider has to figure out. I used a solar charger and was fine.
So, the question then becomes: Who is your targeted audience? There are probably more riders/hikers who are looking for less primitive options for lodging -- and they are readily available. In that case, your experience has to be offering a unique experience to the overnight user, but not limiting too many of the niceties that would be expected.
From a self-contained rider perspective -- Yes, I would stay if it fit into my mileage plans; I think I'd top out at ~$15 for primitive camping and hopefully that would include an option for showering.
Roger molleur on 08/31/2020 10:02 AM
Rode Erie 2 years ago end to end Taking my wife this week for 2 days. What would the most interesting 75 miles to ride thanks
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 08/31/2020 12:42 PM
Having recently finished E2E, I favored the Barge Canal section between Buffalo and Syracuse. It's a nice mixture of paved and gavel with interesting villages and sights along the way. You'd have to figure out the exact 75 miles, but the western end, ending up in Buffalo at Canalside, would be a prime target. Many things to do there and in the downtown area would be on my list to fully engage your wife! Alternatively... end up in North Tonawanda [the end of the canal as it meets the river]. They have a nice canalside development. This way you'll miss following the Niagara River into Buffalo and not have to deal with a big city. Remington Tavern in NT is a great place to celebrate. Ending up in Lockport would also be a decent ending point offering a good look at the Flight of Five locks with restaurants and lodging available.
Sue from Airville pa on 08/29/2020 06:07 AM
Biking 30 miles out and back from Syracuse which is the best direction to go?
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 08/29/2020 11:28 PM
Sue - the Erie Canal is pretty flat except at the locks which you’re up and down in no time at all. And you are technically going downhill going W-E though is not much to write home about.
I would go east towards Buffalo first, then turn back for the last half of your journey to Syracuse to finish. You’ll be going down the locks on the way back (but to be fair, they’re nothing dramatic!).
Of course you could check the weather and see if winds will be a factor. If the wind is going strong, you could go into the wind first, get that out of the way, and have tailwinds at your back all the way home.
The wind would be the biggest factor for me if it was reasonably strong. In that case, I would go into the wind on my way out and with it at my back the way home. If winds are mild and not a factor, then get the “uphill” out of the way first.
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 08/30/2020 10:22 AM
I'd also add that if you go East, you are following the "historic" canal and West you will follow the regular Barge Canal [look at map to see how far out this is because the canal now heads north to Baldwinsville]. Additionally, the trail from Syr [west] through Camillus and Jordan is nice, but know that past Weedsport and into Clyde/Lyons it is more road than trail. I thought the section from Montezuma to Savanna was the worst/most unsafe part of the tour.
Eastward, once past DeWitt, the trail goes through Green Lakes State Park, hits historic villages and is a nicely maintained pathway. Several points of interest may or may not be open such as the Canal Museum.
Planning bike trip starting September 12, 2020 -
Kmart from Manchester NH on 08/14/2020 12:11 PM
I will be riding the erie canal trail in September. I'm planning on staying in regular lodging, not camping. What are the best towns to stay in along the route. I'm planning on 60-70 miles per day of riding. Also if you can recommend good lodging places to stay.
RP from Long Island ny on 08/24/2020 06:52 AM
I’m traveling in similar fashion the week before. The interactive map with hotels highlighted made it
really easy to find hotels during the amount of miles you want to travel!
Kmart from Manchester NH on 08/24/2020 09:39 AM
Thank you. I came up with a 7 day plan. First night in Brockport and then Newark and so on. I wasn't too excited about Newark. I'm going to take a side trip to Seneca Falls and Auburn. Staying in Auburn. I hope that is a good idea.
Edward Veiga from Lynn on 08/29/2020 07:46 PM
Little Falls is a nice town The Inn at the Mill is nice
Is the bike path closed around Newark for construction? -
Sue from Syracuse on 08/25/2020 10:21 PM
On the Cycle the Erie Canal website it says:
Trail Closure! Due to construction, portions of the trail will be intermittently closed between Harder Park and North Main Street in the Village of Newark. Cyclists can use adjacent roadways or follow posted detours.
Does anyone know if this info is up to date? Also, does anyone have directions or a physical address for Harder Canal Park in Newark? I understand there is parking there to head west on the canal. I can't locate an address to plug into the GPS.
Hazel from Palmyra on 08/26/2020 08:10 AM
The trail is completed in that section. All blacktop and really nice ride. We have been on it several times in the last couple of weeks. Enjoy! Look for the osprey nest if you go.
Trail condition -
Allan Frazer from Murrells Inlet SC on 08/08/2020 08:28 AM
I have walked the trail near the end of I890 and have pulled weeds from concrete wall going over the Mohawk River,the sides of the trail have not been mowed since early June. Whoever is taking care of mowing is NOT doing there job, looks terrible!!
DandyDon from Fairfield, Ohio on 08/08/2020 12:07 PM
Wow. What was the rest of the trail like in 1890?
Mom4life from Schdy on 08/13/2020 02:59 AM
Lol. Interstate. 890.
CGR from CT on 08/25/2020 11:41 AM
We rode the entire trail last week and the sides are all nicely mown and it was a great trip!
Riding the Canal in Early October -
Don from Salida, co on 08/15/2020 08:09 PM
I'm looking at riding the Erie canal(early October) and then Lake Champlain (mid October. Any comments about what the weather will be like would be appreciated.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 08/19/2020 07:11 PM
Should be a good time to ride with some precautions. I would plan for mild fall temps during the day and much cooler at night. Definitely could rain so expect that. Unexpected cold snaps could happen so bring the right clothing just in case.
By October, the days will be much shorter to make camp or town. A bike light would be useful if you get caught out short of your destination for the night. Good luck.
Noob question -
Kenny Sheridan from Merrick on 08/13/2020 02:23 PM
I am going to ride the Canalway for my first time next week. I will start in Syracuse.
Can I ride on a road bike with slick 32m tires or will that be a terrible mistake?
Bop from Rochester on 08/13/2020 08:00 PM
I've used theses for 8 years on the canal. Had one flat.
Bontrager R1 Road Tire 700 x 32
Hurricane Isaias -
Russell from Erie, Pa on 08/07/2020 07:31 AM
I plan to bike the Erie Canal trail around 8/16 from Buffalo to Albany. What is the condition of the bike trail after Hurricane Isaias at the eastern end near Albany. Thanks
Bob from Fairport on 08/07/2020 09:19 PM
Trail is great. Sometimes it's fun to find the next section of trail....but aren't we looking for challenges?!
I just finished on Tuesday 8/4/20
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 08/12/2020 12:55 PM
@ Bob from Fairport -- congrats. How was the ride? Did you camp or buy lodging?
hammock camping -
Andre from nyc on 08/09/2020 11:17 AM
going to ride erie in a couple of weeks and thinking to bring hammock instead of tent. for those who camped along the canal, do you think i can find spots to pitch my hammock?
Riding and camping solo -
Missbaltimore from Baltimore on 07/19/2020 12:00 PM
Hi everyone—I’m thinking of riding the full length from Buffalo to Albany and camping each night. I’m looking for input about how many others I might encounter? Any idea how many people ride multi-day on the trail? And do many people camp? I read the suggestion about camping on canal land and that it’s generally accepted but is that because the tents are few and far between? I ask as someone who has ridden the GAP and C&O Canal trails (as a woman by myself) and found myself more comfortable with others nearby— not just for socializing but also security. I’ve spent a couple of uncomfortable nights as the only person in a designated camp site. If there are no designated camp sites I imagine it could be even more unsettling.
Mike S from Greece, NY on 07/19/2020 06:21 PM
There is tenting allowed behind the Lyons FD (which is right next to the canal). They used to allow access to restrooms\showers but not now because of COVID19.
wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 07/21/2020 01:10 AM
Hi. In June I did just what you are setting out to do, and add to that, I just completed the GAP two days ago.
Relative to your questions... The Erie Canalway Trail (ECT) is a lot different than the GAP. You are very much more in communities as opposed to the very rural GAP (after PGH anyhow). There are no designated campgrounds. The Canalway Corporation does list some Locks as hiker/biker/paddler friendly, however, having had conversations with them... none really officially exist. Some Locks are better for camping than others, but really most could easily host an overnight camp.
I stayed one evening on a large lawn just off the trail with "approval/agreeable thought" from a neighbor, another on an owners lawn next to the trail (with permission) and at Locks on others days -- at that time the Canal had not opened so things were rather unmanned.
It's hard to give you actual help b/c I don't know how many daily miles you are planning. Post some thoughts on your itinerary and I'll try to help.
Now, about other through riders... again, not the same. There are riders out doing the trail, but certainly not in the numbers as you see in the GAP (at least not on my experience). And, because there are no common campgrounds, there are not gatherings of riders. I totally understand where you are coming from, but do not plan on the same experience.
Admittedly, I had somewhat of a renegade, male attitude about camping. I felt if I found a space that could work -- I'd go for it. As it turned out I pretty much had permission (before or after) and most times had a picnic table next to or close-by.
Suggestion I saw and used was that I made a sign stating "Thru Hiking ECT" added my name, hometown AND Cell phone number so if someone had issue they could call me and ask me rather than shake my tent, etc.
I'd be glad to email or phone chat with you. You can send an email to my gmail account -- email@example.com
Dave from Durban, South Africa on 07/22/2020 09:25 AM
I finished the C&O and GAP yesterday, driving to Erie tomorrow and then ride to Buffalo and down the Albany. Will be camping too most of the way, so all information is appreciated. Oherwise I'll wing it and see what appears at the end of each day.
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/22/2020 11:35 AM
Dave from Durban -- Is that you are bike riding from Erie? If so that should add some adventure. Staying near the Lake Erie shore would eliminate hills!
In that you posted on the current thread, you have relative information in the post above. Again, as I mentioned to missbaltimore... not knowing how many miles you average on a daily basis it is hard to provide more detailed information. Throw out some ideas or email me and I'll see if I can give you some more targeted suggestions for camping, etc.
From the standpoint of you having just finished both C&O and GAP, I think you will find the ECT to be a fun adventure. The trail is in very nice shape. Some older paved surfaces along the way need some attention because of bulging tree roots, but many are marked to alert riders. [I was surprised that more of this wasn't done on the GAP where necessary.] There are some sections of road travel, but most are limited distances. Canalway signage is much better than Empire State Trail signage for directional purposes. The Empire State Trail is a new initiative to link trails across the state and my experience was that signage was just there to announce the trail rather than give directions.
Using Google Maps in Bike mode will solve any questions if unsure of route. It will also get you to Canal Locks which are not always right on the trail. Simply put in "Lock 32" as the destination and Google Maps understands.
As far as camping, there are many options. Locks are always an option and certainly can accommodate tent camping, but few, if any, have facilities available. Much of the western portion of the Canalway travels through more rural settings so picking a spot either right along the trail or at trailheads or crossings are options if you are self-sufficient. Much of the Canalway trail has mowed grass on either side of the trail corridor that could nicely handle an overnight camp. On my trip I figured that this was easily an option if I didn't find another decent space [however, that was never the case].
The Canalway travels through many small towns and developed areas so you are never far from supplies or facilities -- this is different from the GAP. Currently, most of the state is functioning in the COVID-19 environment with some limitations. Restaurants are at least open for takeout and most are also open for inside dining at a 25 or 50 percent occupancy. Restroom facilities are available in stores and restaurants and there are some scattered along the trail when in a town or hamlet.
The interactive maps here and on the PTNY site are useful
Here is the official Canalway Corp page on camping:
There is a thread further down on this forum about trail routing around Lyons and Savannah that you should read - the trail is not marked well and there is an option of routes.
Lastly, know that as you get closer to Albany that you are in more developed cities and townships. I had great luck with staying at Locks in this area and Lock E2 in Waterford is great to set as a destination before Albany if it works for your schedule. It has a nice park-like area with picnic tables blocks away from a small business section with stores and restaurants. You are then approximately 10 miles out of Albany.
Best of luck with the ride. Enjoy and stay safe.
Missbaltimore from Baltimore on 07/22/2020 12:07 PM
I just learned that Maryland has been added to the list of states restricted from traveling to NY and required to quarantine for 14 days. That puts a crimp in the plans. ??
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/22/2020 01:01 PM
Hmmm... just don't gather with others. Isn't that quarantine? And, as best I know, it's a self-imposed quarantine. Maybe get tested just before coming so you have proof.
Anonymous on 07/23/2020 11:07 AM
I was looking into this issue as it will affect me too, and as a result, I canceled my hotel reservation for my bike ride in New Jersey this month. I may have to cancel my hotels and rental car reservations for the Erie Canal ride in September.
I found NJ's advisory, which is linked here:
A quarantine means a person stays indoors during the duration of the quarantine, except in order to get food, etc.
Even if one gets tested for COVID, s/he must self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering New Jersey. Although the self-quarantine is merely "advised," compliance is expected.
New York may have a different advisory.
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/24/2020 11:54 AM
The difference here may be camping vs hotel stays. missbaltimore was camping solo hence my suggestion that one can effectively "quarantine" while biking and camping. Let's hope that we are all smart enough to know if we have been exposed or, worse yet, have symptoms of the virus. If a rider is smart and takes precautions pre-ride I'd feel comfortable that one could follow through with plans and safely bike the Canalway.
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/29/2020 04:09 PM
WNYBubba - How was your GAP trip?
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 08/04/2020 02:25 PM
@John W. from Pittsburgh, PA
I posted a trip report on the GAP Forum
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 08/04/2020 09:52 PM
Thank you! What a great trip you had!
Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam Junction -
Jim Palmer from Glenville, ny on 08/04/2020 03:00 AM
Title: Kiwanis Park, Another Kaaterskill Falls? I think NOT!
Last Sunday morning I stopped in to see what havoc had been done to this picturesque Mohawk River park located on route 5S in Rotterdam Junction, NY. The visitors the day before had trashed the place. It was a pigsty from the pavilion to the end of the picnic area. The scene reminded me of the Kaaterskill Falls area located near Tannersville, NY where the locals are dealing with huge amounts of trash from out of towners who are coming in and leaving garbage and trash all over the place.
THIS IS NOT GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAPPEN TO KIWANIS PARK. I propose to friends of the park to take back control. Lets make it VERY uncomfortable for the trashers and troublemakers. If its a hot and sticky day, stop in and observe whats happening in the park. If you see trash or trouble don’t confront the perpetrators but go up to the upper parking lot and call country emergency control at 518-384-3444 and ask for police help. If you are law enforcement stop in and check on things. Give out some citations if needed. Word will get out and the troublemakers will disappear.
Another idea is to make this park into a strictly carry in, carry out park. Get rid of the trash barrels, put up the signs. Believe it or not trash barrels just makes for more trash. People even come along and empty their car’s trash in them. And there is a law against that.
Another problem in the park are the swimmers in the boat launch area. They just won’t get out of the boats way. A very dangerous act to both boaters and swimmers. When launching or coming in with swimmers in the launch area holler “Boat coming in” or “Launching a boat”. A simple load shout may help to ovoid an accident.
So, lets get out there and enjoy a little slice of heaven. Boot out the troublemakers.
camping outside of Schenectady? -
digdis from Rochester on 08/03/2020 02:58 PM
Does anyone have suggestions about camping outside of Schenectady, NY? For example, at Lock 9, Lock 8, or a town park? There's a campground right off the trail (Arrowhead Marina & RV Park), but it isn't booking out their tent sites this season, and the other campground in the general vicinity (Frosty Acres) seems to be ~10 mi off the trail.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Joe from Buffalo on 08/03/2020 04:31 PM
In terms of locks, when I biked last week:
Lock 12 looked the nicest and most remote, but furthest from Schenectady, about 20 miles. Locals recommended this one to stay at. From Google Maps it looks like it has decent tree/shady areas to pitch a tent.
Lock 11 is in the town of Amsterdam. I don't know if camping is allowed there but on the western end of the trail I camped very close to a small town. With school out, there were kids hanging out in the park overnight, and fishers coming very early in the morning, wouldn't recommend.
Lock 10 is sort of an industrial zone, there's a concrete plant across the street with bright lights that reach the lock and some machinery noises. Didn't seem like a great place to camp either.
We put up camp at Lock 9. There's a port-a-pottie but no other services like water or bathrooms (most of these are closed due to COVID anyway). However there is a Stewart's right up the hill open until midnight. Some fishers arrived in the morning after 6 after the sun was up. There is a bit of noise from the water rushing out the lock but it was kind of like a white noise machine to me. No trees or shade to speak of.
Hope this helps.
digdis from Rochester on 08/03/2020 09:20 PM
Super helpful! Thanks, Joe! Lock 9 it is.
Is the construction finished -
Kevin obrien from Buffalo ny on 08/02/2020 08:05 PM
1 yr ago my wife and I went from Lockport to brockport on the. Canal trail , it was under construction for bank rebuild , is it done ????? We had to get off the trail and ride the roads due to the work being done , we would like to try again .
digdis from Rochester on 08/03/2020 12:10 PM
I was biking that stretch yesterday, and I don't remember any construction and/or having to get off the trail.
Plant trees or shrubs behind my house -
Karen urys from Pattersonville ny 12137 on 07/28/2020 10:45 AM
I’m not sure who to talk to.
Currently you are working on the bike trail in Pattersonville ny . Currently your building or repairing the bridge over the creak . That’s behind my house.The trail is all open and you can see my house. I would like if you can replant trees or brush the you ripped up So it’s not so open. Being a cancer patient who enjoys sitting out back for the peace and quite . I don’t want to see people walking or riding on the path. Please advice. My email is
Uryskaren@yahoo.com thank you Karen urys
Joe from Buffalo on 07/28/2020 11:27 AM
Hi Karen - I don't believe this site is run by the NYS Canal Corporation or NY Parks department. You may want to reach out to the state, if it's work related to the canal trail they may be able to point you to the agency responsible for the construction.
Clyde through Montezuma -
Troy from Rochester on 07/27/2020 11:02 PM
We are planning a day trip from Clyde west. We’d like to see Montezuma so we’re thinking of heading south to Seneca Falls then up. Any suggestions are appreciated!
Missing trail mascots -
Joe from Buffalo on 07/27/2020 07:34 PM
Just finished traveling the canal from Buffalo to Albany, had a great time.
Unfortunately we lost our mascots somewhere along the way. Two little stuffed sheep in a ziploc bag fell out somewhere between Mindenville and Lock 9 at Rotterdam Junction. Think it's most likely between Fort Plain and the trailhead in south Amsterdam.
Here is an image of them from earlier on the trail.
Anyway if anyone comes across them greatly appreciated, I am offering a reward!
transportation from Albany to Buffalo -
Joan on 07/16/2020 09:39 PM
our plan is to "rent" a vehicle / train from Albany to Buffalo on July 24 or 25 and bike back. We seem to be having difficulty getting a train / rent a car / UHaul. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks so much ;)
John from Pittsburgh,PA on 07/17/2020 10:10 PM
Whenever I’ve done one way rentals, usually the only way to get one is from one Airport to the another Airport. Of course if the airports are far away from the trailheads, you could get an Uber/Lyft to get you and your bikes to/from airport to the trail if riding is difficult. Good luck.
Anonymous on 07/19/2020 09:20 PM
I reserved a minivan with Budget rental for September for pickup in Albany and drop off in Buffalo. The rental was $127.43 for 1 day, after taxes, fees, etc. Enterprise wanted over twice that amount. I had called around for shuttle service, but I was quoted $450-$500 (I can't remember the exact amount), and that was too high for us, so Budget Rental it is!
Steve from NYC on 07/25/2020 06:51 PM
Rented a regular car from Budget and put bikes on a bike rack. Abandoned bike rack in Buffalo. There’s a Budget office in downtown buffalo about a mile from the trail start
Parking in Albany for a week -
CTbiker from Avon CT on 07/24/2020 08:16 AM
Interested if anyone has recommendations for parking in a secure lot or garage in Albany that is not extremely expensive. We are meeting another couple there, so two cars for a week. We are riding from Albany to Rochester.
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/24/2020 10:27 AM
Not specific to ALB, but I've had great luck asking for permission at National Motel Chains. Last week on the GAP I called an was given permission at both the Marriott Courtyard and Holiday Inn Express. Both of these were more suburban, but I didn't mind having a little extra miles to save daily parking fees.
Steve from NYC on 07/25/2020 06:47 PM
Amtrak station in Rensselaer/ Albany has long term parking. Very cheap. Near the end of the trail.
Free biking, kayaking excursions along the NYS Canal System -
Ray (webmaster) on 07/24/2020 08:50 AM
"With the COVID-19 pandemic and delayed opening of the NYS Canal System this summer, a recently started “staycation” program is being offered by the state Canal Corporation to promote six hubs of canal and trail activity and to help local canal-side businesses.
The program began July 10 and runs through Labor Day. Among its features are four free outdoor “staycation” kayak and/or bike excursions being offered in Schenectady, Chittenango, Seneca Falls and Rochester.
train or shuttle? -
journeyonabike from north bay on 07/23/2020 10:21 AM
is there train or shuttle to get from 1 end to the other...Albany/Buffalo?
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/24/2020 11:57 AM
Several posts in previous threads on the forum concerning train travel [which is limited]. Many choose to rent a vehicle one-way, but shuttle arrangements are not something that are formally available [to the best of my knowledge].
Albany going west to little falls and return. Are their any dramatic inclines? Also is camping easy? -
Fritz from Ticonderoga on 07/19/2020 05:04 PM
78 years old but going to give it a good try in September
wnybubba from Bflo-Roc on 07/21/2020 01:22 AM
Nothing really dramatic on the Canalway. Worse case there are occasional short down and ups like when you have to go under an overpass -- down one side and up the other. Regardless, if there was something you felt was too difficult it would be a rather short and easy bike walk.
journeyonabike from north bay on 07/23/2020 11:55 AM
Hairpin Turn outside Schenectady is steepest...about 1/3 mile long. Up then down.
Getting through Syracuse -
M Edwards from Fairport on 07/22/2020 09:29 PM
Any update on going through Syracuse? Went from Buffalo to Albany a few years ago, it was great other than getting through Syracuse. Heard they were going to connect the trail in that area. Any update?
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 07/22/2020 09:45 PM
Still thru city streets as of early June.
long term parking -
Hikkerman on 02/02/2020 10:48 AM
I would like to plan a bicycle trip from Little Falls to Albany this summer. I am wondering if there is anywhere to park my car for about a week in Little Falls.
JourneyonaBike from North Bay NY on 07/22/2020 04:01 PM
Contact the Little Falls Marina & Park there