April 24, 2021


Despite the many difficult changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing didn’t change— the Erie Canalway Trail continued to be a lifeline for many people across the state. The Canalway Trail witnessed a record 4 million visits in 2020; however, that means it's going to need some TLC to get ready for the next influx of visitors this spring!

Event Registration

Are you and your family looking for an outdoor activity that is both philanthropic and just plain fun? Join us for the 16th annual Canal Clean Sweep!

Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to the event. Please read through the following participation guidelines for 2021:

  • Event organizers will need to assemble a team of close friends and family that does not exceed 10 people.
  • Names and contact information for all participating volunteers will be required when registering an event. Only volunteers registered by the organizer on the event registration form will be permitted to attend. There will be no separate volunteer registration form for individuals to volunteer at existing events this year.
  • Information about the location site and anticipated clean-up time will be required.
  • PTNY and the Canal Corporation are arranging for the disposal of all collected and bagged trash. Please disregard previous directions to contact section offices directly.
  • Clean-up organizers will be responsible for ensuring that all of their volunteers wear a mask for the duration of the clean-up event, maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet, and encourage use of hand sanitizer.
  • T-shirts will be mailed in advance of the event if organizers register before April 9. If you register after this date, you will receive a t-shirt after the event (while supplies last).
  • Volunteers should not participate if they have ANY signs of illness or if they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 within the previous two weeks. Use the latest guidance from New York State to help determine whether it is safe to participate in this year's event.

We will be closely monitoring the sites that get selected for clean-up events. To allow for appropriate social distancing, and discourage large group gatherings, we will not allow more than one group to be at the same site at the same time. If there is overlap, the event organizers will be contacted immediately.

If you already know where you’d like to do a clean-up, we recommend that you register your event as soon as you can.

Please check back for more updates or email any questions to canalsweep@ptny.org.

Highlights from Canal Clean Sweep 2019


Best Clean Sweep Spirit: BSA Troop & Cub Scout Pack 35

These Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts exemplified the Scout Law by braving cold weather and snow during their Clean Sweep event. They did an exceptional job picking up litter from the culvert under the canal and on the towpaths.


Strangest Trash Find: Village of Ilion

Volunteers at the Second Annual Ilion Canal Clean Up found this oddity: a baby walker! The event organizer said "thank goodness the individual that threw this out the window didn't throw the baby with it!"


Biggest Trash "Collection": Minetto Beautification

This group is small but mighty! They collected all sorts of litter; everything from non-returnable cans and bottles to foam bait boxes to fast food cups. Nice work!



Another way to show your appreciaton for the Canalway Trail is by adopting a trail section through the Adopt-a-Trail program. Contact PTNY at canaltrail@ptny.org or 518-434-1583 for more information.

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