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Erie Canal

Old 05-24-13, 03:46 PM
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chefisaac
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Erie Canal

Anyone ever tour the Erie Canal? It will be an out and back trip if I decide to do it. Look for a place to start the tour at.
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Old 05-24-13, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Anyone ever tour the Erie Canal? It will be an out and back trip if I decide to do it. Look for a place to start the tour at.
Last summer I rode a section from Brockport to Little Falls. Had a great time. My wife dropped me off, but I suspect there are numerous places you could leave a vehicle safely at no charge.

I purchased a nice little book from"Parks and Trails, NY". Had maps and lots of great info.
I wish you the best.
Jerry
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Old 05-24-13, 05:02 PM
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I live nearby and will be doing several short trips along the canal this summer. Hope to see you out there. Could you park, take the train, and then ride back to your car so you could cover more ground? Also, note that during one week in july there's some sort of "ride the canal" event and I believe it gets pretty crowded. Normally it's really nice though, no crowds but you'll see some cyclists.

Here's some info you might find helpful....

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=9422&v=Dt


Congrats on your GAP tour, enjoyed your write up...
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Old 05-24-13, 05:08 PM
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Thanks for your kind words MM. I will PM you tomorrow morning.
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Old 05-24-13, 05:09 PM
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I am going to do it from Albany to Seneca Falls with my gf starting June 28th.

We are renting a minivan and dropping it off at Albany Intl which is like 3 miles from the canal. We are heading west to Seneca Falls then south on NYS bicycle route 14 and then east to Port Jervis on NYS bicycle route 17. Then NJ Transit Train back home. We only have eight days so we had to do it backwards and cut it a little short but it still should be fun.

We have the route and accommodations just about nailed down. I downloaded Cycling the Erie canal by Parks and Trails New York as a resource. Camping five nights and two nights in motels. Maybe we will see you up there!

Edit: The Erie Canal Bike Tour event is July 7-14. We made sure to avoid that. Nice linky MM ty!

Last edited by jerseyJim; 05-24-13 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 05-24-13, 06:21 PM
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Last weekend, drove to Syracuse from Mass to visit family and on the way back we stopped and rode a short (6 mi.) section of the trail from Canjoharie west and back. It was really nice and made me want to get back and do a 3-4 day tour. There was free camping at the one lock we rode by, which looked nice. The only downside I would say is the road noise from the thruway nearby.
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Old 05-24-13, 10:24 PM
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I've done the western half of the Canal twice, west to east. I believe the western part is more rural and the towpath is continuous, with no road detours required. I started once at the Amtrak station at Depew and once at Buffalo Int. Airport. From these starting places (which are very close together) it was a relatively easy 20 miles or so to pick up the canal at Lockport. I used the very quiet side roads just to the east of Transit Rd. (rt. 78) to work my way up to Lockport. Transit is direct but has heavy traffic. I've camped at Holley and at Middleport; showers and campsites are available in both these places, right on the canal, to towpath users. I left the towpath about 20 miles east of Palmyra to get on the roads as my destinations were way south of the canal.

Last edited by kaos joe; 05-25-13 at 02:16 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-25-13, 06:26 AM
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I rode the western end from Lockport to Palmyra on the Northern Tier last summer. The Canal was a high point of the trip, unexpectedly so. The hiker/biker/boater campsites are fun. The path itself was fine. The route around Rochester was fine. It's a good ride.
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Old 05-25-13, 07:39 AM
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I knew someone that did it. They started in Albany. I remember them saying good things about the trip.
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Old 05-25-13, 03:08 PM
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Lots of stone dust. Very little shade in some areas.
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Old 05-26-13, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
Lots of stone dust. Very little shade in some areas.
My son and I did the canal from Buffalo to Albany, starting when he was eight. The stone dust is primarily on the western section of the route. Usually it's perfectly fine, though occasionally the canal corp gets over-enthusiastic and dumps too much when repairing sections of the path.

The central and eastern half is a mix of road and paved path. While I loved the entire trip, I preferred the more rural western portion - it's quiet and there are really nice small towns every 10 miles or so.

We used Amtrak to get our bikes back home, as it was quick, convenient, and extremely cheap to ship the bikes ( $10 when you buy yourself a ticket )
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Old 05-26-13, 10:56 PM
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I've ridden the length of the route 3 times and I live along the trail in the Niskayuna. For me I take Amtrak to Buffalo (Depew Station) Since the train with the baggage car (Lakeshore Limited) gets there at midnight. I buy a ticket for the 3:00 pm arriving train and ship the boxed bike the day before on the train with the baggage car. From Depew Station it is about an 1.5-2 hr ride to the beginning of the trail in Lockport. In Lockport on the south side of the canal is a restaurant/ ice-cream stand (Wide Waters)that will allow you to camp overnight behind their business if you ask.
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Old 05-26-13, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
I am going to do it from Albany to Seneca Falls with my gf starting June 28th.

We are renting a minivan and dropping it off at Albany Intl which is like 3 miles from the canal. We are heading west to Seneca Falls then south on NYS bicycle route 14 and then east to Port Jervis on NYS bicycle route 17. Then NJ Transit Train back home. We only have eight days so we had to do it backwards and cut it a little short but it still should be fun.

We have the route and accommodations just about nailed down. I downloaded Cycling the Erie canal by Parks and Trails New York as a resource. Camping five nights and two nights in motels. Maybe we will see you up there!

Edit: The Erie Canal Bike Tour event is July 7-14. We made sure to avoid that. Nice linky MM ty!
Here is a link to a google map of the route from the airport to the bike trail. http://goo.gl/maps/hUcKW

When you ride out from the Airport to the intersection with Albany-Shaker Rd if you ride across the intersection towards the Hilton Garden Inn you will see a paved path that connects you to a bike path. Turning right on the path follow it through an office park until it ends on British American blvd. Turn left (wide shoulder), ride up and over the hill until you connect with Troy-Schenectady Rd (RT7) Turn Left. This is a busy 4 lane road but you only have to travel a 1/4 mile on it( you can use the sidewalk too) At the next light turn right into the office park and then take the first left, follow that drive out until it intersects with Rosendale Road, Turn right and at the bottom of the hill bear left. In 200 yards you will see Lions park on your right and the old train station. That is the trail!
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Old 05-27-13, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
Here is a link to a google map of the route from the airport to the bike trail. http://goo.gl/maps/hUcKW

When you ride out from the Airport to the intersection with Albany-Shaker Rd if you ride across the intersection towards the Hilton Garden Inn you will see a paved path that connects you to a bike path. Turning right on the path follow it through an office park until it ends on British American blvd. Turn left (wide shoulder), ride up and over the hill until you connect with Troy-Schenectady Rd (RT7) Turn Left. This is a busy 4 lane road but you only have to travel a 1/4 mile on it( you can use the sidewalk too) At the next light turn right into the office park and then take the first left, follow that drive out until it intersects with Rosendale Road, Turn right and at the bottom of the hill bear left. In 200 yards you will see Lions park on your right and the old train station. That is the trail!
Thanks for the info. If we were going to to do an out and back trip starting in Buffalo, where do you recommend to park?
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Old 05-27-13, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
Here is a link to a google map of the route from the airport to the bike trail. http://goo.gl/maps/hUcKW

When you ride out from the Airport to the intersection with Albany-Shaker Rd if you ride across the intersection towards the Hilton Garden Inn you will see a paved path that connects you to a bike path. Turning right on the path follow it through an office park until it ends on British American blvd. Turn left (wide shoulder), ride up and over the hill until you connect with Troy-Schenectady Rd (RT7) Turn Left. This is a busy 4 lane road but you only have to travel a 1/4 mile on it( you can use the sidewalk too) At the next light turn right into the office park and then take the first left, follow that drive out until it intersects with Rosendale Road, Turn right and at the bottom of the hill bear left. In 200 yards you will see Lions park on your right and the old train station. That is the trail!
Perfect! I didn't notice that path on RWGPS. Thanks for saving me an unpleasant trip down Albany Shaker Road.
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Old 05-27-13, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Thanks for the info. If we were going to to do an out and back trip starting in Buffalo, where do you recommend to park?
I don't know Buffalo that well. Buffalo-Niagara airport likely offers discount long term parking. it is just a couple miles north of the Amtrak station
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Old 05-27-13, 05:34 PM
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My son and I are planning on riding from Rochester back to Albany (taking Amtrak from Albany to Rochester) in mid July. We'll be hoteling it, so I've been checking motel vacancies. Our plan was to take the train on Sat, July 13 train to Rochester and then explore Rochester and spend the night. I found everything booked up, so after some searching I found its Rochester's "Rib Fest" weekend! Must be very popular. So just a heads up to check for summertime festivals/events if you are planning on moteling it.

Also, the second week in July is the big Erie Canal ride,,so the trail will be full of cyclist. Hence our plan to start after that event, but I'll be doing more motel checks before we make our final plan.

So just a heads up.
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Old 05-28-13, 12:14 PM
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I've only been on the section in Central New York but it's very nice and quiet. The gravel can be loose/soft in some areas, but that's a small complaint. I know people who travel the whole trail every fall and love it.
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Old 05-29-13, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
My son and I are planning on riding from Rochester back to Albany (taking Amtrak from Albany to Rochester) in mid July. We'll be hoteling it, so I've been checking motel vacancies. Our plan was to take the train on Sat, July 13 train to Rochester and then explore Rochester and spend the night. I found everything booked up, so after some searching I found its Rochester's "Rib Fest" weekend! Must be very popular. So just a heads up to check for summertime festivals/events if you are planning on moteling it.

Also, the second week in July is the big Erie Canal ride,,so the trail will be full of cyclist. Hence our plan to start after that event, but I'll be doing more motel checks before we make our final plan.

So just a heads up.
I'm really surprised at the problem finding rooms - usually the problem is entirely the opposite. :-) Were you looking only in the city itself? There are actually a lot of motels/hotels in the suburbs which are either right on the canal ( so you'd be passing them anyway ) or within a very short ride of it.

Either way though, you'll have a great trip!
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Old 05-29-13, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
I'm really surprised at the problem finding rooms - usually the problem is entirely the opposite. :-) Were you looking only in the city itself? There are actually a lot of motels/hotels in the suburbs which are either right on the canal ( so you'd be passing them anyway ) or within a very short ride of it.

Either way though, you'll have a great trip!
Yea, I found some motels south of the city, just off the canal a quarter mile with lots of restaurants near by. They have openings, but won't book anything until close to the date, may be able to get a better rate. Used Google street view to check out the streets around the train station and a route to get to the ped. bridge over the river to view the falls. We plan on spending some time around the falls, perhaps check out some historic homes/areas, then head down the Genesse River Trail to the Erie Canal.
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