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Old 06-16-10, 07:15 PM   #1
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Erie canal ride reccomendations.

My wife and I would like to do a couple of days on the Erie canal trail around the July 4th weekend. We would like to find a nice inn or b&b that we can base from and ride 10 miles out and return one day, and the same the next in the other direction. Ideally, there should be a nice outdoor cafe at the turn around point. Do any of you locals know any portion of the trail that comes close to meeting these criteria?
I'll be looking for some more miles while my wife relaxes with her crossword puzzels after the ride. I'm trying to get her to work her daily mileage upwards for our tour in France in October where she will have to be up for 35 to 40 kilometers a day, and I have to wean her off the electic assist bike that she usually rides at the same time.
Any reccomendations welcome.
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Old 06-16-10, 07:58 PM   #2
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Do you mind crushed stone, or do you prefer pavement?

Here in R-Town, we have the only fairly long paved section of canal path. It intersects the Genesee Riverway, which you can take right into downtown.

B&Bs in town are all very upscale. If that's your style and budget, there are many to choose from. Alternatively, the Holiday Inn Airport and The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa are literally right on the path. The Del Monte apparently has a 20% discount for Canadians. Still breathtakingly expensive, IMHO.

If you don't mind crushed stone, then anywhere along the canal will do. I'm most familiar with the area west of town around Spencerport and Brockport. Both have restaurants across the canal from the path, and Brockport has some restaurants that put out tables on the sidewalk. These are rural areas where even traffic-leery riders can get off the path and ride some quiet farm roads.

East of town, the village of Fairport is also quite nice.

Canada Day/Independence Day weekend is good for me too if you'd like a guided tour or ride partner while your wife does crosswords. I have a four-day weekend, Friday through Monday.

Ken Brown of Toronto and his friend Wayne of Ottawa stayed a couple of extra days this past weekend to do the canal just east of Syracuse. If Ken doesn't chime in here, perhaps you could PM him.

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Old 06-16-10, 08:12 PM   #3
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Do you mind crushed stone, or do you prefer pavement?

Here in R-Town, we have the only fairly long paved section of canal path. It intersects the Genesee Riverway, which you can take right into downtown.

B&Bs in town are all very upscale. If that's your style and budget, there are many to choose from. Alternatively, the Holiday Inn Airport and another hotel I'll have to get the name of are literally right on the path.

If you don't mind crushed stone, then anywhere along the canal will do. I'm most familiar with the area around Spencerport and Brockport. Both have restaurants across the canal from the path, and Brockport has some restaurants that put out tables on the sidewalk. These are rural areas where even traffic-leery riders can get off the path and ride some quiet farm roads.

Canada Day/Independence Day weekend is good for me too if you'd like a guided tour or ride partner while you wife does crosswords. I have a four-day weekend, Friday through Monday.
Thanks Tsl. Yeah, I wouldn't mind hooking up for a ride, but you might want to tire yourself out a bit first. I'm pretty slow.
Crushed stone works just fine. It's what we usually do our rides on.
We haven't settled on which days we are going yet. Depends on which days my wife can get off work.
Meanwile, I'll look up the places you mentioned.
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Old 06-16-10, 08:22 PM   #4
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Actually, in Rochester, the Holiday Inn Airport meets your ride specifications to a T. It's ten miles west to Spencerport, and nine miles east to Pittsford. Both turnarounds have the requisite eateries.

It's also only five miles right into the heart of downtown, and the world famous Dinosaur BBQ.
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Old 06-16-10, 08:31 PM   #5
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Actually, in Rochester, the Holiday Inn Airport meets your ride specifications to a T. It's ten miles west to Spencerport, and nine miles east to Pittsford. Both turnarounds have the requisite eateries.

It's also only five miles right into the heart of downtown, and the world famous Dinosaur BBQ.
Hey, that looks pretty good. Looks like the Holiday Inn is almost on top of the canal on the map I'm looking at.
I've heard of the Dinosaur BBQ. Have to give that a try.
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Old 06-16-10, 08:37 PM   #6
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Hey, that looks pretty good. Looks like the Holiday Inn is almost on top of the canal on the map I'm looking at.
I've heard of the Dinosaur BBQ. Have to give that a try.
Rooms on the east side overlook it, and you only have to go out the parking lot and around the fence to get on it.
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Old 06-16-10, 08:46 PM   #7
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Rooms on the east side overlook it, and you only have to go out the parking lot and around the fence to get on it.
OK, well my wife is on the case now, and she's looking at options. We do have the flexability of using the car to get from the hotel to the trail, so it doesn't have to be ajacent.
I think I'll leave the hotel shopping to her as it will be her choice anyway seeing as it's her birthday we'll be celebrating.
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Old 06-17-10, 05:52 AM   #8
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I'm at the eastern rnd of the canal from tsl. Lots of paved sections and a few broken up by nice roads with wide shoulders.
Here is a link to a place I have been to several times, not to stay but for dinner http://www.glensandersmansion.com/

Here is a map of the bike paths. http://www.cdtcmpo.org/mhbkmap.htm

If you really want a great place to stay with an excellent bike path and entertainment try Lake George and the Champlain canal http://www.co.warren.ny.us/transport/bike.php. You would also be close to Saratoga, the horse race track and excellent restaurants and shops. Hikeing is also great there. Lake George itself is a jewel. There are loads of B&Bs in that area.
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Old 06-17-10, 06:03 AM   #9
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I'm at the eastern rnd of the canal from tsl. Lots of paved sections and a few broken up by nice roads with wide shoulders.
Here is a link to a place I have been to several times, not to stay but for dinner http://www.glensandersmansion.com/

Here is a map of the bike paths. http://www.cdtcmpo.org/mhbkmap.htm

If you really want a great place to stay with an excellent bike path and entertainment try Lake George and the Champlain canal http://www.co.warren.ny.us/transport/bike.php. You would also be close to Saratoga, the horse race track and excellent restaurants and shops. Hikeing is also great there. Lake George itself is a jewel. There are loads of B&Bs in that area.
Thanks for that. We'll put that on our list, but for this time around, I think we're going to keep the trip a little shorter so we can leave from home the same day as our first ride. Rochester is only a 3 hr drive for us which makes that doable.
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Old 06-17-10, 06:34 AM   #10
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I was on the towpath east of Syracuse. It is a very pretty section but doesn't have any cafes. I can suggest where to stay if you are interested, but you are probably better off following TSL's suggestion.

Please post a report on your France trip in the Fall.
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Old 06-17-10, 07:43 AM   #11
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I was on the towpath east of Syracuse. It is a very pretty section but doesn't have any cafes. I can suggest where to stay if you are interested, but you are probably better off following TSL's suggestion.

Please post a report on your France trip in the Fall.
Will do. It's a 6 day boat/bike tour down the Seine from Paris and then onto another river which I can't remember the name of right now.
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Old 07-01-10, 08:33 PM   #12
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Well, we are in Rochester for a couple or three fine riding days. Suzanne and I rode from Spencerport to Brockport and back, a distance of 25 km.
After dinner, I dropped the better half off at the hotel and went out for another 30km, almost made it out to Spencerport again, but darkness was setting in so I had to turn back.
Haven't seen any part of the trail yet that I didn't like. We're loving it here.
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Old 07-01-10, 08:58 PM   #13
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Well, we are in Rochester for a couple or three fine riding days. Suzanne and I rode from Spencerport to Brockport and back, a distance of 25 km.
After dinner, I dropped the better half off at the hotel and went out for another 30km, almost made it out to Spencerport again, but darkness was setting in so I had to turn back.
Haven't seen any part of the trail yet that I didn't like. We're loving it here.
If you get back in Spencerport I can highly recomend The Galley Restaurant at 94 South Union Street (that's the main north / south street through the middle of town). Sit at a table out back along the south bank of the canal where you can also park your bikes. Just a few yards east across the parking lot is a Canal Museum that I've yet to explore.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old 07-01-10, 09:04 PM   #14
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If you get back in Spencerport I can highly recomend The Galley Restaurant at 94 South Union Street (that's the main north / south street through the middle of town). Sit out back along the south bank of the canal where you can also park your bikes. Just a few yards east across the parking lot is a Canal Museum that I've yet to explore.

Enjoy your visit.
Thanks Cranky. We already tried out the Galley and it was great. It was lunch time by the time we got to Spencerport, thanks to border delays, so we had lunch before riding.
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Old 07-01-10, 09:11 PM   #15
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Thanks Cranky. We already tried out the Galley and it was great. It was lunch time by the time we got to Spencerport, thanks to border delays, so we had lunch before riding.
There you go!

If you get bored riding back and forth along the canal (not likely to happen), you can consider driving your bikes to Braddock Bay Park. From there you can pedal east along the Lake Ontario Shore. It's seven almost flat miles to Charlotte Beach Park. Lots of eats, a 1903 Dentzel Carousel, A Boardwalk and pier, and plenty of beautiful houses and gardens along a peaceful two-lane. If you're in contact with TSL he can probably provide maps and a good description of the area...my neighborhood.
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Old 07-01-10, 10:12 PM   #16
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If you're in contact with TSL he can probably provide maps and a good description of the area...my neighborhood.
Excellent idea, Cranky! I hope to meet up with our visitors on Friday afternoon. I'll bring along a copy of the Greater Rochester Area Bicycling Map.
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Old 07-02-10, 07:10 AM   #17
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There you go!

If you get bored riding back and forth along the canal (not likely to happen), you can consider driving your bikes to Braddock Bay Park. From there you can pedal east along the Lake Ontario Shore. It's seven almost flat miles to Charlotte Beach Park. Lots of eats, a 1903 Dentzel Carousel, A Boardwalk and pier, and plenty of beautiful houses and gardens along a peaceful two-lane. If you're in contact with TSL he can probably provide maps and a good description of the area...my neighborhood.
Thanks again. Sounds intriguing. May put that on the schedule for Saturday before we leave town.
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Old 07-02-10, 04:56 PM   #18
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Spent a pleasant afternoon today with Dan and his wife, Suzanne.



We met at the George Eastman House, walked over to Park & Berkley for lunch on the sidewalk at Jine's, (Thanks again for buying, Dan!) then they followed me downtown where we rode up the river on the Genesee Riverway Trail. Crossing the canal, we did a bit of the Genesee Valley Greenway, which goes all the way to Pennsylvania, before turning around.

Now here's something you don't get on every bike tour. On the way back we detoured through the University of Rochester then over to Mt. Hope Cemetery. The cemetery has excellent traffic-free riding, and water spigots every couple of hundred feet, which are great for refilling bottles and Camelbaks.

I sent them to their next destination, Adams Basin, through holiday weekend Friday night rush hour traffic. Hoo boy!

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Old 07-03-10, 09:28 PM   #19
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Thanks again Tsl for the great guided tour. Always interesting to hang out with someone who has a good Knowledge of local history. It was very nice to meet you.
We spent Friday night at the Adams Basin Bed and Breakfast. It is nestled right beside the canal trail, and when we rode by it on Thursday, we just knew we had to spend a night there. We can most heartilly recommend it. and we hope to re-visit some day.
http://www.adamsbasininn.com/index.html
Saturday morning, we took a drive over to Braddock Bay Park on Cranky's recommendation. By the time we got there, the day was really heating up, and Suzanne does not have fun riding in the hot sun, so we drove to the Port of Rochester and took a ride down the Genesee River trail through the trees instead.
We did not go far, just to the cemetery, and took a nice quiet ride through it. (Two cemeteries in two days.)
After lunch at the Pelican, we went to the beach to take a dip. Unfortunately, the algae was very thick and smelled really strong. We didn't hang around there long. Living near the lake ourselves, we know the algae comes and goes, so anyone reading this should not take this to mean their beach stinks. I'm sure it's very nice there most of the time.
On the way back to the car, we took a little side trip to check out the carousel. I had left my wallet in the car, and was carrying no money. As I was admiring the magnificent Stinson organ, and reading all about it and the carousel, I noticed Suzanne was no longer by my side.
I looked around trying to spot her, and saw her smiling and waving to me from her perch astride one of the carousel horses as it turned.
I assumed she must have told the attendant today is her birthday, (which it is) and bummed a free ride. Then I thought, maybe she told them her husband would go to the car and get the money for the ride...., nah that can't be it. Aha, up there on that panel in the middle of the carousel, a sign reading, "Catch the brass ring, and get a free ride", that must be it. But I can't see a brass ring anywhere.
OK, so the ride finally stops, she gets off, and I ask, how did you manage to get a free ride.?Says she, "I just asked" What chutzpa, huh?
Any way, a terrific mini vacation, and a great cycling destination. We'll be back.

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Old 07-04-10, 01:41 PM   #20
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Cranky and I did the Braddock Bay ride friday afternoon. I was coming back from near there and rode into him at the Crescent beach restaurant and joined him there. The east end of the beach can be bad at times as it was a bit friday. The algae builds up in that corner with the pier. Unless the lake has turned the west end should have been fine.
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Old 07-04-10, 03:31 PM   #21
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Finally got around to uploading the pictures

Watching the crew docking the dredger for the weekend. There was a lady driving the tug boat.





If it's your first trip to Rochester, or even if it's not, ya gotta see Geoge Eastman's house.



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Old 07-04-10, 03:39 PM   #22
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More pictures

Our city tour guide on Friday afternoon, Tsl.



Our accomodations for Friday night, the Adams Basin Bed and Breakfast.
Did I mention how much we enjoyed our stay?



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Old 07-05-10, 06:10 AM   #23
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Sounds like a great trip. I have been to the Eastman house and agree it is well worth a visit. And met Bruce (aka TSL) at the Watkins Glen rally and agree that he is a great host!
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Old 07-05-10, 07:16 AM   #24
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Sounds like a great trip. I have been to the Eastman house and agree it is well worth a visit. And met Bruce (aka TSL) at the Watkins Glen rally and agree that he is a great host!
Yes, and we only did a small segment of the actual canal trail, and still had three full days. We definitely will return to do more of the canal trail.
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