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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
 
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Erie Canal trail gaps
 - 
CS from Washington, DC on 03/04/2019 07:51 AM
Greetings, folks,
Apologies if this question has been asked, but...I have had a surprisingly difficult (for me, at least) time trying to get a comprehensive, up-to-date list of current gaps, with their distances, in the Erie Canal trail, end-to-end. (Main trail only). If anyone has this info or could point me toward it, I would be grateful. I have tried numerous on-line sources, but typically find them not up-to-date. Thanks in advance for any help or consideration.

Regards,

CS

 
Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga Springs on 03/07/2019 10:21 AM
Dear DS from DC,

The gaps I have encountered are Clyde to Newark (on road). Clyde down to Port Byron (on road),. Camillus to Dewitt (street paths across Syracuse). Some on road in Rome, NY.There is a small section now from Rotterdam Junction to Pattersonville. This section is very busy with commercial traffic.

Safe and happy travels! The Erie Canal Trail is a wonderful experience!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh on 04/20/2019 02:01 PM
Try the Parks and Trails New York (PTNY) interactive map:
https://www.ptny.org/bike-canal/map/

I believe the gray colored lines are the gaps where you will ride on lightly trafficked country roads.

This map roughly follows the yearly “Cycle the Erie Canal” event route.

Happy Riding,
John

 
Jeff from Troy on 04/26/2019 05:30 PM
I just rode one of those grey sections west of Schenectady yesterday. That isn’t a lightly traveled country road, it’s a high traffic state route 5 death trap with speed limits up to 55mph and little to no rideable shoulder in some sections.

This has me seriously questioning if it’s smart to bike from Buffalo to Albany later this season as I was planning to do.


electric bikes
 - 
poppy47 on 04/23/2019 11:11 AM
what is the policy? any difference for pedal assist versus throttle?

 
Bop from Rochester on 04/23/2019 02:45 PM
The signs say no motor vehicles. Yet min-bikes, dirtbikes, 4 wheelers and snowmobiles can be common. Throttle could put you in motorized group.

I'd also say depending on how build up the area is. Blasting through Brockport, Pittsford may be frown upon, yet smaller places might see more of the above types.


Canalway Bike Parking lot in Amsterdam
 - 
K. Martin from Old Saybrook, CT on 04/14/2019 10:16 AM
Thank you for providing this informational resource on Erie Canal biking.

I have a question, which is whether the Canalway Bike Parking lot in Amsterdam is a legal and suitable/safe area to park my vehicle for approximately 3-4 days of touring on the canal.

Thank you, -K.M.


electric outlets at camp sites
 - 
Jason from clifton on 04/01/2019 07:09 PM
Do any of the free camping areas have electric outlets available for charging? I'm planning on riding form the Buffalo airport back to my car at the Albany airport in May, never rode the canal before, so I'm not sure what to expect.

 
Jason Miller from Clifton on 04/10/2019 11:46 AM
Anyone got an answer?


Weather second week of May
 - 
Mary from Melbourne Beach on 03/25/2019 06:46 PM
My husband and I are planning on doing the ride Buffalo to Albany the second week in May. I lived in Utica for 5 years so I know the area fairly well but not the entire trail. Is it a muddy mess? My husband's brother is trying to talk us out of it.

 
Joseph Pafundi from Saratoga Springs on 03/26/2019 08:08 AM
Mary, good morning!

I have not completed the entire trail so, I cannot comment fully. However, I can say that Albany to Mindenville is mostly paved. Mindenville to Little Falls still mostly packed earth. Last fall I went from Utica to Rome. The section from Oriskany to Rome was pretty uneven due to the trail conditions. Canastota to Dewitt is now almost completely paved.Palmyra to Medina is mostly crushed, hard limestone. For me the best section of the route!

Safe travels!


Start of the canal trail in Buffalo
 - 
Trek 620 from San Diego on 10/24/2018 07:12 AM
Ray, where does the canal trail actually start/end in Buffalo? I was at the anchor where the submarine ad ship were docked but saw no mention of the trail. It's starting/is cold on the trail as of this date with heavy frost along the trail in the mornings. Thanks

 
ctbiker from Norwich,CT on 10/24/2018 09:26 AM
I see Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal#Route) mentions various starting points but I personally don't have an answer. I cycled the western half a couple years ago and finished the eastern half yesterday (10/23).

As you mentioned, it's getting nippy throughout the day now.

My two friends and I were often confused by a lack of signage and disliked the broken route which dumps one out onto heavy, fast-traffic roads. We found riding the canal trail next to I-90 disquieting.

I especially liked the General Nicolas Herkimer estate area.

Enjoy!

Ray

 
trek620 from san diego on 10/27/2018 08:55 AM
As far as directions go I found it useful to use the road markings put down by the New York Parks Department which are used on their ride from Buffalo to Albany in July (I believe). They consist of painted circles with a direction tab on turns, etc. I just used them backwards and it helped. The route I took last week was from Albany to Buffalo. I think prevailing winds are from west to east. Fought a stiff one most of the way. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/25/2018 05:04 PM
It starts at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. If you are in Canalside and are on the pedestrian bridge at the Commercial Slip you are at the beginning as you stand over the water. The lat/long is: 42.877337, -78.879350

From there the trail heads north (paved) along the city trails next to Lake Erie/Niagara River out to the Tonawandas where it then becomes gravel.

I will agree the signage could be improved down there for sure!

John

 
John Aulbach from York, PA on 03/18/2019 02:20 PM
My son and I rode the entire trail 14 years ago. The signage was poor then but the trail was relatively new. We did manage to find the trailhead in Albany very easily but had to wing it a few times. One of the most memorable was somewhere between Medina and Buffalo where we resorted to dead reckoning to find the canal by following a farmers lane beside a cornfield until we came to the intersection of the canal and a road. It made for a great adventure, a wrong turn or two but a great ride.


This website
 - 
Joe G from Wildwood Mo on 09/13/2018 04:39 PM
I came across this website from the link from the Katy Trail website why does this website have a different look or format then the Katy and the others you host.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/13/2018 08:47 PM
Thanks for visiting the site, Joe.

I built the Katy Trail site 15 years ago, and used that framework to build other websites for the C&O Canal/GAP in MD/PA, Cowboy Trail in Nebraska, Silver Comet in GA, and Mickelson in SD.

When it came time to create a website for the Erie Canal, I decided to build a new site from scratch rather than copying the old Katy Trail framework. This new design could take advantage of the latest web technologies like "responsive design" (looking good and working well on any size screen), location awareness, better personalization, more extensive use of mapping... and just a fresher, more current look.

Having developed this new concept, next I will take these improvements and apply them to the other existing trail websites. So you can look forward to the Katy Trail site (and others) getting a face lift and improved trip planning tools sometime over the next year.

To make this new website framework the best it can be, I appreciate any feedback, ideas, critiques, or suggestions.

Thanks again, and happy trails!

 
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 04:12 PM
The form search tool directs you to the Cowboy Trail. How do you search the Earie Canal form for specific subjects?

 
Ray S (webmaster) on 02/19/2019 04:23 PM
Sorry about that issue with the search - it is fixed now to search the Erie Canal site.

I built the search feature on the Cowboy Trail site, and forgot to change the code when I copied it over to here.

Thanks for pointing out the problem so I could fix it!

 
Bop from Rochester on 02/21/2019 03:58 PM
Any idea how messed up the canal path is heading east to spencerport? Was on E canal road today and it looks like a mess. Same heading west to Holley?

Biking season is upcoming and I like to ride to hulberton and back.


Amtrak Station in Buffalo
 - 
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 04:08 PM
Are unboxed bicycles allowed on Empire service?



Summer Trip for Familes on Erie Canal Trail
 - 
Margaret from Amherst, OH on 01/04/2019 02:04 PM
Hi All,

I am planning a summer trip for two families on the trail. We did the GAP two years ago so some experience there. I am seeing that Cayuga State Park is kind of near the trail and would like to utilize it for camping possibly- but how far away is it actually from the trail and where exactly and would this be bikable from the trail- we would need the less traveled roads as we have kids with us the youngest being 12 years. Thanks for any tips you can offer.

 
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 02/19/2019 01:08 PM
I somewhat heat intolerant. I also prefer storm free as possible bicycle travel. What time of the year would people from the area recommend as the best time to travel on the Erie?


Erie Canalway side trips
 - 
BobTheBuilder from Cleveland, Ohio on 01/21/2019 08:38 PM
After riding the C&O / GAP last summer we're planning a leisurely ride on the Erie in July. Are there any recommended side trips to take besides the Genesee Riverway Trail?

 
mdadams1 from York PA on 01/30/2019 02:32 PM
When in Lockport it is so much fun to ride one of the boats that go thru the locks....Walking along the waterway in Fairport at dusk is amazing.


21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal
 - 
Ray S (webmasyer) on 01/26/2019 02:26 PM
"Registration is open for Parks & Trails New York’s 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal, a 400-mile recreational bicycle tour from Buffalo to Albany on July 7-14..."

Source: MPNNOW
Full article: https://www.mpnnow.com/news/20190124/registration-open-for-cycle-erie-canal-2019/1


Rochester bike projects roll on
 - 
Ray S (webmaster) on 01/20/2019 12:05 PM
[ City Newspaper, Jan 16, 2019 ]

For close to a decade, the City of Rochester has methodically worked to become more bike friendly. Officials have tried to incorporate bike lanes and cycle tracks into road resurfacing and reconstruction projects whenever possible. They designed a series of alternate routes that cyclists can take instead of car-packed main roads. They launched a bike-share program. And they've tried to make sure that people have a place to lock up or securely store their bikes when they get to their destination.

That work will continue this year. Construction is set to begin on several key projects, and design work will start on other important bike infrastructure, including some trail work and connections that will be part of Roc the Riverway.

....

Full article: https://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/rochester-bike-projects-roll-on/Content?oid=9332071


riding with 2 10 year olds - looking for no/little road sections
 - 
Manisha from florida on 11/28/2018 10:26 PM
Hi
We want to ride ~120 mile segment over 5 days. We'd prefer to have little to no roads.
Is there a section you could recommend

thanks


Weekend Scout Biking Trip
 - 
JFro from Warwick, NY on 11/24/2018 01:33 PM
Looking for a weekend bike trip for a group of Boy Scouts. Looking to finish in Albany. 40(ish) miles on Saturday. 10(ish) miles on Sunday. Looking for places to CAMP on Friday night and Saturday night.

TIA,
jafrommeyer@gmail.com


present towpath condition
 - 
ctbiker from Norwich, CT on 10/05/2018 03:25 PM
I'll be pedaling the eastern half of the Erie Canal very soon. We've had lots of precipitation (i.e. flooding) so don't know the effect of it on the pathway.

I've looked for "current conditions on the Erie Canal but have seen nothing definitive.

Anyone know or have a source?

TIA,

Ray
ctbiker


best rides near Skaneateles
 - 
Andy on 09/24/2018 08:29 PM
We are staying in Skaneateles and want to know the most interesting ride near by between 20 and 30 miles on the canal trail


Tribes Hill Park and Boat Launch in Fort Hunter
 - 
Jj on 09/21/2018 03:49 PM
There is no camping here

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/21/2018 05:41 PM
Thank you for catching that - I have updated the listings.

Happy trails!


Paved Erie Canal Trail Parking in Utica
 - 
Jj on 09/19/2018 05:58 PM
Can we park overnight?


Durhamville
 - 
KB from Cazenovia on 09/18/2018 09:22 PM
I just traveled it today and rode this section. In Rome you will ride on a few roads after coming off the trail from Utica direction and will go over a bridge on Mill street. Then turn left into the park next to the canal and it will take you over the Mohawk river. But take your time because it's fantastic and very historic. It will take you to S. James street and I highly suggest going into visitors center and Fort Stanwix. This map is not correct on this page !!!! Go up a block from visitor center and turn left on Liberty and go to the end and turn left again on Gifford and then a right next to the bank (yes, on the very busy highway) and then a quick left at the light (Rt 46,49) and this will get you back on the main trail again. the rest is a mix of very smooth gravel and pavement and a couple road sections into Durhamville on the Canal road. I hope this helps.


Hometown Meats & Deli in Clyde
 - 
Jj on 09/18/2018 02:05 PM
Homemade soup and sandwich.... delicious.


McColley's in Spencerport
 - 
Jj on 09/17/2018 10:27 PM
Excellent..we had a great meal. Wings and cob salad.



Rome to Durhamville - Paved or Gravel
 - 
Rich D from Scotch Plains, NJ on 09/15/2018 08:08 PM
Just curious. Is the section from Rome to Durhamville paved or gravel? I'll be riding it next week and trying to decide which bike to bring. Thanks!

 
Psychlist on 09/16/2018 11:12 AM
If my memory serves, you'll be on the paved streets while in Rome and in Durhamville. And you'll be on a street for a few miles outside of Durhamville. But other than that, you are on the gravel trail.


Rails to Trails pathway in Tonawandas will extend to Erie Canal
 - 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/12/2018 09:47 AM
A $2 million project to extend the Rails to Trails pathway from the Buffalo-Town of Tonawanda border out to the Erie Canal should begin construction in the spring.

Tonawanda city officials recently approved a 0.85-mile extension of the 4-mile pathway that starts at Kenmore Avenue and runs north before ending near Young and State streets.

Source: The Buffalo News

Full article:
https://buffalonews.com/2018/09/10/rails-to-trails-pathway-in-tonawandas-will-extend-to-erie-canal/

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