Category Archives: Erie Canal Trail

650 Riders Cycle the Erie Canal

The 2017 ride ended on July 16 for which some closing scenes appear below.

Mark your calendar for Parks & Trails NY 20th anniversary edition of the Cycle the Erie Canal tour.  It leaves Buffalo on Sunday, July 8, 2018 and arrives in Albany eight days later on Sunday, July 15.  See more about 2018 at https://www.ptny.org/events/annual-bike-tour    Registration opens January 2018.

To get an idea of each day’s opportunity, see the maps and cue sheets from 2017.

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Champlain Canalway Trail Annual Bicycle Ride – 8/20/17

The Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Champlain Canalway Trail Annual Bicycle Ride to be held on Sunday, August 20, 2017.

For details and to register, please visit https://www.bikereg.com/champlain-canalway-trail-annual-bicycle-ride. CCT Ride 8-20-17 A

The ride will begin at Hudson Crossing Park near Schuylerville, cross the Hudson River via the historic Dix Bridge, and proceed north to Fort Edward. There, the tour will pick up the Feeder Canal Trail to Murray Park in Hudson Falls, where lunch will be provided by Forged restaurant. Murray Park is adjacent to Jack & Jill’s Ice Cream.

After lunch, riders will backtrack to Lock 7 at Fort Edward, where they have the option of boarding the paddle-wheeler Caldwell Belle of Mohawk Maiden Cruises for the return to Hudson Crossing Park or biking back to the start.

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Along the way, the group will stop at various sites of historic interest, such as an old mule barn and the five combination locks on the Feeder Canal. The total distance of the basic daylong tour will be 20 to 30 miles depending on the option chosen. There also will be a 45- to 50-mile ride, with or without the cruise aboard Mohawk Maiden Cruises.

Lunch is included for those who register before August 15, and the first 30 registrants will receive a token from Common Roots Brewing Company for a beverage on a future visit.

For details and to register, please visit https://www.bikereg.com/champlain-canalway-trail-annual-bicycle-ride.

 

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“Towpath Tuesday” Pedals Off for 2017

After being rained out on its planned inaugural 2017 ride, the Bike Barn’s Meetup Group met on 4/11 for the “Towpath Tuesday’s” classic ride. The group met on Van Schaik Island Park and then headed north on the multiuse path toward Waterford. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We skirted the Barge Canal and then cut over to the Old Champlain Canal Trail and towpath. This beautiful, quiet path along original canal features ends at the old Lock#4 just across the canal from the Waterford Historical Society. (One can walk to the Society from this spot.)

Here the group paused for socializing and looking out over the expanse of the Mohawk River /Barge Canal toward Cohoes with views of the new Cohoes-Waterford Rt 32 bridge.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom here, it was back through Waterford, over the gates at Barge Canal lock #2 and then north along the Champlain Canal Trail. This area is filled with remnants and sites of the canal including the Weighlock and Lock #5. We turned around at the landfill at Momentive. (For those seeking an added reward, the trail continues on to Upper Newton Road in Mechanicsville. See https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/08/04/the-black-bridge-isnt/ and https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/08/04/the-black-bridge-isnt/ .

As darkness approached, we rode back along the canal, through Waterford, behind the Visitors Center and over the Bridge to Peoples Island and back to the Park. A highlight of this route is the new “pedestrian priority” traffic signals on the ever-busy Delaware Ave./Ontario St. (Rt 470 – Troy’s 112th St. ) intersection, Rather than making pedestrians wait for unending “all cars-all the time” light cycles, the walk light comes on as soon as the light changes from its current setting. Wouldn’t these be great on Central (Death) Ave.!

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A sad note at both the beginning and end of the trip was the removal of a copse of trees and the view of the Hudson replaced by an ugly apartment/condo complex – yuck!

 

 

Bike Barn Data – For your future reference:

  • 109 Remsen St.
  • Cohoes, NY 12047
  • bikebarncycles@gmail.com
  • (518)238-2453

Hours

  • Tuesday, Wednesday 10-6
  • Thursday, Friday 10-7
  • Saturday 10-5
  • Sunday, Monday CLOSED

Meetup group members receive a 5% store discount off regularly priced merchandise at Bike Barn Cycling & Fitness. Just mention that you are a Meetup.com member of this group. Riders can also have their bikes checked over at no charge up to 30 minutes prior to any ride. As always, helmets are required.

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Why Are You Waiting? – Ride the Erie Canalway Trail

Thanks to the New York Bicycle Coalition, Adventure Cycling Association featured the proposed Empire State Trail in its March 2017 Adventure Cyclist magazine. When the trail is completed, it will be probably be the longest, contiguous off-road bicycle facility in the United States. Out-of-state and out-of-country riders will flock to enjoy the Erie Canalway Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail to Canada.

Notably, Adventure Cycling represents itself as the country’s largest cycling membership non-profit organization (three times larger than the League of American Bicyclists), and all its members are focused on touring by bicycle. With the Governor’s recent Empire State Trail announcement and 2017 marking the first year of the eight-year Erie Canal Bicentennial Celebration, there’s no better time to head out on the Erie Canalway Trail than now. (Construction began on July 4, 1817 at Rome NY.)ptny-ect-jul-7-16-2017-card-blog-2-27-17

If you’re interested in experiencing the Erie Canalway Trail, consider participating in Parks & Trails New York’s 19th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour. This eight-day, fully-supported bicycle tour is a great option for cyclists looking to accomplishment a long-distance tour without the effort of carrying gear and preparing meals.

If you are hesitant about the on-road portions (most of which are not overly intimidating), you can analyze the entire trail on Parks & Trails New York’s interactive map .  This map uses the same technology as the Albany Bicycle Coalition’s BikeAlbanyMap.  On both of these, your recommended route will consist of Google Maps’s bicycle-preferred routes (when there are no trail or recommended street routes nearby) and segments of the trail or the recommended street routes.  You’ll always be “pulled onto” the best route for people on bicycles.

On the Parks & Trails New York map, look for the red (paved), magenta (stone dust) or purple (natural – packed earth) portions.  On these portions, you’ll enjoy the bliss of car-free travel – no horns, no hassle, no histrionics.  Thus you can select portions of the Erie Canalway Trail that are mostly or exclusively “off road.”  In all probability, the bicycle you now own is suited to the Trail.

If you are up for the full, 400-mile Cycle the Erie Canal tour between Buffalo-Albany on July 9-16, 2017, go to Parks & Trails New York’s website to register .  There are also two- and four-day options if you can’t do the entire eight days.

If you elect to ride all or some of the trail on a do-it-yourself tour, you’ll want to get the latest “Cycling the Erie Canal Guidebook” to use in addition to the (free) interactive Erie Canalway Trail map. The guide has 42 full-color maps, tips on planning your trip, information on lodging, attractions, and annual fairs, and festivals. Order from Parks & Trails New York for $24.95 plus tax & shipping or pick one up at your locally-owned book store.  While recently opened sections and improvements to the trial that are being made each year by the NYS Canal Corporation and local communities are not in the guidebook,  Parks & Trails New York’s online map is updated regularly.

Go to the Parks & Trails New York website to view the two-minute motivational video. You won’t regret taking the Erie Canalway Trail!

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Upcoming Key Dates

  • decades-of-mistakesCDTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee – Tue, 2/14/17, 9:00 AM, 1 Park Place, Albany NY 12205.
  • ABC Meeting – Thr, 2/23, 7:00 PM.

  • Empire State Trail Conference – Thr, 3/2 – More information to follow.

  • Earth Day Canal Clean Sweep – Fri-Sun, 4/21-23. Info here.

  • Explore the Erie Canalway Trail – Sat-Sun (9 days), 7/8-16. Info here.

  • NYBC “New York Bike Summit-Albany” – Fri, 9/15. Inaugural New York Bike Summit. One-day event on accelerating progress on bicycle, pedestrian, and active transportation activity. Call for workshop proposals.  Info here.

    enjoy-cycling

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