Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour - Registration opens Jan. 4, 2023
Parks & Trails New York's 25th Annual Bike Tour
Join us for Cycle the Erie Canal 2023 – our 25th anniversary tour!
July 9-16, 2023
Every summer, cyclists leave their cars behind in Buffalo to pedal along the historic Erie Canalway Trail to Albany for Parks & Trails New York’s annual Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour.
The 400-mile journey along the legendary Erie Canal ends in Albany eight days later. Along the way, cyclists enjoy some of the finest scenery, most interesting history, and unparalleled cycling in the United States.
Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 85 percent complete and the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.
What a ride! I have never visited New York and I have never been on a supported bike ride. PTNY has built a reputation of 1st class support that is impossible to beat. In the 400 miles and 8 days of this ride, countless volunteers provided OUTSTANDING support to the riders, and I gained many new friendships. I also learned some important history and understanding. Thank you PTNY. If you have a dream of seeing real America, do it on a bicycle and cherish the experience! PTNY will help you do it.
--2021 Cycle the Erie Canal rider
Are you interested in joining us on a future tour? Keep in touch with us by joining the Cycle the Erie Canal mailing list:
The route follows the legendary Erie Canal passing locks and aqueducts and winding through historic villages and rural farmlands. Learn more about each day's route with our interactive maps.
Riders cover about 50 miles a day on 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.
- Indoor and outdoor camping accommodations
- 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
- 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.
The free Rider Handbook offers everything you need to prepare!
The Cycle the Erie Canal Rider Handbook is a free, downloadable 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.
Stay connected to receive the latest info
- Receive exclusive updates by email. Sign up for our Cycle the Erie Canal Tour email list
- Stay connected during and after the tour by joining the official Cycle the Erie Canal Facebook Group
Learn how you can get a discount on your registration
Become a member
Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide not-for-profit organization working to expand, 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!
This event is funded in part through the generous support of the
NYS Canal Corporation and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.