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!