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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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Travelling from the UK
 - 
Esther from Cumbria, England on 12/09/2022 10:09 AM
Hi

We're planning to ride the trail from Buffalo to Battery Park. There will be 3 of us and we are trying to decide whether to bring our own bikes (preferred option), hire bikes in New York city or buy reasonably cheap bikes then try and sell them before we fly home.
If we bring our own bikes I'm looking at hiring a car to drive them out to the start point at Buffalo. We're just a bit concerned how to get the bikes from the airport to the hotel at the start and then from Battery Park back to the hotel when we finish. (Hopefully staying at the same hotel near the airport at the start and end).
Any advice would be appreciated,
Thanks

 
Old Jimma from Former Buffalonian on 12/09/2022 01:07 PM
Try getting info from the AMTRAK train that goes from NYC to Buffalo. They allow a small number of bikes on the train... so plan it soon.

My understanding this that if you try to arrange it online, you may be sorry... and if you talk with someone on the phone, they can be more accommodating.

You might consider breaking up your travel to take the train in places where you might not rather bike. LIke in Buffalo and in NYC. Crazy traffic.

However, if you are in Buffalo, think about taking the road along the Niagara River from Fort Erie (across the river from Buffalo)... and follow the river trail to Lake Ontario. It will take you by the Niagra Falls... best view from the Canadian side.... and one of the wonders of the world, I should add. You won't be disappointed.

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 12/10/2022 01:51 PM
If you ride the Canadian side go all the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake and stay in a B&B in one of the vinyards. It's pricey but worth it. The ride along river chasm is impressive but very exposed, do it in the morning or you will roast. The only way back to the US is walking your bikes across the Rainbow Bridge with the pedestrians, but it's quite a beautiful walk that you would'nt ride anyway.

 
Christopher Scanlon from Skokie, Illinois on 12/13/2022 11:48 AM
I am planning to ride from Buffalo to Albany in early-mid June 2023, dates are flexible. I can't help you regarding your travel plans but I would like ride along with your group if your plans coincide with mine.
Buffalo to Albany, early to mid-June. Six or seven days to cover the 360 miles. No camping, hotels, AB&B, restaurants and cafes.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 12/19/2022 12:19 PM
Wouldn't you rent the vehicle at the airport, put your bikes in it, drive to your overnight lodging in NYC, and then drive to Buffalo the next day?

On your return, you could just get an Uber from the hotel to the airport.


 
Esther from Cumbria, England on 12/29/2022 03:32 AM
Hi Bill, that is one of the things we are looking at, but its just being able to fit 3 people, 3 bikes and all the gear into an uber. We would also need to find somewhere to get boxes and padding to pack the bikes for the journey home.

 
Old Jimma from Atlanta on 12/29/2022 01:02 PM
Take very little bike gear and take AMTRAK to the Albany-Rensalaer Station.

Why bike? Why not hitch-hike? Its coming back into style... and you can choose your own routes... along the canal.

https://hitchwiki.org/en/New_York_State

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Lodging near Amsterdam NY
 - 
Bob T from Clifton Park on 12/02/2022 03:40 PM
Looking for lodging near Amsterdam NY near bike trail. I’ve seen a lot of negative comments and was wondering what others have experienced. Thanks

 
Bob T from Clifton Park on 12/02/2022 06:06 PM
Staying at Amsterdam Castle

 
Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 12/02/2022 07:00 PM
My brother and I rode the entire Erie Canal Trailway this past June and stayed at the Amsterdam Castle. It was a fabulous room with all of the conveniences. It was well-decorated and offered all of the comforts you would need after a long trek on the trail. We had a great dinner at the local wood-fired pizza place just down the street from the castle. The only inconvenience was there wasn't a close place for breakfast, but we made it work out with our packed food. When I ride the Erie Canal again, and if I'm in Amsterdam for the night, I will stay at the Castle again.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 12/19/2022 12:28 PM
The castle is OK, but expensive. Desk staff did some dumb stuff that made our stay less pleasant, and there was no food, but the physical facility is fine.

When you reserve your room, specifically state that you want a room with good internet and with currently properly functioning air conditioning. Make the same request when you check in.

Get Chicken Riggies at Shorty's for dinner and then hit Evolve Eatery for breakfast. :)

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Best Western Palmyra Inn & Suites in Palmyra
 - 
Roy S from NC on 11/23/2022 01:55 PM
It looks like there are limited lodging options in town in Palmyra. What are the roads like if we bike from the cancel to the Best Western? shoulder? traffic?

Thanks

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/29/2022 05:22 PM
I use Google Maps Street View to scope out the roads. Maybe try that if nobody responds.

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BIKE TRANSPORT
 - 
Ed from Glenville on 06/27/2022 10:02 AM
I wanted to take the train to Buffalo with my bike this week. However, the train is only 60% full but the bike spots are sold out. Does Anyone have any ideas?

 
Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 06/27/2022 11:23 AM
Ed,
Keep trying to get that bike reservation. My brother couldn't get a ticket for his bike either, but checked a few days later and a spot became available - so he grabbed it right away. This was just a few days ago. You might try calling them as well.

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 06/27/2022 02:28 PM
Try booking your bike for various legs of the trip on Amtrak, since the booked reservations might not be for the whole trip. Maybe you can take the bike Utica or Syracuse to Buffalo and leave your car in Utica/Syracuse. Then take the train from SCTDY/ALB back to Utica/Syracuse without your bike to pick up your car.

 
AC from Nashville on 08/15/2022 01:15 PM
We rode the C&O and GAP last year. We decided to go east to west because it was easier to find bike tickets out of Pittsburgh than out of DC. I noticed when we stopped at towns between the two, plenty of people put their bikes in the baggage compartment, which had plenty of space. They did this even though the bike racks (i.e. where they put the ticketed bikes) were full. My takeaway was that Amtrak may let you take your bike onboard even if you don't have a ticket. I haven't been brave enough to try this, but I'm curious if others have.

 
SP from GSL on 08/17/2022 06:33 PM
I heard about this issue, so we rented a car in Albany and am dropping it off In Buffalo. Paid extra for the one way, but it wasn’t much more than the train tickets.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/26/2022 01:11 PM
Yeah, we have never been able to make the train make sense when we compared it to a one way car rental. Add in the risk of Amtrak just flat out cancelling you with no notice, and the car becomes a no-brainer.

 
Chris from Chicago on 09/11/2022 02:29 PM
I had a similar problem last spring when riding the GAP/C&O trail. Bike transport available Chic to Pitts, no bike available Wash DC to Chicago. It turns out, Amtrack allows you to box you bike and it travels as luggage, they provide the box for $15 and all you need to do is turn your handlebars and remove panniers. Racks, fenders and wheels all stay on. Most amtrack customer service reps don’t seem to know of this optio. Call the station luggage phone line to confirm, this service may not be available everywhere,

 
CJ from Cincinnati on 09/19/2022 08:45 PM
Are there any bike shops along the paved sections of the trail that rent electric assist bikes? Thanks

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 09/26/2022 04:16 PM
I would think that Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, at a minimum, would have bike shops that rent out e-bikes. Have never looked, but that's my hunch.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 11/18/2022 03:39 PM
The best strategy is calling Amtrak ticket reservations and speaking with a live agent. You might be on hold for 10 mins but they can see all of the bike ticket openings that you can’t.

If you can’t get the date you want, ask them what days have bike ticket openings during the week of such and such and pick from there.

Good luck,
John

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Erie Canal bike trail
 - 
Joe caffrey from Millis, ma on 11/06/2022 08:47 AM
Where are the off road sections of the Erie Canal ny

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/07/2022 12:16 PM
If you look at the map, you can see where the trail is on a road, and where it is separate. I might not be understanding the question.

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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.

 
M.A. from Rochester on 11/03/2022 06:24 PM
We are planning a trip from troy to rochester next year and we also have bikes with batteries that cannot be removed. Wondering if you would share your actual experience with finding outlets along the way to top off.

I’d like to plan 40-50 miles a day whereas our batteries are rated for max 40 miles.

Thanks.

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Route from Niagara Falls to ECT at North Tonawanda
 - 
Susan from Ga on 09/04/2022 10:20 AM
We are planning to ride from Niagara Falls and hit the Erie Canal trail at North Tonawanda. I previously had something on that but now cannot find anything on it. Is their a trail linking the two or do we need to take roads. Any guidance would be appreciated!

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 09/05/2022 04:27 PM
Try this:
TONAWANDA & NORTH BUFFALO RAIL TRAILS:

NORTH BUFFALO SPUR TRAIL:

I used this to connect from Depew to Niagara5\The Minnesota Linear Park has one official trail. There are two other trails however, if you are willing to look around.

 
Crewzilla from New York on 09/28/2022 06:50 PM
Thank you who responded to this post I had this exact question. I really didn’t want to take my bike on any major highways. So thank you again

 
Gretchen from Buffalo on 10/07/2022 02:51 AM
Unfortunately there is not a 100% bike path that will take you from Niagara Falls to North tonawanda. There is a section that you will have to take the road for and that is a dangerous section of road. The cars go fast and there is little room for a bike lane. Be careful.

 
Crewzilla from Boynton Beach on 10/07/2022 11:45 AM
Hello Gretchen so from Niagara Falls I rode nheading north we were able to get on the Niagara Gorge trail into Lewiston which is a beautiful little town with coffee shops restaurants and lodging (we spent the night there) the next day we rode the bikes to Old Fort Niagara which was beautiful to see lake Ontario we did ride the rode it wasn't awful 18F to 18 parelling lake Ontario we rode until Rt 78 south and made our way into lockport were we spent the night and were able to get on the Erie Canal. I dont know why they wouldn't extent that trail into Fort Niagara Lewiston and Youngstown are beautiful quaint little towns!

 
Crewzilla from Boynton Beach on 10/07/2022 11:45 AM
Hello Gretchen so from Niagara Falls I rode nheading north we were able to get on the Niagara Gorge trail into Lewiston which is a beautiful little town with coffee shops restaurants and lodging (we spent the night there) the next day we rode the bikes to Old Fort Niagara which was beautiful to see lake Ontario we did ride the rode it wasn't awful 18F to 18 parelling lake Ontario we rode until Rt 78 south and made our way into lockport were we spent the night and were able to get on the Erie Canal. I dont know why they wouldn't extent that trail into Fort Niagara Lewiston and Youngstown are beautiful quaint little towns!

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luggage shuttle---inn to inn
 - 
paul richman from del mar on 10/01/2022 06:27 PM
Is there a company that can transport our luggage daily , inn to inn as we traverse the Erie canal next September, 2023?

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Parking in Verona (just north of Durhamville)
 - 
Pete W from Falls Church, VA on 10/05/2022 04:59 PM
Hi folks -- wondering about parking for 3 days in one of the small parking areas next to the trail in Verona. We will be starting our trip there and ending in Albany. I could park at the hotel where we are staying but it would be a five mile ride to just get on the trail.

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Syracuse Amtrak Station in Syracuse
 - 
Carmen from NJ on 10/04/2022 03:56 PM
Is overnight parking or multi day parking allowed at this station?

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Riverside Motel in Fultonville
 - 
Anonymous on 09/06/2022 08:45 PM
The link to this motel is wrong....it is a link to a hotel in North Carolina!

 
Pat from Greencastle, IN on 09/14/2022 08:47 AM
Hello…
Can’t help you with the link, and hope you have time to make alternate motel arrangements. My husband and I stayed at the Riverside Motel on 8/28, and although it is basically the ONLY place to stay in Fultonville….please don’t! It is a very dirty, run down and fly infested place. Pretty gross!
No real good options other than to pick a nearby town rather than F’Ville.
Just wanted to provide a ‘heads up’ about this place

Pat

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/19/2022 08:01 AM
I have removed that link, and cannot find any new link to the place.

There is a note in Google that it's "under new management as of August 2022". However, Pat from Greencastle stayed there at the end of August, so... good luck with accommodations.


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Lock 15 State Campsite in Fort Plain
 - 
Gary from Vermont on 09/16/2022 10:00 AM
I camped at lock 15 on 9/14/22. While it is free to camp and has some pluses the major minus would keep me from staying or recommending it.

On the plus side it is pretty with picnic tables and grills and a nice grassy area under trees and down to the canal edge. It also has potable water and portable toilet. There is also a power pedestal so you could charge your devices. It is close to Fort Plain which has a small supermarket and a few restaurants. Finally, the staff working at the lock and gate were very nice and informative.

There is also a tame peacock that lives in the area and visits campers.

The reason I cannot recommend this location was the lack of ability to get a good night of sleep. The train tracks are just across the canal and the freight trains ran all night with their whistles blowing and the sound of the engines and many trains on the track. On the other side of the lock is the NY Thruway with many loud trucks and flapping tarps also going all night. There were three of us camping at the lock and no one had a restful night of sleep which makes it challenging to have a good ride the next day.

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Palmyra Aquaduct
 - 
John Stewart from Rochesteer on 09/02/2022 09:24 AM
Is the trail open at the Aquaduct west of Palmyra? There was a detour the las time we were out there. but it has also been a while


 
John Stewart from Rochesteer on 09/03/2022 07:20 PM
Still a detour

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Where can I park for a day bike ride in the Rochester area along thecanal
 - 
Anonymous on 07/26/2022 10:12 AM
Where can I go park for a day bike ride in the Rochester area along the Erie Canal

 
John Stewart from Rochesteer on 09/03/2022 07:20 PM
Genesee Valley park, right on the trail.

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Lock 30 State Campsite in Macedon
 - 
Jason from New York City on 09/03/2022 07:02 PM
Anyone know if there's water or an electrical outlet here? I'm planning on camping there next week

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Canaltown b and b
 - 
Kathy from Syracuse on 08/27/2022 07:45 PM
Does anyone have experience with the canaltown bed and breakfast in Palmyra? There is only one review and it is very negative.

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"road rash"
 - 
shale32 from Laurel, MD on 08/07/2022 08:17 PM
My 2 friends and I are riding Buffalo to Syracuse this week. We all developed a pink splotchy rash on our thighs after one day on the trail. Some wore sunscreen, some didn't. The weather has been sunny. Anyone else have this happen on the trail?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/23/2022 02:29 PM
Nope, I have not heard of this at all. If it's not a place where your clothing touches, It's hard to imagine what it might be. Unless you picked up some poison ivy somehow?

 
Mary R on 08/23/2022 03:08 PM
Yes, we just got back from riding Canastota to Albany. My friend developed the rash on both legs after the first day.
By the end of the 2nd day, it looked much worse. Used a cream with anti-itch/antibiotics and both legs were clear for day 3

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/26/2022 01:08 PM
I wonder what caused it? Glad it cleared up quickly.

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Showers in Albany
 - 
JohnnyShoe on 07/30/2022 08:07 AM
End my ride on Albany then catching evening Amtrak home. Would like to take shower before getting on train. Want to avoid paying for a hotel. Anyone know of a cheap shower in Albany?

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 07/30/2022 09:44 AM
Its only 12 miles from Albany, but the Waterford Visitors Center has showers.

 
JohnnyShoe on 07/30/2022 11:42 AM
Thx. I will check it out

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/31/2022 10:15 AM
You could also look to see if there are YMCA’s or gyms nearby that will offer showers as a one time purchase.

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 08/01/2022 10:07 AM
Waterford Canal Visitor Center – Waterford, NY - 518-233-9123
The Waterford site is located along the waterfront at the eastern gateway to the New York State Canal waterways and the Canalway Trail. The site features potable water, toilets and showers. Restaurants, shops and other businesses can be found in the Village of Waterford. The property is managed by the Town of Waterford.

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 08/25/2022 05:15 PM
$5 for key for showers and toilets. Pay fee when Harbormaster Office open. Guess people managed to tear up the rooms. T I found this out on 8/15/22

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Car shuttle from Buffalo to Syracuse Sunday 9/4
 - 
Bill from Philadelphia on 08/25/2022 02:29 PM
Trying to find a car shuttle service to go from Buffalo to Syracuse on 9/4. Traveling to Toronto for a funeral on 9/3 and wanted to try and ride from Buffalo to Syracuse 9/5 to 9/7. Would like to have the car delivered to my hotel in Syracuse. Any suggestions?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 08/25/2022 04:01 PM
"car shuttle service to go from Buffalo to Syracuse"
"ride from Buffalo to Syracuse"
"car delivered to my hotel in Syracuse"

I doubt anyone knows what you are asking. Try again?

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Hiking
 - 
Bonita from Lake city flor on 08/24/2022 04:46 PM
I’m backpacking west to east and will run out of trail when I hit Syracuse. I don’t know about hiking thru a big city. Is there anyone who could help me get across town to where the trail picks back up at Dewitt. TIA
Oh I have a dog also

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