Category Archives: Erie Canal Trail

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.


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Filed under Activisim, Erie Canal Trail, Events

SEBL Funded! Construction of the City of Albany South End Bikeway

Alert Cyclist Mark informs us as follows:

The State’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards for 2016 includes (page 81, middle of the page, project #627184) $325,000 toward design and construction of the South End Bikeway Link. It is described as a “two-way, Separated Bike Lane, also known as a cycle track, extending along the east (ED: river/port/RR) side of South Pearl Street where sidewalks exist.” The Times Union story is here.

The full project (with editorial corrections) is as follows: The City of Albany will design and construct the South End Multi-Use Trail, located in the South Waterfront District, that will link the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail to the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail/Erie Canalway Trail, filling a gap in a more than 360-mile multi-use trail network. The proposed treatment is a two-way, Separated Bike Lane, also known as a cycle track, extending along the east side of South Pearl Street where sidewalks exist.

The funding of the South End Bikeway Link is perfectly timed with the pending completion of the Corning Riverfront Park Protected Bicycle Lanes and the other amenities as well as with completion of ABC’s BikeAlbanyMap. The three projects now provide people on bicycles with many options for safely and efficiently transporting themselves around the city and region.



Building the ACHHRT






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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Bike Lanes, Corning Riverfront Park, Erie Canal Trail

The Black Bridge and Beyond

[Update 6-21-21]

If you’ve taken the Black Bridge (or some other) route to Waterford (see earlier post), you’re in for a pleasant (but unusual) treat if you use it as your starting point to explore the Champlain Canal Trail north toward Mechanicville.


Hee Haw

After riding from the Black Bridge along the bikeway and after crossing from Peebles Island into Waterford, turn left/west of 2nd St. onto Broad St. (10.9 miles from the Row Center at the Corning Riverfront Park). Pass four streets on your right and come to the old Champlain Canal (11.1 miles from the Row Center). If you’re on 700X25 tires, lock up and take a nice walk up the canal towpath. If you are on wider tires, take the towpath (you’ll cross Division St., the only intersection in this area) past the foundations of the Weigh Lock and then those of Lock #5 and dry dock about 1.5 miles to the landfill and Momentive Performance Materials industrial complex (12.7 miles from the Row Center). The northerly path then continues on to Mechanicville.


What’s comin’ outta those pipes?


Momentive Monolith

But where is that path?

As you cruise over the landfill (with its ominous ventilators spewing forth God knows what) toward the fencing, you think that you’re in Gitmo with no way out. (The landfill covers the Old Champlain Canal – so guess where the leakage goes?) But as you get to the end where it appears that you are completely fenced in, you’ll spot a narrow, deeply rutted path leading down to the right (easterly) through the tall weeds and grass. After a tick check at the bottom, remount and head on a winding, unmarked  narrow paved road (Google says cross Clute St. onto Bells Lane North which changes into School House Lane). Notice up and to your left the original towpath that is inaccessible at present. Lo and behold, where the unmarked Schoolhouse Lane bears left at 13.4 miles from the Row Center and 2.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll come to the Half Moon Trail skirting the old Champlain Canal on your left.

The Half Moon Trail is a nice ride on hard-packed stone dust. At “high noon,” there is no shade, so choose your ride time accordingly if it’s hot hot hot. A curious feature of the trail is frequent “Hazard – 100 Feet Ahead,” “Hazard – Keep Left,” or just plain “Hazard” signs. After expecting an alligator or two to rise from the canal, it seems that these signs are to alert trail users to the utility poles along the side if the trail. Those lawyers in Hal Moon must be looking for something to do…

[Update 6-21-21]

Not to be missed is Champlain Canal Lock #7. Not only is there a well preserved lock with appropriate historical signage but a “waste water weir” to release excess canal water into McDonald Creek.  The towpath crosses the creek chasm on a stone arch with the creek being channeled UNDERNEATH the canal in a large culvert.   Lock 7, also known as Flynn’s Lock, was built about 1862 in the Town of Halfmoon.


The North End Trail HeadAlong the trial, watch for historical markers and remnants of the 200-year-old canal and later railroad structures. Cross Brookwood Rd., Lower Newton Rd., and an unmarked gravel pit road.  At 16.4 miles from the Row Center and 5.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll arrive at a trail head with parking for 4-5 cars, no hint of where you are, and stick-on letters on a utility pole saying “1 Mechan School” (20 Upper Newton Rd. according to the Town website). Just across the road is a barricade across the trail, which at this point is just grass, weeds, and brush leading on to Lock #8 and Mechanicville – clearly unrideable. There must be a plan here …


Future Plans?

Time to turn around and enjoy the peaceful, quite trail back to Waterford to continue learning about “Canal Days.”


A peaceful ride back to Waterford…

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Filed under A Ride For You, Black Bridge, Erie Canal Trail, Rail Trail, Rides

Champlain Canalway Bicycle Tour – Sun, 8/14 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

5th Champlain Canalway Trail Bicycle Tour REGISTRATION OPEN!

Sunday, August 14 – Start: 9:00 am – Return: 4:00 pm – This year’s tour will begin at Hudson Crossing Park near Lock 5 just north of Schuylerville. It will then proceed through villages and countryside to Saratoga National Historical Park, with stops at selected significant historical landmarks related to the 1777 Revolutionary War campaign. Expert historians at each stop will introduce cyclists to local historical events that led to the Battles of Saratoga and changed the course of the war and our nation’s destiny.

Riders may return via the Caldwell Belle on the Hudson River or simply bicycle back to the start.

 Info and registration, here.

CCTour 2012 ~ 7-18-16


The annual ride is presented by the Champlain Canalway Trail (CCT) Working Group in collaboration with the Saratoga National Historical Park, Hudson Crossing Park, Lakes to Locks Passage, Mohawk Maiden Cruises, and Akiba Travel. The ride shows the efforts to complete the Champlain Canalway Trail, a 62-mile multi-use path along the Hudson River and old or current Champlain Canal. The canal links the Erie Canal in Waterford with Lake Champlain in Whitehall and connects the communities in between. The trail is presently about 25 percent open for use. The CCT Working Group is a coalition of municipalities, counties, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations promoting the development and enjoyment of the trail. A percentage of the proceeds will go to Hudson Crossing Park to be used to advance the building of the Champlain Canalway Trail.

CCTour Talk 7-18-16

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Cycle the Erie Canal Finish Line Volunteers

Parks & Trails NY is looking for VOLUNTEERS for this year’s Cycle the Erie Canal Finish Line Celebration – Sunday, July 17, Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Quackenbush Square. Arrive at 9:00 AM – instructions and setup. If possible, please stay until at least 1:30 PM. If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know by July 5.


The Erie Canalway Trail is a cycling destination that spans New York State, following one of the world’s most famous manmade waterways. Cycle the Erie Canal is an annual 8-day bike tour from Buffalo to Albany. Riders of all ages, from all over the country, travel across New York for a one-of-a-kind experience. And they all finish in Downtown Albany!

Be a part of a major Downtown event, welcome and celebrate with visitors coming to our City, support and promote ridership in Albany, and have some fun with your friends, neighbors, and guests.

Don’t forget, YOU help make this Finish Line a celebration… enjoy area restaurants (Albany Pump Station, the Olde English Pub), local food trucks, and live music!

Please arrive at 9:00 AM for instructions and setup. We understand you may not be able to stay all day, but it would be helpful if volunteers could stay until at least 1:30 PM.

If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know by July 5.

More about the Tour – here.

PTNY has the following volunteer needs for this year’s Cycle the Erie Canal Finish Line Celebration, which will occur on Sunday, July 17 at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center at Quackenbush Square. Undoubtedly, we’ll have a few riders who come in early, but the finish line doesn’t officially open until after 10 AM. However, we’d like all volunteers there at 9:00 AM to help setup. It would be helpful if volunteers could stay until at least 1:30.

Interested volunteers should let us know by July 5.

Primary Volunteer Needs:

Bike Parking Assistant: NEED 1  (Description: Assist riders in parking bikes in bike corral; monitor corral)

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Shuttle Registration Assistant: NEED 1   (Description: Assist PTNY staff with shuttle registration, handing out shuttle tickets, and directing riders to bike loading and shuttle luggage staging areas)

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

 Information Table Assistant: NEED 1  (Description: Assist PTNY staff in distributing general information – including directions for shuttle, bike shipping, shower and train station locations, and other services)

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Route Assistants: NEED 5  (Description: Direct riders from the terminus of the Erie Canalway Trail at the boat launch in Corning Riverfront Park to the finish line at Quackenbush Square via an on-road connection; volunteers will be placed at multiple intersections and turns along the road route; volunteers may want to arrive on bike to be able to be able to reach their locations more quickly)

9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Parking Lot Assistant: NEED 1  (Description: Assist PTNY in managing traffic flow through parking area at rear of Visitor’s Center) 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Floater: NEED 1  (Description: Various tasks as needed in coordination with PTNY staff) 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Other Volunteer Needs:

Welcome/Cheer Section: NEED 5  (Description: Welcome and cheer cyclists and they approach finish line at Albany Visitor Center at Quackenbush Square) 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

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Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Volunteer