Parks & Trails New York's Cycle the Erie Canal

18th Annual Bike Tour Buffalo to Albany July 10 – 17, 2016

Join cyclists from across the country and around the world for Parks & Trails New York's 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, Pittsford, 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

What if I can't do the full 8 Days?

If you can't commit to the full 8-day tour, there are two different 2-day and 4-day ride options available.

If you register for our 2-day or 4-day options, you must make your own arrangements for transportation to and from the tour. All options include dinner and camping accommodations the night before.


  • Buffalo to Pittsford, July 10-11: This option begins in Buffalo and ends in Pittsford. Riders should arrive in Buffalo for an overnight on the evening of July 9.
  • Canajoharie to Albany, July 16-17: This option begins in Canajoharie and ends in Albany. Riders should arrive in Canajoharie for an overnight on the evening of July 15. Parking is available both in Canajoharie and Albany.


  • Buffalo to Syracuse, July 10-13: This option begins in Buffalo and ends in Syracuse. Riders should arrive in Buffalo for an overnight on the evening of July 9. Parking is available in Buffalo. If you would like to park in Syracuse you will have to make your own arrangements - visit for more information about parking in Syracuse.
  • Syracuse to Albany, July 14-17: This option begins in Syracuse and ends in Albany. Riders should arrive for an overnight in Syracuse on the evening of July 13. Parking is available in Albany. If you would like to park in Syracuse, you will have to make your own arrangements - visit

Can I purchase official merchandise?

You will be able to purchase official Cycle the Erie Canal merchandise after you submit your registration through a special link that does not charge shipping to bike tour registrants. Note: jersey's are only available for pick up at the beginning of the bike tour and pint glasses are only available for pick up at the end of the bike tour: The following items are available:


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.

Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazers are a group of individuals who believe in the vision of a completed Erie Canalway Trail… and are ready to help make it a reality.

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 and receive exclusive member benefits, including a discount on this year's bike tour:

  • $35 members get $15 off
  • $50 members get $25 off
  • $100 members get $50 off
  • $250 members get $100 off
  • $500 members get $200 off

Volunteer on the Ride

Both riders and non-riding participants can volunteer to help out during the ride. Volunteers who commit to the entire tour ride for free. Time commitments are detailed here. There are many volunteer possibilities available, including SAG and luggage truck drivers, rest stop help, route marking and more!

Check out the new positions for 2016. Applications will be accepted until the ride starts.

What is your cancellation policy?

Refunds, less a cancellation fee, will be issued with a written request if received by June 22. After that only credits for future tours will be issued, less a cancellation fee, with a written request if received by July 2. No refunds and no changes for jersey orders or shuttle after June 22. Cancellation fee is $90 before June 10 and increases to $140 on June 10.

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors and tourism partners

Premier State Sponsor


Heritage Sponsor


Supporting Sponsors



Event Sponsors







Tourism Sponsors