Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day 14 - Headed Home

It's been a great experience, flat tires and all. A couple of wrong turns along the way, no negative experiences and we met some interesting people along the way. We started August 1st and ended August 20th of 2015. We actually covered about 400 miles of trails and roads overall. So now we are headed home to Central New York; Cortland to be exact, just south of Syracuse. We will make it along the New York State Thruway in my Jeep Wrangler much faster than these folks did nearly 200 years ago when the Erie Canal first opened. We'll just have a few more sore muscles than they did after our 14 day bike tour along the Erie Canal.

I'm here to answer any questions you may have about biking the Erie Canalway Trail. We will have one of our usual trail guides out about it in 2016 if all goes well. But until then you can always contact me through my webpage at or via email at:


Day 13ish - On to Albany - 29 miles

At this point the days were a little fuzzy as we headed out on the final leg to Albany along the paved and very nice Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail. Great trail but hills and headwinds were the order of the day. Serious hills (the walking kind) around Knowles Atomic Power Lab coming out of Schenectady. Yet there was a perfectly flat old trail we could see along the river below. Yea, the terrorists won this round! But, undaunted we continued into Albany fighting a headwind most of the way, but we finally arrived at the Albany Basin on the Hudson River in downtown Albany. The sign said "Buffalo 360 miles" and pointed West. But only 145 miles to NY City if we wanted to continue South. Not today, thank you. 360+ miles has been enough for this summer. :-) It has been a GREAT experience, but we ARE tired. Wouldn't trade it even for a pot of gold!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 12 - Palatine to Schenectady 35ish miles

Well, my calculations said about 25 miles, but that was apparently "as the crow flies" and not the bike trail route. Great trail to Amsterdam and a nice lunch, right on the trail, at La Cucina Restaurant. No sign, but you'll see it at the parking area and there's a bike rack on the trail. Then several miles of Bike Route 5 along Route 5S. Yea, we hate road riding but we had to do it. In Rotterdam we picked up the Mohawk Hudson Bike Trail and cruised into the Rotterdam Kiwanis Park for a break. Then it was an easy paved trail ride into Scotia. Then a few city streets in Schenectady to our hotel in the Stockade section of Schenectady. A long, hot day but all's well that ends well.

Our Fan Club greeted us along the way

In the Stockade Section 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 11 - Herkimer to Palatine Bridge 30+ miles

After great tune-ups of our bikes at Dick's Wheel Shop in Herkimer, (Dick was VERY nice to us to get us on our way), we headed for Palatine Bridge, NY, across from Canajoharie. First stop was at the Herkimer Church and Fortress. Yes, by today's standards it is an oxymoron, but back then it served both purposes. A church with gun ports. A piece of history. That was the frontier at the time!
As we continued  along the trail we took shelter from thunderstorms at the Herkimer Home Historic Site and monument. and again at a lock along the way. Lockmasters are great!
Two miles from the Palatine Motel in Palatine Bridge - another flat tire. Walked it on in and changed yet another tire. Getting to be a habit. :-) Great hospitality at the Palatine Motel and all was good for the next day's outing to Schenectady.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 10 Rome to Herkimer - 30 miles

We hustled on this segment of mixed trails so we could be in Herkimer by 3 pm to catch a boat. We rushed past the Oriskany Battlefield from the Revolutionary War and past the City of Utica with its history of canal junctions, and on to Herkimer! With a wounded tire and some city streets in Utica, we made it, but not by much. Locked our bikes up and boarded the Erie Canal Cruises boat to tour the canal. We got the BIG boat even though there were only 34 of us on it. Then we cruised down the canal, past part of the Erie Canal "Navy", and "locked through" a 103 year old canal lock. All while having a beer on board. Life was good! Photos below.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 9 - Dewitt to Rome 40 miles

After a mere 202 miles from Buffalo through Syracuse, it was time to head east toward Albany for another 165 miles or so of bicycling. Why not?  :-)  We started in Dewitt, east of Syracuse, which is the start of the Old Erie Canal State Park, a 36 mile linear park along the old canal. Mostly stone dust trail all the way to Rome. (Rome is where they began the original canal because it was flat in both directions there.) Along the way are great Canal landmarks. Chittenango Landing - a restored dry dock, Canastota Canal Town Museum and the Erie Canal Village in Rome.
A long day, but a great ride. (Except for that flat tire in Poolsbrook which delayed us a bit. I hadn't changed a rear tire in almost 20 years. It took a while. :-) But we arrived in Rome, just a little later than scheduled.) Thank goodness for our headlights on the bikes!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 8 - Syracuse

About two miles past Sim's Store in Camillus, the Erie Canal Trail abruptly ends at Warners Road. From there it is roughly 13 miles through the City of Syracuse to Dewitt to pick up the Erie Canal Trail once again. The canal once continued into the City of Syracuse but somewhere along the way it got filled in and paved over and is now known as Erie Boulevard, a very busy thoroughfare. (Hey, we don't make this stuff up.) :-)  On a weekday the trek across the city is incredibly dangerous due to heavy traffic. So we decided to do it on a Sunday afternoon to minimize both traffic and risk. As always, we got lost in the city as we most always do, :-) but made it across to Dewitt in a couple of hours, stopping by the Erie Canal Museum, in downtown Syracuse, ON ERIE BOULEVARD! The museum  was once a "weighlock" stop where canal boats were weighed and taxed. Well worth the stop - On a Sunday!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day 7 - Weedsport to Camillus 20ish miles

This segment was mostly on stone dust trails. A great short ride. Historically it was all about "aqueducts" which took the Erie Canal OVER streams and rivers. In Jordan, NY we found a great artists mural on a wall in the town of the Jordan Aqueduct. Then it was on to Camillus, the half-way point of the original Erie Canal. A short stop at Sim's Store and then on to the fully restored 9 Mile Creek Aqueduct. On certain days, in season, you can actually take a boat ride that will take you over the 9 Mile Creek on this restored aqueduct. It is part of the Camillus Erie Canal Park at the end of your day's ride. Explore the aqueduct and then go back and spend some time at the restored Sim's Store.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 6 - Newark to Weedsport 35 miles

It was an on and off roads and trails early in the day. But upon getting to the Village of Clyde, about 1/2 way on the day's journey we stopped for lunch at The Little Barrel restaurant and broke out the maps. The dilemma was to take Bike Route 5 along busy Route 31, or take the recommended route along Tyre and Armitage roads through the countryside. We chose the country roads. But the map didn't show that the roads were up and down formidable hills. And, this being our 6th straight day of riding, we had to tough out those hills and then back to Bike Route 5 and into Montezuma. We toughed it out and got into Weedsport early evening ... very tired and very happy to see our hotel!!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 5 - Rochester to Newark - 39 miles

We normally dread going through urban environments, but the City of Rochester made it easy. We glided through the city with help from the signs shown here. Then it was just corn fields and country on both paved and stone dust trails, all the way to Newark.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 4 - Albion to Rochester West - 29 miles

As we passed eastward through Brockport and on to Spencerport, it was lunchtime. And there just happened to be a little Irish pub, just off the trail. Expecting rain, we asked the insurance company next door for permission to park our bikes under their overhang. Turns out the owner of  McColley's Pub was right there at the time. All went well. We dodged the storm, had a great sandwich and Irish brew. Then we headed onto western Rochester for the night.
Our bikes at the pub:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Day 3 - Lockport to Albion - 30 miles

On this day we traveled along the stone dust towpath trails along the old Erie Canal. We passed through the quaint little canal towns of Gasport, Middleport and Medina. Just east of Medina is the only road that actually passes UNDER the Erie Canal. (Photo below) It's old; and it leaks. :-) But fascinating. Then on to Knowlesville (Barrel-making town) and through Eagle Harbor and a night in Albion. Dinner with an Englishman we met on the trail who was on a 60 day bike tour across the United States and headed for Boston. It's all fun!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Day 2 - Lockport

After the Tonawandas we "hit the Roadways" for a few miles into Lockport. Lockport is a destination unto itself. There are the original, restored, "Flight of Five" locks that raised canal boats up to the level of the Niagara River. There is also the Erie Canal Discovery Center at 24 Church Street, an underground boat ride and this is a photo of a tour boat, "locking through" the modern day locks which raise boats about 50 feet between the two locks. It is well worth spending a day here before moving east on your next trek. At this point you have covered about 30 miles by bike.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 1.5 - The Tonawandas

On your way from Buffalo to Lockport you will pass through the Tonawandas Gateway. You will have passed scenic river views and well-maintained parks along the way.

Enjoy the views of the canal!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 1 - Buffalo

We started the day with a tour of Buffalo by water, just as they did in 1825. We boarded the Miss Buffalo II down at the harbor. In addition to a GREAT day with GREAT weather we toured the Buffalo harbor area with extensive history on how the Erie Canal turned Buffalo, NY from a sleepy little town into one of the biggest ports in the world, and opened up the Western part of the United States to immigration, settlement and the natural resources to be shared around the world. At 3 pm we mounted our bikes and headed for Tonawanda and Lockport - about a 30 mile bike ride.

Thanks for joining us on this 400 mile adventure.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On Our Way! Biking the Erie Canalway

This August my niece and I will be bicycling the Erie Canalway Trail across New York. It’s about 400 miles. We would like you and any friends to join us on the various segments of our journey. Ride a few miles with us, meet us at any given point or just be there with a phone number in case we need support.
I have attached the schedule of our “western segment” itinerary which starts August 1st in Buffalo. The various segments include:
Saturday, August 1st – Buffalo to Lockport
Sunday, August 2nd – Lockport to Albion
Monday, August 3rd – Albion to Western Rochester
Tuesday, August 4th – Rochester to Newark
Wednesday, August5th – Newark to Weedsport
Thursday, August 6th – Weedsport to Camillus

If you can join us in any way please drop me a note at: so we don’t miss you along the way. More info about our trip on our Blog at:
Best wishes and hope you can join us at some point,

Contact information:
Roger Fulton, Author of Safe in the Woods and many other outdoor titles.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A New Adventure - The Erie Canalway Trail

We are taking a bike ride this summer from Buffalo to Albany. It's only about 400 miles. And you are welcome to ride along with us, either physically on our schedule, or simply online as we Blog and explore. There is wonderful history along the way. Like, who even thought of digging a navigable ditch across New York State for 400 miles? In 1817. Insanity! Yet it was done and opened up the channels to the West. A fascinating story, and we intend to bring it to life as we retrace those historic steps.
Tune in here regularly and we will take you through both the history, as well as the modern day travels along this great route. We will start in Buffalo, NY on August 1st, but shall give you some insight and history before that. Stay tuned.