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Camping at trailside locks

Rick on 8/26/2021 11:48:04 AM:
So I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding camping policies at the various locks. I understand that there are appx. 5 that allow camping and some of those have drinking water and restrooms, and maybe a shower. I called the Marina at Lock 21 Illion and was told $20 fee. I thought from reading these posts that camping at the locks was free. I'm looking for clear, concise info regarding camping options I'd rather not hear smart remarks or "I stealth camped and thumbed my nose at authority." I prefer to do the right thing as some places are now off limits to trail riders because of behavior. Would like to hear from those who have done the ride, camped, and have useful info. I know I sound like a pain in the butt. Don't mean to but don't want to weed through a bunch of useless chatter. Thanks to all that can help.

Biker Girl from Rochester on 8/28/2021 12:19:05 PM:
I rode west-bound in May, and camped half the time. You are correct that there are several locks with some level of facilities. I don't believe any have showers, but many have portable toilets, and some have potable water. Lock 15 is great - water, facilities, and even electricity. Lock 20 is good - no potable water, yes on facilities. Lock 21 is lovely, but without any water or facilities. It's also pretty remote, so you can't just pop into town. Lock 30 had water, but no facilities in May. Might be different now, since two years ago they had them. Lock 21 allows free camping at the lock. I'm guessing if you called the Marina, that wasn't the Canal system lock; hence the $20 fee. You are allowed to camp any any lock, pending approval from the lock master, but there will not be any services. We added a couple of hotel stops so we could have a shower twice on the ride. Enjoy your ride!

Rick on 8/28/2021 3:45:11 PM:
Biker Girl, Thank you. I called 2 numbers at Illion. One only rand. The 2nd answered and that was the Marina.

Dandy Don from Fairfield on 8/28/2021 4:59:51 PM:
Yes, thank you Biker Girl.

Ray (webmaster) on 8/29/2021 8:27:19 AM:
Thank you for that info Biker Girl. I have updated the website listings to reflect these details.

wnybubba from Bflo/Rochester on 9/13/2021 5:35:46 PM:
Rick -- the Illion Lock has a Town RV park. In COVID frantic June 2020, I stopped there and called the number posted at the building. The park manager allowed me to camp one night, but told me that the Town didn't allow tent camping, just RVs. It does make sense as there is just a back row of paved RV parking. I stayed on a grassy area on the far side near a pavillion. In general... camping at Locks is allowed -- ideally with advance permission/notification (and same day is fine). On the eastern section you are not always right on the Canalway, so a Lock option may take planning to getbthere. I stayed at a public Marina in Little Falls that was great (pretty much legal), Lock 8 near Rotterdam was one of the best and not even mentioned above, as was the Lock at Fort Hunter. The Canalway is close enough to towns and facilities (convenient stores, restaurants, etc.) that finding camping support is easy. My advise is get out a map and do some planning to support the amount of miles you want to cover in a day and see where it puts you -- then see what's close and what options you have. Lighten up, have fun... it's an adventure after all!