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Empire State Trail - spring '22

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Empire State Trail - spring '22

Old 12-08-21, 01:14 PM
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a_d_a_m
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Empire State Trail - spring '22

Hello all.

Just did my first bike tour this year by completing the Ohio To Erie Trail. Had a good time mostly and decided I want to try a different one for '22. Looking at places near-ish me that would potentially be within my skill level, I came up with the idea of doing the Empire State Trail from Buffalo to Albany. I have a friend on Grand Island so I can leave a car and pedal to Albany, then ride Amtrak back.

Wondering if anyone has any input about the trip in general or my basic itinerary as noted below?

Thanks in advance!

Day 1, drive from Cleveland -> Grand Island -> Lockport: 27mi pedaled
Day 2, Lockport -> Rochester: 64mi
Day 3, Rochester -> Newark: 34mi
Day 4, Newark ->Syracuse: 58mi
Day 5, Syracuse -> Rome: 48mi
Day 6, Rome -> Little Falls: 37mi
Day 7, Little Falls -> Amsterdam: 42mi
Day 8, Amsterdam -> Albany: 47mi
Day 9, Amtrak Albany -> Buffalo -> Grand Island -> home to Cleveland: 15mi pedaled


I am riding with three co-workers so we are erring on the side of caution and doing a longer trip. Initially, I had this set for 7 days start to finish including travel from Ohio.
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Old 12-08-21, 02:40 PM
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FYI, It appears you will have to box bikes from Albany as Amtrak's website says trainside checked service is not available to/from Albany. But it could be wrong.
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Old 12-08-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
FYI, It appears you will have to box bikes from Albany as Amtrak's website says trainside checked service is not available to/from Albany. But it could be wrong.
The 10am Maple Leaf and the 1pm Empire Service trains both show bicycle carry-on available via the Amtrak website.
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Old 12-08-21, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
The 10am Maple Leaf and the 1pm Empire Service trains both show bicycle carry-on available via the Amtrak website.
Thatís good. Those options didnít come up when I tried it. Think it was user error.

BTWÖItís been over two decades since I rode from Lockport to a bit east of Rochester before turning north to the lake. We stayed indoors at Brockport. Canít remember where it falls along your route, but if it works it might make a nice lunch stop. Itís a college town (SUNY) so there is stuff going on there. We stayed in dorm rooms that night.

Last edited by indyfabz; 12-08-21 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-08-21, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Thatís good. Those options didnít come up when I tried it. Think it was user error.
It doesn't come up until you enter your name/address/etc; then it sends you through for add-ons like bikes and pets.
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Old 12-08-21, 07:22 PM
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When I rode the Canal Towpath a couple of years ago, I found the Western part much nicer than the Eastern. The new guidebook may be better. The detour to Seneca Falls is worthwhile. With three people, it might be cost effective to do a one way car rental from Albany airport.
Have fun.
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Old 12-09-21, 07:17 AM
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That itinerary looks doable. It is a good trip. We did it last spring but continued to Manhattan to complete the Empire Trail.
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Old 12-09-21, 07:19 AM
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Sounds doable
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Old 12-09-21, 11:10 AM
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When I rode the Erie this Summer, I put my bike on in Albany and got off at Depew Station near my hotel.
Think go can get off at Exchange St too in Buffalo
Remove front wheel and hang. If you get a business class seat, free soft drinks and softer chairs
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Old 12-09-21, 11:31 AM
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If there are four of you and if there is a limit on how many bike spaces there are on the train, the early bird gets the bike reservations.
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Old 12-10-21, 10:53 AM
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When I did my Rochester to Boston (via the Erie Canal to Troy) tour this Sept Amtrak still had no bike carrying on some of the routes they had offered that before. I would have had to route through NYC, which I wasn't about to do. I ended up renting a car and drove home at a cost of about $120.

What time of the year are you think of? Know that some of the canal trail is along closed off remnants of the canal that are now mosquito breading "hotels". I began to count the amount of time after I would stop before the bugs became too much to tolerate. The worst spots were about 30 seconds.

If you haven't seen this route planning aid you should check it out. Andy

Erie Canal Bike Trail (bikeeriecanal.com)
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Old 12-10-21, 03:41 PM
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another rental option that some use. rent a uhaul truck and throw the bike in the back.
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Old 12-12-21, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts and input, y'all. I will consider it as we continue planning.

Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
What time of the year are you think of?
Late May.
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Old 12-12-21, 11:37 AM
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I'm planning a trip on the Erie canal this summer and have been stuck on the same problem. Starting in Philly, I had pretty much decided to have my bike shipped to Buffalo and from Albany, then take the train -- and thinking of renting a car was such a "d'oh!" moment. The major car rental places will rent a pickup truck one-way, which is all I need. Thanks for the idea, jpjuggler
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Old 12-13-21, 06:26 AM
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We rented an SUV and threw our tandem bike (uncoupled) in the back and drove to Buffalo. When we finished in NYC we rented another SUV and drove home to Maine
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Old 12-14-21, 01:45 PM
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I'm not finding any car rental options that are cheaper or more convenient than the Amtrak right now. With Amtrak, we just get on right near the trail, and then it's a short ride back to our cars once in Buffalo. No rental car to return anywhere and no gas to pay for.
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