Rome: The Birthplace of the Erie Canal


Commemorated as the city where the first shovel of dirt was turned for the construction of the Erie Canal, Rome is a city full of cultural, natural, and historic gems. Explore the small businesses and artwork in the Arts District on West Dominick Street, Fort Stanwix National Monument and surrounding historic districts, and the different openspace and greenway networks that Rome has to offer.

Why visit Rome?

  • Fort Stanwix National Monument: Known as “the fort that never surrendered”, Fort Stanwix is a colonial fort that was first built in the 1750s to guard the Oneida Carrying Place, a key trading route. Now part of the National Park Service as a National Monument, the Fort serves as a place to learn about the history and culture surrounding the Fort during its time of use and its relevance to American history.
  • Capitol Theatre: The Capitol Theatre remains the only building in Rome constructed for the specific purpose of exhibiting motion pictures. Although the theatre received an Art Deco face-lift in 1939, the auditorium is configured exactly as it was in 1928, and much of the original decor remains. In addition to motion pictures, the theatre hosts musical performances and other performing arts productions year round.
  • Mohawk River Trail: The Mohawk River Trail (MRT) connects Rome’s waterfront with historical sites, commercial districts, public services, local schools, city parks, the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, and residential neighborhoods, all while offering a unique multi-use trail recreational experience. The trail offers excellent scenic vistas of the Mohawk River and connects multiple greenways.
  • Griffiss International Sculpture Garden and Nature Trail: Art at Griffiss opens the door to nature, sculpture, and biodiversity, all in your own backyard. Take advantage of Central New York’s premier art park by using the Sculpture Garden App to learn about world-renown artists, plant and animal life, and other amenities.

Interactive Map

Parking & Trail Access

  • Park at City Hall (198 W Washington St) or any public parking lot downtown (see map) and access the trail via West Dominick Street.
  • Park at Gryziec Field and access the trail via James Street.
  • Park at Bellamy Harbor Park (139 Whitesboro Street) which has parking lots on either side of Mill Street
  • Park at the Rome Oriskany Trailhead, Rome Oriskany Road, east of the Rt 49 on ramp.

Visitor Information

  • Marinus Willett Visitor Center at Fort Stanwix National Monument (100 N James St; Wednesday-Sunday 9am-5pm, hours vary slightly on the season). The Visitor Center includes information about the Fort as well as nearby events and attractions. Public restrooms are available. Bike fix-it station and pump available outside.
  • Rome Chamber of Commerce (139 W. Dominick St; Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) information on businesses and events
  • Rome City Hall (198 N Washington St; Monday- Friday 8:30am-4:30pm) information on local organizations and events, public restrooms
  • Jervis Public Library (613 N Washington St; Monday-Thursday 8:30am-8:30pm and Friday 8:30am-5:30pm) Information about the City, computers, printers, wifi, public restrooms
  • Navigation Center at Bellamy Harbor Park has public showers and restrooms open during the canal navigation season.

Events & Festivals

  • Honor America Days (Last weekend in July): A patriotic annual summer festival that includes a 5K road race, a parade, a carnival at Franklyn's Field, ending with a symphony concert and fireworks display at the Fort Stanwix National Monument
  • Canalfest (first Saturday in August): A family friendly festival at along the canal at Bellamy Harbor Park with a fishing derby, kids races, giant inflatables, rides, and festival games
  • Capitolfest (second weekend in August): The Capitol Theatre's summertime silent and early-talkie film festival
  • Copper City Brewing Concert Series (throughout the summer): Located at Haselton-Wright Park, enjoy live music, food trucks, craft beer. Check the City's Facebook page for a schedule.
  • Summer Outdoor Movie Series (throughout the summer): Family friendly movies shown outdoors at our parks during the summer. Check the City's Facebook page for a schedule.

Trail Town Partners