Cycle the Erie Canal 18th Annual Bike Tour

July 10 – 17, 2016 Buffalo to Albany

Join cyclists from across the country and around the world for the 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour. Enjoy beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and a one-of-a-kind cycling experience on this fully supported eight-day ride across New York between Buffalo and Albany. Along the way, learn about the people, places, and events that shaped the Erie Canal and its vital role in American history. Cycle the Erie Canal attracts riders of all ages and abilities, from beginners and families to experienced cyclists. Two- and four-night options available.

The route

The route follows the legendary Erie Canal, passing locks and aqueducts and winding through historic villages and rural farmlands.

The terrain

Riders cover about 50 miles a day on safe, mostly flat terrain. About 75% of the ride is on the off-road Canalway Trail, with the remainder on public roadways with good shoulders. Most days, the route follows the canal along level ground, although there are some rolling hills and two long, gradual climbs in the Mohawk Valley.


Riders stay overnight in Buffalo, Medina, Fairport, Seneca Falls, Syracuse, Rome, Canajoharie, and Schenectady at colorful tent cities. A variety of lodging and amenities are also available, from national hotel chains to bed and breakfasts. Rental and set up of tents and air mattresses is available from Comfy Campers.

What's included?

  • Camping accommodations every evening with showers and toilet facilities. Some campsites include pools or lakes for swimming.
  • Eight hearty breakfasts and six delicious dinners
  • Two daily refreshment stops, stocked with fruit, snacks and beverages
  • Evening entertainment, including music and historical presentations
  • Guided tours of the Canal, historic sites, museums, and other attractions, including the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, Erie Canal Museum and Village, Fort Stanwix National Monument, and a boat tour through the Lockport locks
  • Kick-off reception and end-of-tour celebration
  • Cycle the Erie Canal t-shirt and water bottle
  • Baggage transport
  • SAG wagon and mobile mechanical support
  • Daily maps and cue sheets
  • Painted and arrowed routes
  • Pre-departure info packet, including training tips
  • Recognition as a Cycle the Erie Canal End-to-Ender
  • Amenities (for an additional fee) including fresh daily towels, gourmet morning coffee, tent and air mattress rental and set up, and evening massage

The free Rider Handbook offers everything you need to prepare!

The Cycle the Erie Canal Rider Handbook is a free, comprehensive guide to the tour. It includes everything you need to know about the ride: training and gear; travel and registration; daily itineraries and meals. This convenient resource is the go-to guide for planning and participating in the ride.

Learn how you can get a discount on your registration

Become a Trailblazer

Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and fundraise to help PTNY Close the Gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail! Registration is only $100 and includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour.

Become a member

Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide not-for-profit organization working to create, protect, and promote parks and trails in New York State including the Erie Canalway Trail. Become a member of Parks & Trails New York and receive exclusive member benefits, including a discount on this year's Cycle the Erie Canal Annual Bike Tour registration!

Volunteer on the Ride

Riders and drivers who volunteer enjoy a discounted registration fee. Volunteer riders are able to cycle part of the time. Volunteer roles include SAG and luggage truck drivers, rest stop help, route supervisors, route checking, and more.

Purchase the official Erie Canal guidebook to bring along on the Tour

Cycling the Erie Canal: A Guide to 400 miles of adventure and history along the Erie Canalway Trail is packed with information about bicycling and sightseeing along the Erie Canal. This handy, spiral-bound, 144-page guidebook features full-color maps and detailed descriptions of what to see and do along the way. Many riders use the book to chronicle their ride. Order a copy on your bike tour registration form or click here to order.

Thank you to our 2015 sponsors and tourism partners

Premier State Sponsor


Heritage Sponsor


Supporting Sponsors






Tourism Sponsors