Outstanding Bicycling & Sightseeing
Outstanding bicycling and sightseeing await you along the Erie Canal. Experience lively canal towns and scenic rural landscapes. The trail between Buffalo and Albany follows along sections of the active canal and ventures into canal-side communities and historic districts. While many decide to cycle the entire 360-mile trail in one trip, some prefer to take shorter trips consisting of just a few days. If you're short on time but still want to get out and enjoy a great long weekend on the trail, don't worry, we've put together two three-day itineraries packed with great entertainment, dining, sightseeing, and of course, cycling. Choose from one of the following itineraries to plan a wonderful weekend out on the Erie Canalway Trail.
Don't forget to use our interactive map for a more detailed view of the routes and attractions listed in these itineraries, including route detours, trail surfaces, and attraction listings. Because it's mobile optimized, you can also bring it out on the trail with you via a smartphone or tablet.
Little Falls to Albany
The trail between Little Falls and Albany follows along sections of the active canal and ventures into canal-side communities and historic districts. You will see more locks during this three-day journey than along any other segment of the Erie Canalway Trail. Visible are modern locks 1-17, seven enlarged Erie Canal locks, a Clinton’s Ditch lock and a Champlain Canal side-cut lock in Waterford.
Views of several aqueducts and the Big and Little Noses along the Mohawk River will provide ample photo opportunities. Military buffs can visit historic sites from the Revolutionary and French and Indian Wars. Those interested in places honoring Native American culture and religious martyrdom will also be pleased with the rich and varied heritage found in this part of New York State. Rare geological formations and local Erie Canal history are plentiful throughout the ride. Forts, museums, shrines, art galleries, waterfalls, state parks and great shopping opportunities line the way for an outstanding three-day adventure.
Lockport to Lyons
The Trail between Lockport and Lyons follows alongside the active Canal the entire way. This part of the Canal is steeped in history, including active and abandoned canal locks, 16 lift bridges, unique sandstone and cobblestone buildings, and a variety of 19th century architectural styles. Museums along the way bring canal history to life and tour boats offer a chance to experience the canal from a different perspective. Recently, many communities have painted murals on the sides of buildings or other public infrastructure to celebrate their history through community art. Many of the murals are canal-themed.
Set your own pace on this self-guided tour. Stop at an interesting historic site, visit a museum, linger over a cup of coffee, or simply relax on the banks of the Canal. This three-day itinerary is described from west to east, starting in Lockport, but you may choose to do the trip from east to west, starting in Lyons.