Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Erie Canal Tour

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Erie Canal Tour

Old 03-16-17, 07:07 PM
  #1  
StoneFence
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 58

Bikes: Jamis Satellite Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Erie Canal Tour

Has anyone ever done this? There is a supported, 8 day ride in July. I'm sure it can be done without the support, if you have experience planning this type of stuff. It's not in the cards for this year, but it sounds really nifty.

Thanks for any input!
StoneFence is offline  
Old 03-16-17, 07:31 PM
  #2  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 30,276
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13305 Post(s)
Liked 5,944 Times in 3,049 Posts
Check out Adventure Cycling Association's forum. IIRC, there is a thread about the organized tour.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 03-16-17, 07:57 PM
  #3  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3391 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
I have done part of the route. I will likely never do it again as I was bored out of my mind. I it is basically one long boring ditch.

Only two conditions I would do it again.

1. A supported tour with a historian. I can imagine that would be interesting as I will bet there are a lot of stories to be told about life on the canal.

2. Spend more time in each of the little towns along the way. They truly are wonderful and well worth exploring.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 03-16-17, 08:27 PM
  #4  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,258
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 708 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I have done part of the route. I will likely never do it again as I was bored out of my mind. I it is basically one long boring ditch.

Only two conditions I would do it again.

1. A supported tour with a historian. I can imagine that would be interesting as I will bet there are a lot of stories to be told about life on the canal.

2. Spend more time in each of the little towns along the way. They truly are wonderful and well worth exploring.
Heh.

I'm thinking about riding in the Canal area this year, and recently collected a bunch of web links--see below.

But yeah, without actually having ridden it, the trail does appear to just follow the canal, with a narrow strip of trees alongside on a lot of it. I think I'd rather take a road bike and ride in the area, hitting some of the interesting towns along the way.

Lockport looks interesting, with canal locks and museums.
I've been through Geneva and Seneca Falls, both are well worth a visit. The old cut stone masonry of all the warehouse and factory buildings is interesting.
And I'd like to visit the south end of the Finger Lakes region, too.
I haven't even looked at Rochester NY yet, but there's got to be lots to do there.

Cycle The Erie Canal supported ride
It's about 50 miles a day.
The Itinerary page lists a lot of things to see and do along the route. So it's useful even if you are doing your own route.

Canalway
The cycling Interactive Map is useful, showing which parts of the trail are paved, and local "starred" features as you zoom in.

Here's the Canalway web site page on locks and bridges.
It looks like the small sections of original canal are the most interesting, but there's not much left.
There are abandoned locks in SW Ohio, make from large blocks of cut limestone. Locks are cool.

The Canalway links to nearby loop routes that look good, on their cycling page.

Strava Heat Map
Here's the western end, near Lockport--click Toggle Labels to see the town and road names. The dark red lines are the most popular roads/trails for cyclists, based on a year of GPS ride uploads to Strava. And I also use it to avoid the faint blue roads near red roads--those are often busy roads.

The canal trail shows up clearly, NE out of Lockport, for instance. But there's a lot of other roads in the area that would be nice riding.


Google Maps
on the left side menu, select Bicycling and select Earth, to see the trail in solid green:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
canalway.JPG (94.8 KB, 106 views)

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-16-17 at 08:43 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 03-16-17, 11:28 PM
  #5  
MAK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,569

Bikes: Yes, I have bikes.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 220 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 45 Posts
I did the supported ride a few years ago and it was a great ride. It was very organized. Excellent breakfast every morning and +/-5 great dinners. A few were huge barbeques put on by the towns. Every morning a local gave a talk about the area's history during breakfast. People were friendly and I'm considering it for this July again.
MAK is offline  
Old 03-17-17, 07:08 AM
  #6  
DCwom
Senior Member
 
DCwom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 408

Bikes: Burley Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by StoneFence View Post
Has anyone ever done this? There is a supported, 8 day ride in July. I'm sure it can be done without the support, if you have experience planning this type of stuff. It's not in the cards for this year, but it sounds really nifty.

Thanks for any input!
Yes, we did the Erie canal in two summers.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ErieCanalWest2010

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/8220

We intentionally overlapped with the PNY organized ride you are referring to just to have more company on the trail. Its easy to plan your own ride, we used B&Bs & hotels which takes a little more planning, but is still easy. I enjoyed riding the canal, but some find it boring, it depends on what you like. I did find that some of the small towns are rather dead, depending on how close they are to the nearest Walmart I guess.

If you don't mind camping after a day of riding, then I'd say go with the tour, it sounds like a lot of fun with a group of people. We met a number of the folks on the tour at the B&Bs who alternated between camping & lodging.
DCwom is offline  
Old 03-17-17, 07:18 AM
  #7  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,145

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 453 Post(s)
Liked 185 Times in 145 Posts
I rode a section of the Canal on my Northern Tier tour, self-supported. I loved it. I specifically enjoyed camping in one of the formal campgrounds with some boaters. The restroom was cleaner than many motel rooms I've stayed at. I was also surprised to see Joseph Smith's farmhouse, the one he mortgaged to publish the Book of Mormon, in Palmyra. I was expecting a boring, buggy ditch, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Sorry I can't help with logistics as it was just part of a longer ride, but from what I saw it's worth doing.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 03-17-17, 08:14 AM
  #8  
motorapido
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: harrisburg, pennsylvania
Posts: 351

Bikes: 1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour, tricked out with modern components. Shimano Alfine 11 internal gear hub. Dynamo hub. Titanium racks and bottle cages. Mercier Kilo Wide Tire dropbar singlespeed

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 1 Post
Erie canal thoughts

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I have done part of the route. I will likely never do it again as I was bored out of my mind. I it is basically one long boring ditch.

Only two conditions I would do it again.

1. A supported tour with a historian. I can imagine that would be interesting as I will bet there are a lot of stories to be told about life on the canal.

2. Spend more time in each of the little towns along the way. They truly are wonderful and well worth exploring.
Good suggestions. I rode the entire Buffalo to Albany route with a detour to Niagara falls, Canada side, in 2015. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but as this quoted reply says, it can be boring compared to other bike trails. An organized tour (I rode solo) would probably include interesting commentary from leaders. I,too, would like to return to many of the small towns and spend more time putzing around them. Little towns along the route are very pretty. The trail is very nice and the road sections very safe, with very wide, clean shoulders. Camping options are very limited unless stealth camping or sweet talking property owners into allowing you to camp.
motorapido is offline  
Old 03-17-17, 07:03 PM
  #9  
StoneFence
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 58

Bikes: Jamis Satellite Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Erie Canal is my backyard

Originally I'm from Rochester and now I live near Albany. I travel along the canal to visit family. I thought I would like a closer look at the canal and the towns around it.
StoneFence is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Bezalel
Great Lakes
10
07-24-21 04:43 AM
mohamilton
Great Lakes
7
01-18-18 11:02 AM
gauvins
Touring
11
08-20-17 02:12 PM
coupster
Touring
2
02-26-17 09:16 PM
BigBlueToe
Touring
17
11-16-12 02:37 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.