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MikeRides 10-10-13 06:00 PM

Any Erie Canal Trail riders here?
My friend and I have been training for our first century (actually I was told it's a little short of 100 miles but we can always ride around in circles at the end if necessary to say we rode 100 miles) and have a date set for the end of the month assuming it isn't raining or snowing. We've been trying to decide on a route that's straight through, for simplicity sake and I was wondering if anyone on here would know if the Erie Canal Trail is complete between Utica and Albany. The plan he thought of was we'd have to ride out of Utica on bike route 5, and switch overto the Erie Canal Trail in Little Falls. Beyond that he wasn't sure if the trail was 100% complete or if we had to return to bike route 5 or other roads.

We know the trail won't be paved all the way and don't mind that, but if there's any unmarked detours we'd like to get an idea of what we've got to do before we get there. If anyone has a map of the entire trail between these cities, and could post it I'd appreciate it.

Also, if possible, can anyone recommend a place we could grab lunch around half way? I'm assuming we'll pass through multiple towns that we can find a place to refill our water bottles as needed. Additionally, are any special tourist attractions this time of the year worth checking out along the way?

bktourer1 10-11-13 04:47 PM

Go to the PTNY site and get the Erie Canal Guide book

hilltowner 10-14-13 05:52 PM

I did the trail last summer so this isn't the latest info but there are plenty of places where you have to leave the original canal path and follow either city roads or bike route 5. If you use Google maps and toggle the bike icon you'll see right away where the route leaves the original path. I did a century on that section, more or less, from Mohawk to Rensselaer on last summer's ride. I notice that Google doesn't show the path from Mohawk to Fort Herkimer which is too bad because that was a nice section of the path. The rest of what it does show seems to mesh pretty well with my recollection of the ride.

koolerb 10-15-13 08:59 PM

If you guys would like a third I'd be interested in tagging along.

MikeRides 03-31-14 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by koolerb (Post 16164226)
If you guys would like a third I'd be interested in tagging along.

Hey, sorry for not getting back to you sooner. We had to postpone the ride because of a scheduling conflict plus I was told by a couple riders at my LBS that the trail from Fort Plain on east was still in pretty bad shape from the flood last spring. Anyway my (former) riding buddy sold his bike back in January to fund a car repair and I'm not sure if he's getting another one. I'm still planning on riding a century sometime this season if you're still looking for someone to ride with.

koolerb 04-01-14 07:42 PM

Not sure where you're located. But I maybe have a trio lined up for a spring ride from Syracuse to just a little past Rome. Maybe camp overnight, maybe hotel, and ride back following day. We're all doing it to test gear before longer rides later in the season. One of the guys wants to camp, the other is thinking in hotel, who knows??? In another few weeks it should start to come together.

40 Cent 04-03-14 08:10 PM

My wife and I rode from Brooklyn to Niagara Falls last summer on a 6-day trip... long about July when many parts of the Canal were flooded from the torrential rains. Our plan was to take the Canal trail from Schenectady as far as we could, but it didn't work out that way. Besides being washed out in spots, including in your section (just east of Little Falls and especially Fort Plain), we found the gravel sapping our energy and speed, probably because our tires were more road than off-road. So after a few tries on the path -- which were indeed shady and pretty -- we ended up sticking to Rt. 5.

Even though it's a little sad looking now, Little Falls might be worth seeing; it's a formerly glorious industrial town and once one of the cheese capitals of the world! That said, getting in and out of it probably requires more climbing than any other part of the trip.

As for lunch, we ate in Fultonville at a pizza place that also had decent sandwiches. It's on Main Street a couple blocks from the bike path. That's just about your halfway point. Hopefully it's open, because we didn't notice a lot of other things around there. I don't even remember a convenience store. Canajoharie, if you get hungry sooner, is a little bit bigger. And Fort Plain before that has a few places too.

As for your mileage, I'm sure by the time you find your way whether on the trail or on the road you'll have hit your 100.

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