Rochester area: Trail closed near Route-390 thru Labor Day -
Ray (webmaster) on 04/22/2019 11:06 AM
"The Erie Canalway Trail will be closed to walkers, cyclists and others near Route-390 in Gates from Monday through at least Labor Day.
"The popular trail will be blocked off between Route-390 on the west and a point to the east of Lee Road, according to a barely legible map disseminated on Twitter Saturday by the state Canal Corporation.
"Users apparently will be directed onto Trolley Boulevard to detour around the closure, which the Canal Corporation said is necessitated by work on Route-390 highway bridges."
(at least there is a detour - see web address below for full article... and that "barley legible" map)
Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 04/20/2019
Bop from Rochester on 04/22/2019 08:20 PM
I've detour to Trolley Boulevard a few times there. Shouldn't be a big problem. Their stopping people from going underneath the 390 bridge. There's a paved path right before the east side of the bridge that exit's to Trolley. As I remember it.
jrstewart3 from Rochester on 05/10/2019 08:44 AM
The detour is easy, and pretty safe. There is a traffic light at the one street crossing.
Car Rental -
Mike from Guilford Connecticut on 05/08/2019 08:42 AM
I'm planning on riding Buffalo to Albany in late June. I can leave my car in Albany and drive a rental to Buffalo. It seems cheapest to return the car to Buffalo Airport. Is it reasonable to think I could ride to the start of the trail from the airport? I'm not averse to riding on the road and in the city.
Amtrak Station in Albany -
Henry from Latham on 03/01/2019 08:27 PM
Is it easy to take a bike on the train from Albany to Buffalo? Thanks.
Judy M from Orange County, NY on 03/31/2019 09:13 AM
We were looking for transportation between Syracuse and Buffalo on the train. I contacted Amtrak and was told that you can not bring a standard bike on the train. If you have a foldable bike you can. It’s a shame they don’t.
Anonymous on 04/19/2019 06:25 PM
This is news to me since I have reservation for bike on the train from Rochester to Schenectady. The Amtrak site does say they cannot accommodate bikes at the Albany station, but other than that it looks like you can.
TS from St. Louis on 04/22/2019 10:03 PM
Amtrak only allows bikes on the 49 Lake Shore Limited; bikes are barred from all other trains that run between Albany and Buffalo. Usually the Lake Shore Limited departs westbound from Albany daily at around 7:30 p.m. and arrives in Buffalo (DePew station) at around midnight.
For reference, it stretches all the way from NYC to Chicago.
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 04/28/2019 08:59 PM
The information on Amtrak west from Albany was very interesting. Will the bicycle be in the baggage car or are their bicycle racks in the coach cars? Is the schedule only weekday or is it 7 days a week? Do you have to have bicycle reservations?
Thank you for all your help.
Ohio to Erie canal and Erie Canal as joint trip -
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 04/13/2019 12:44 PM
I am considering these trails in the fall. I am not sure I, have the time and want to travel on a bicycle the approximate 150 miles from public transit Clevlan Ohio to public transit Buffalo any suggestions? The only other option; as an out of state traveler who will have to fly into the area, I can think of is rebox my bicycle and go Grayhound. The trail transit options do not connect the trails.
Jeff from Troy, NY on 04/26/2019 07:29 PM
Take a look at Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, it runs between Cleveland and Buffalo and has checked baggage service which you can box up your bike and "check" it. Boxes should be able to be purchased from the station. Supposedly all you have to do is take off your pedals and rotate handlebars. That line also runs through to Albany, so if you only have time to bike the trail in one direction, you could get a return trip from Albany to Cleveland.
See http://bikepacker.com/how-to-travel-with-your-bike/ for more info on the service.
Steven Gaub from LAKEWOOD on 04/28/2019 04:18 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions.
What's the normal speed limit on the on road portions of the trail? -
Jeff from Troy, NY on 04/26/2019 07:40 PM
Living near the east end of the trail, yesterday I was biking a portion of it and was shocked when I saw a 55mph speed limit sign on a portion of the on road section of the trail a little west of Schenectady. This is a high traffic State Route 5
How common is this on the on-road portions of the trail? I honestly can't believe that Parks & Trails New York actually thinks it's safe to make this the official route.
Erie Canal trail gaps -
CS from Washington, DC on 03/04/2019 07:51 AM
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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 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
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..."
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
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
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.
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?
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.
Paved Erie Canal Trail Parking in Utica -
Jj on 09/19/2018 05:58 PM
Can we park overnight?
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
luggage shuttle services -
Gringo Bill from arvada on 09/03/2018 11:39 AM
We planning a fall colors bike tour along some or all of the Erie Canal. We are not interested in group guided tours. One major impediment to do it yourself is a seeming lack of shuttle services for luggage. All suggestions are most appreciated.
Ray (webmaster) on 09/03/2018 12:22 PM
I'm aware of a couple shuttle services operating along the Erie Canal, which are listed here:
Typically the shuttles haul people and bikes, but I expect they would be happy to haul luggage too. You'll probably want to pre-arrange drop-off of your bags at wherever you plan to spend the night, because the shuttle driver won't want to wait around for your arrival at the end of the day.
If you come across any services that are not listed, please let me know so I can get them added. Good luck and have fun!
Pittsford Farms Dairy -
RLS on 08/28/2018 04:27 PM
This place has an oatmeal butterscotch ice cream that's amazing. Ride a couple extra miles so you don't feel guilty for eating the ice cream, and give it a try. Wow.
Rochester sightseeing -
The Psychlist on 08/11/2018 12:39 PM
I’d highly recommend a side trip to High Falls in Rochester. It’s a magnificent sight and that part of Rochester has some great restaurants.
There’s a trail along the Genesee River. Follow that trail for about 5 miles and you’re there.
What to bring -
TRW on 07/31/2018 04:34 PM
Planning a day trip from Utica, haven't done long trail rides before. Any suggestions on what to bring?
Ray (webmaster) on 08/02/2018 05:30 PM
Here's what I always have in my pannier:
- Several spare tubes (and know how to change them)
- C02 canisters to inflate tires - you may prefer a small pump
- Energy gel
- Extra water container in hot weather
- Gloves and ear covering in cold weather
- Bug repellent
- Basic first aid: Motrin, Neosporin, and bandaids
- Compact poncho in case of rain
- Some spare large ziplocks and a trashbag
- Power-storage device for cell phone charging
I don't often need most of those items, but it's good to have them when I do need them!
Good luck on your ride - happy trails!