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Best Interactive Map?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 6/2/2021 11:02:00 AM:
The map here on this site and the map over at Parks and Trails New York are pretty dramatically different in some places. An example would be east of Clyde, or west of Syracuse. Any reason to pick one over the other?

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 6/2/2021 7:00:49 PM:
I can’t speak for this sites map (Ray the Webmaster would have way more insight on it than me anyways) but the PTNY map is geared towards the annual “Cycle the Erie Canal” ride. That ride has to get cyclists and volunteers to different schools and park grounds to tent between 600-700 people at each overnight town. So that route will stray a bit John

 
Ray (webmaster) on 6/2/2021 8:24:42 PM:
If you see differences in routes, it's because the map on this website is the original Erie Canalway route from a couple years ago. The route has varied in a couple places. But as John pointed out, the PTNY map is not necessarily the current route either; it is their best route for moving hundreds of people in the big annual ride. For the most current Erie Canalway trail route, see the interactive map in our sister website BikeEmpireState.com. https://bikeempirestate.com/empire-state-trail-map.aspx The BikeEmpireState.com map shows the route of the Empire State Trail, which includes the Erie Canalway but also adds Albany to NYC and Albany to Canada. I believe the best features of our interactive maps are: - the ability to put mile markers on the map, originating from any of the towns along the trail (BikeErieCanal.com and BikeEmpireState.com) - more complete business and service listings (BikeErieCanal.com) - ability to see a list of businesses and services under the map (BikeErieCanal.com) - our maps are actual Google maps with the features added on. This allows you to easily use Google features like Street View and Satellite view, on top of the features we have added - our maps remember your settings (if you have cookies enabled). So for example, you might set up your map to show mile markers every 5 miles starting at Pittsford, with "pin" markers to show hotels and campsites. When you return to the map at a later time, it automatically remembers these customizations so you see the same map as before. One advantage that the PTNY map does have over our maps, is that it shows the surface type of the different sections (i.e. paved or not). This is a feature that I hope to eventually add here. There is one other interactive map that I know of, on the "official" Empire State Trail website: https://empiretrail.ny.gov/map It also shows surface types, but limited info on businesses and services. Our BikeEmpireState.com map matches the route on this map. I don't know if this helps, but that's my perspective. The answer may be to check them all out and go with whatever you feel most comfortable using. Or use a combination, for example use PTNY to see the trail surfaces, and use BikeErieCanal.com to see distances from your starting point and business listings. Good luck and happy trails!

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 6/2/2021 11:44:42 PM:
Awesome Ray. I figured that you would chime in. I agree that using an assortment of maps available is the best solution to planning a successful trip/tour. I have mentioned before how much I believe using Google Maps Street and Satellite mode help in understanding the trail and surrounding areas, so kudos to you Ray (and Google Maps) for having that resource available. So just to muddy the water a little more... there is an additional map available and it may be the more "official" of any, it's the map from the Canalway Corporation (https://www.canals.ny.gov/maps/index.html?layer=trail). Don't get too excited though... it really only shows the Canalway trail with "existing" and "proposed" trails marked. So where there are on-road sections, they are all marked as "proposed" trail. Interestingly, it also shows sections of the trail as proposed that are branch trails that connect to areas away from the canal -- example being a proposed trail to Seneca Lake. Regardless, I had understood that the trail had been re-routed coming out of Clyde heading south using Tyre Road (CR 372) and continuing onto Armitage Road that connects back to Route 31. What this does is eliminate a section of Route 31 that is fairly busy before and after Savannah, NY. None of the Maps (including Empire or Corp) show this to be the case, but on next weeks ride you will find me on Tyre Road! Thanks Ray for your good work. Much appreciated.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 6/3/2021 8:11:27 AM:
Ahh, thank you all for explaining. I really do like the interactive map on this site, so I am glad to hear it's preferred. I'll go look at the newer map on the bikeempirestate site to make sure that I am not missing any big recent improvements. Thanks again for the help, and thanks especially to Ray for maintaining this resource.

 
maggie from Lagrange on 6/4/2021 1:05:23 PM:
I'll be riding from Buffalo to Syracuse for the first time in about a week. Would it be safe to say that the Tyre Rd. route has much less traffic and easier riding for someone that doesn't do much road riding? How busy is 31 and are the shoulders fairly wide? Is it safe to say the distance is comparable with either route?

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 6/4/2021 7:06:11 PM:
Maggie, I think that the distance it about the same. I thought coming out of Savannah was a pain -- I followed EST signs that I thought were routing me across the road and onto a gravel truck route -- turns out I was wrong and learned not to pay any attention to EST signs as they are typically not directional, rather just marking the trail's existence. As you leave town you also go over a somewhat steep overpass on Rt 31, and, Rt 31 is a fairly busy highway (not crazy busy, but well used and cars/trucks at speed between Savannah and Montezuma). There is a moderate shoulder for most of the stretch, but there are a couple places where there are guardrails quite close leaving minimal (if any) shoulder/apron. The Tyre Road section looks like a nicely paved secondary road. No shoulders, but it's a typical country road. Looks pretty flat and you should not have issue being seen and/or seeing traffic approaching. Lastly, I'm pretty sure this is going to be the case -- that even taking the Tyre Road alternative, you will still hit the section where the guardrails are encroaching on the apron. But. hey... I made it through last year unscaved! I'm opting for Tyre Road next week.

 
Maggie from Lagrange on 6/5/2021 8:24:57 AM:
Wnybubba, Thanks for the info. I’m leaning toward Tyre Rd. route.