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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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Getting to Rochester Amtrak Station
 - 
Chark on Bikes from Brecksville OH on 07/01/2022 06:30 AM
My wife and I will be riding from Buffalo to Rochester, then riding Amtrak back to Buffalo.

Looking for guidance to get from the trail to the Rochester Amtrak Station.

It looks like I can leave the trail and ride surface streets to the station, or continue on the trail to the Genessee River Trail, and ride that to within a few blocks of the station.

We prefer to stay off streets- just more comfortable not having to deal with traffic and distracted drivers.

I’m guessing some of you that follow this forum might have some insight, which I appreciate!

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 07/01/2022 09:30 AM
Search the forum for 'Rochester' and review my 5/27/22 post, it might be helpful.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 07/01/2022 10:34 PM
I just did it in reverse. Google maps did take me on a few streets from the station (shorter distance) but you can get to the Genesee River Trail even closer. If you look at Google map you can prbly figure where to exit the trail to get over to the station. I think it was approx. a 1/2 hour ride.

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Bike Lane?
 - 
Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 06/05/2022 06:49 PM
We're staying at one of the local downtown Albany hotels after finishing the ride from Buffalo, and then taking the Amtrak (Albany-Rensselaer) back. Is there a bike lane that we can ride over the Dunn Memorial Bridge to get to the station? Or should we have the hotel shuttle us there? Thanks for any assistance.

 
Anonymous on 06/06/2022 05:27 AM
Sarge:
A bike/pedestrian lane has been added to the bridge to connect Jennings Landing at the river in Albany to Rensselaer. I have driven by it multiple times on my way to the train station, but have not ridden it. It is high and exposed, so it is not a ride for the meek, likely the reason I haven't yet seen anyone walking or riding on it. On this forum someone posted that Jennings Landing was the official terminus of the Erie Canal Trail, and that a small marker had been placed there.

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 06/06/2022 01:54 PM
Rode and walked over the Dunn Mem. Bridge mor than once. Steep climb up from the Albany side and rode over the river. Going down the ramp sign states bikes should be walked. Bridge does get a fair share of trash.

 
Sarge P from Sarasota on 06/21/2022 09:57 PM
Thanks Ed,Yankee John, and anonymous for clarifying the trip over the bridge. As our hotel doesn't have shuttle service, we're riding over in the morning. Your clear description of the lane and route takes away any confusion. You are appreciated!

 
Pat from Greencastle,IN on 06/28/2022 12:25 PM
Hi All….
We will be riding the trail East to West then taking Amtrak back to Rensselaer end of trip. Got that all figured out.

If anyone has parked at the Amtrak station in Rensselaer and crossed the Dunn Memorial bridge by bike, I’d be interested to know how that is. We’d just need to cross over and get to the Holiday Inn Express on Broadway from the Amtrak station. Is the bridge and where to get off to catch broadway an easy task?

Coming back…no worries as our car will be at our end point already, so won’t need to negotiate the bridge on return

Appreciate anyone who has done this…. Thanks

 
Pat from Greencastle,IN on 06/28/2022 12:52 PM
Following up on my post about going over the bridge….
Looks like there are a few CDTA busses that run from near the Amtrak station Herrick & East streets) to the Albany side near several hotels. Says they all have bike racks and run every 30 minutes. Cost is $1 or $2. I think this may be the way to go! At least an option we may explore

 
Barbara from Middleport on 06/28/2022 02:58 PM
Middleport has public bathrooms and showers behind police station which is just steps from the canal path. cross lift bridge and the police station is on the right 4 buildings down. behind the building the restrooms are easy to find. there is also electric outlets on the canal.

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 06/29/2022 04:29 PM
The entrance to the Dunn Mem. bridge is just past the Dunkin on Broadway in Ren. Look for the NY Bike Rt. 5/9 sign. Long climb up and you canride over. Watch out for trash. Steep down on the Albany side with a sharp turn on the ramp. Cross street at light and you are right on the path. Usually a hot dog truck on the Ren. side (good dogs and burgers)

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Buffalo Long Term Parking Availability
 - 
Mph from Saint Louis Missouri on 01/10/2022 04:18 PM
Looking for info on any long term parking available by the Buffalo Amtrak Station?

We are taking the train to Albany and riding back to Buffalo, hotels also seem limited in Buffalo for a stay the night before we leave.

Any suggestions?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/14/2022 06:06 PM
The Buffalo Grand was a dive, but it's cheap, and felt safe, and the staff is nice.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 01/30/2022 06:26 PM
You might be able to leave a car on the Amtrak grounds -- may be worth a call. The depot is back out of the way kinda by itself. I've always had luck asking local hotels if I could leave a vehicle in their lot -- there are plenty of options along Transit Road (NY 78). There is also a Park & Ride at the entrance to the NYS Thruway at Exit 49 (Transit Road). And, if you want safe, safe parking, Bflo International Airport is not far away for on-premises parking or several Car Rental places that might allow you to leave your car for a fee.

 
Scott from Baltimore on 03/27/2022 05:00 PM
Last summer I parked at the Exchange Street Amtrak lot and rode the train with my bike to Albany. They give you a permit to put on the dashboard and there is no charge.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 03/27/2022 05:31 PM
Scott -- great info. Thanks.

 
Ed from Ann Arbor on 06/28/2022 09:42 PM
In October, we'll be cycling the opposite direction: Parking in Buffalo, cycling to Albany, and then taking the Amtrak back to Buffalo. Think Amtrak would let us park in their lot on Exchange Street (or we'd settle for Depew) even though we won't be taking the train (back) until about 10 days later? Otherwise, are there other long-term parking options available? Spothero unfortunately doesn't seem to think so... Thanks!

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Lock 21 State Campsite in Rome
 - 
Anonymous on 06/27/2022 03:44 PM
The person on the phone was very nice when I called ahead of arrival. There is a porta john, a water source and an electrical outlet all pretty close together on the south side of the canal.

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tire choice
 - 
Danimal from Buffalo on 06/17/2022 12:24 PM
Bike the trail in a few weeks. Wondering if the 700x35 Gravelking Slicks that I have on my bike are good for the trail or I should get something with larger or bigger treads?

 
Bop from Rochester on 06/17/2022 04:33 PM
I've ridden many thousands of miles on the canal with 700 x 25c with out much trouble. Two flats, one a pinch in all that time. The only real problem I've had was washouts after heavy rains. I generally ride the same end to end 70 mile length in my area. Can't speak for it all.

 
Biker Girl from Web on 06/24/2022 12:21 PM
I have ridden hundreds of Canal miles with GK SS+ 38s on my bike without issue. You'll be fine. Have fun!

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Amtrak Station in DC
 - 
Armando from Rockville, MD on 06/11/2022 09:33 PM
I would like to take the train from Washington, DC all the way to the start of the trail and
back to DC. Can you please let me know the best way to do this?
Thank you!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 06/11/2022 11:58 PM
Armando, did you mean to post this the C&O/GAP Forum (bikecando dot com)? The Erie Canal does not connect to DC.

The Capitol Limited goes from DC to Pittsburgh. You’ll need to load your bike either in the bike storage area (bike ticket) or you’ll have to box it. I would get a bicycle ticket online or call Amtrak and get hold of an agent and they will tell you what dates they have bike tickets available. It’s so much easier than boxing it.

John


 
Armando from Rockville on 06/12/2022 07:56 PM
John- No I meant the Erie Canal. My question is what’s the best way
To get to the Erie Canal trail? Is it taking the train to Albany, riding to Buffalo
And taking a shuttle or a train back to Albany? Thanks.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 06/13/2022 12:46 AM
Thanks Armando. Sorry I misread your post. I know the most frequent and popular Amtrak route goes along DC to NYC. You could then explore a connection from NYC to Albany to Buffalo and begin your bike journey. I would call Amtrak and hang on the line and speak to an Amtrak agent who should be able to select the best train routes to take to get you there.

In addition, once you complete the Buffalo to Albany portion you could then turn south and head to NYC on the newly branded Empire State Trail. You would then only need to train home from NYC to DC.

Alternatively, you could do one way car rentals to get you there and back.

I hope some of these are helpful.

Take care,
John


 
Armando from Rockville on 06/23/2022 10:02 PM
Thank you, John. I appreciated.

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Good meals near Trail?
 - 
Bruce from San Antonio on 06/20/2022 06:35 PM
Where are favorite stops for meals along trail - lunch & dinner?

 
Anonymous on 06/22/2022 11:22 AM
Shorty's South Side, Amsterdam NY.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/22/2022 02:52 PM
Absolutely go to Shorty's and get the chicken riggies. And for breakfast the next day, go to Evolve Eatery.

Others that we enjoyed, with a * on the really great ones

My Tomato Pie in Tonawanda* Meatball sub and some kind of salad with an amazing lemon vinaigrette

20 North Broadway Tavern in Schenectady*

There's some kind of ice cream place in Lockport that's supposed to be good

Barber's Grill and Tap Room in Brockport*

Simply Crepes and the Pittsford Dairy in Pittsford*

Craft 120 in Newark

Spankey's Ice Cream in Lyons*

La Bamba MTZ in Canastota

Sugarbeets in Rome*

Aqua Vino in Utica has a nice location

There's a fruit stand and ice cream shop at Schoharie Crossing*




 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 06/22/2022 04:32 PM
Bill has done well -- especially listing "Evolve Eatery" (Amsterdam, a block off the trail) -- try to make it there for b-fast or lunch. Also I caught a great Italian meal at "Sorrento Pizzeria" in Ilion -- just up the road from the Canalway. I have a traditional celebratory meal in Albany at "Better Bite" -- located diagonally from the state Capital (NW Corner of West Capital Park, Washington & S. Swan Sts.) featuring homemade Hash (the best) and lots of great food prepared by Greek family cooks. In Weedsport you can opt for a nice handcrafted brew at Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co., or stop along Rt. 31 a few doors down at DB's Drive in for a frosty ice cream choice with plenty of outside seating areas.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 06/23/2022 10:30 AM
Lake Effect Ice Cream located at 79 Canal St. in Lockport is excellent.

 
from Fultonville on 06/23/2022 04:15 PM
Karens Produce makes a great cheeseburger.

It is right off the trail between Amsterdam and Fultonville.

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Stone 8 Tap House in Clyde
 - 
Matt from Syracuse on 06/21/2022 07:28 PM
Closed for the summer - reopening Aug 2 - per the website

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Safest Route to Access Utica
 - 
Bruce from San Antonio on 06/17/2022 01:22 PM
Would appreciate suggestions on safest bike route from Erie Canal Trail to Genesee Street in Utica - cycling west to east - thanks

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 06/18/2022 07:11 AM
I stayed at the Rosemont B&B on Genesee street in Utica in 2019 riding west to east. At that time the trail from the parking lot at Barnes Avenue east to the Harbor lock was incomplete and muddy. I rode Barnes Avenue to the Genesee Brewery (now FX Matt Brewing), East on Court Street to Genesee Street. Barnes is closed to auto traffic at the bridge over the railroad tracks but is fine for bicycles. There were large cement barriers at the south end of the bridge, I had to dismount and walk my bike through the narrow gaps.

Continuing east I tried to ride Rutger Street through Proctor Park which does NOT work because the trails in the park are blocked to limit access to the Masonic Research Institute. I ended up taking Bleeker Street to Southside Road and riding on to Frankfort. Southside had little traffic and was in good condition and was a pleasant ride.

 
Bruce from San Antonio on 06/18/2022 06:43 PM
Yankee John, Thanks very much for sharing this info about getting into and out of Utica - we're staying at the Rosemont Inn. Appreciate yr support!

 
Yankee John from Vermont on 06/19/2022 05:05 AM
The daughter of owners of the Rosemont is a massage therapist. With advance notice you can also get an excellent massage. It wasn't cheap but at my age it was worth it and much appreciated at that point in the trip.

 
Bruce from San Antonio on 06/20/2022 06:26 PM
Thank you for massage tip


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Dunn Memorial Bridge from Albany to Rensselaer Amtrak Station
 - 
Yankee John from Vermont on 06/20/2022 09:08 AM
Rode from Jennings Landing to the Amtrak station yesterday 6/20/22 without difficulty. At Jennings landing the trail is on a dedicated bike lane on the east/river side of the roadway. A short distance south from Jennings Landing there is a white striped pedestrian crossing from the bike lane to the beginning of the steep bridge ramp on the other side of the road than the bike lane; the dedicated bike lane continues south. The beginning of the ramp is marked with the usual small circular trail marker, but there aren't any signs on the bike lane identifying that this is a trail exit or route to Amtrak on the other side of the river. The ramp is steep but safe with high fencing on both sides. Either walking your bike or a low climbing gear is required to get up the ramp. The ramp joins the bridge and becomes a dedicated bike lane with steep fence on the left/river side and a high guardrail on the right/highway side. The highway traffic is not moving very fast in order to navigate the bridge entrances and exits. The top of the bridge is high above the river and was very windy, with some gravel and trash and other debris, but it was safe and easily navigable. The ride down to Riverfront Park in Rensselaer was less steep than the access ramp on the Albany side on a safe dedicated bike lane.

 
Ed Marrone from SPRINGFIELD on 06/20/2022 10:16 AM
Rode and walked over the Dunn Mem. Bridge mor than once. Steep climb up from the Albany side and rode over the river. Going down the ramp sign states bikes should be walked. Bridge does get a fair share of trash
At the Rensselaer side there is usually a hot dog truck parked
Good dogs & burgers. Dunkin nearby

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Dirt track sections
 - 
Yusuf from Norwich NY on 06/14/2022 07:20 AM
Are there any dirt track sections on the canal path between Buffalo and Albany? What are there locations and how long are these sections of dirt?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/15/2022 03:38 PM
There are some short sections that are dirt, or where there isn't as much gravel on the dirt as you would like. The sections are generally less than 20 yards. I can't remember where they all are.

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Long Term parking near Amtrak Exchange St?
 - 
LAM on 06/11/2022 07:18 AM
Where is safe, inexpensive long term parking close to the Amtrak Exchange St station?
3 vehicles, June 30, 2022 - July 6, 2022


 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/13/2022 11:16 AM
At the top of the page, there is a place where you can search the forum. I think you'll find lots of great parking tips in previous posts.

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Best Scenic Section with Minimal/No Traffic
 - 
Tandeming Family from Philadelphia on 06/07/2022 06:45 PM
Hi, We will be in the finger lake area and are planning on riding the Erie Canal trails. We are hoping for a section with good scenic views for a 10 to 15 mile stretch with minimal traffic. We will have a small child trailing along. We are hoping to either have a picnic or go to a local lunch spot. We are happy to drive to our destination and jump on the trails.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/08/2022 09:37 AM
I may not be correctly guessing exactly where you are talking about, but to me, the trail between Pittsford and Macedon was really nice.

Looking quickly at my notes, I see a few on-road sections, but I think they were fairly calm. Make sure to check your route on Google Maps and Street View to determine if it's appropriate for y'all.

Pittsford has plenty of nice places to eat. And there are lots of nice places for a picnic along the trail.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 06/09/2022 04:11 PM
Not arguing with Bill -- but his suggestion is much closer to Rochester than I would consider Finger Lakes region. For me this would be Macedon and eastward to Camillus. Within that leg -- do not travel east of Clyde --> Weedsport -- road travel and some hills.

Not sure of the mileage you are willing to do -- you wrote a 10-15 mile stretch. Does that mean total distance or a 15 mile stretch with a 15 mile return? Anyway -- Lyons has a really pretty park with picnic tables, swing sets and a bathroom. It would make a nice destination or turn-around point. All of the trail around here pretty with mostly gravel surface as you ride along the Canalway.

Picking another stretch further east would be east of Weedsport (or just at the edge of town) and anywhere from there to Camillus (actually just past the Erie Canal Park to include the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct a bit further -- see interactive map). Jordan to here would be a great section -- you figure out the mileage total you want to travel.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/10/2022 01:48 PM
Glad someone knows where the finger lakes are, wnybubba!

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 06/10/2022 11:33 PM
Bill... pretty much between ROC and SYR. I just felt Pittsford was a bit too close to ROC. Also giving more generic info so they can figure out the mileage they want to travel.

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Trail closed
 - 
Jimmitch from Rome on 06/10/2022 10:48 PM
Does anyone know when the will reopen the section from Reber road to Thomson Rd . They closed it today .

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Amtrak Station in Utica
 - 
Ellen Maiman from Acton on 06/09/2022 02:28 PM
Hello

I am interested i finding o if there is a shuttle service or ride service to get me and 3 other people and their bikes back to the start of the ride. we are hoping to start in Amsterdam and end in Utica. Can we go by train and if so can we reserve spots for our bikes?

Ellen Maiman

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 06/09/2022 03:27 PM
Amtrak.com has all the answers about trains.

Looks like the latest service out of Utica heading east is 4:26 PM.
If you biked west to east and ended in Amsterdam, latest train leaves Amsterdam 4:43 PM (heading west) giving you a little more biking time.

[Clarification here: I'm assuming that you are riding this 60-mile ride in one day. If you are going to include an overnight -- other earlier trains are scheduled. Go to the Amtrak website.]

As far as taking bikes on Amtrak -- reserve with as much advance time as possible. There are only 4 bike racks available on any given train and they will sell. It helps if your travel day is flexible -- they may be sold on one day and not the next.

It's a rather inexpensive option -- about $20 for the ticket and every bike is $20 (set fee per bike).

Good luck with your plans.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/10/2022 01:51 PM
The train stuff gets pretty intricate as far as where to get on and off, where to park, how to reserve, what's allowed and what's not. Search the forum (top of the page) to make sure you don't miss anything.

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Begin in Buffalo
 - 
Mark from Brecksville OH on 06/06/2022 02:15 PM
We are planning on riding from Buffalo to Rochester over two days in July. If we start at mile marker 0 of the Erie Canalway (Marine Dr. and the Skyway?) are riding on surface roads, or are we leaving Buffalo on a dedicated/ car free trail? I seem to get conflicting info.

Thanks!!!!

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/07/2022 12:33 PM
At Mile 0 it's a trail. Then it's a sidewalk, then a parking lot, then a trail, then a quiet surface street, then a trail, then a busier surface street with a bike lane, then a parking lot, then a trail. Or something like that. And that's just the first five miles. You'll find a variety of surfaces and conditions all along the trail.

If you look at the maps, and use Google Satellite and Street View, you get a good feel for what's going on.

 
wnybubba from Bflo/Roc on 06/09/2022 03:40 PM
Just adding that your apparent concern is riding in the street -- know that last year the trail has been improved along Niagara Street (where Bill mentions Street with Bike Lane). This is now a two-way segregated bike lane. Bill's overall information is correct -- it jumps around a little bit getting out of downtown, but once along the Niagara River, the trail is pretty straightforward into the Tonawanda's and heading east.

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