Whether you are an avid cyclist or a family looking to get more active, set your sights on adventure and fun along the 524-mile NYS Canal System and 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail. Reach your one-of-a-kind, personal mileage goal – whether cycling, paddling, running, hiking or walking – and discover all you can do along New York's canals!
Use your favorite fitness app and your online Challenge log to record your miles.
Getting outside for fresh air and exercise feels more important than ever during these extraordinary times. We encourage you to hit the Canalway Trail running, walking, or cycling and start tracking your Canalway Challenge miles. Please steer clear of crowds and stay 6' apart from other trail users to help control the spread of COVID-19. If a trail segment is crowded, pick another location or return at a different time.
Great for kids and families, as well as those looking for a new wellness challenge! Whether you’re walking, cycling, or paddling, you’ll quickly get the feel of the trail or waterway and build confidence to tackle more. You can do one big trip or several smaller ones to achieve your 15-mile goal.
There are so many ways to get to 90 miles! Do a 3-mile run, 3 times a week for 10 weeks. Explore six different locations with 15-mile cycling trips. Or plan a long weekend with three 30-mile bike rides. Complete one 90-mile region at a time to achieve End-to-End status (360 miles).
Paddlers should plan about two weeks of 12-mile days to complete 180 miles. Cyclists going 30 to 45 miles a day can complete 180 miles in four to six days. If you are walking or running, divide 180 by your weekly mileage to determine how long it will take to reach 180 miles.
Join this exclusive club! The distinction of being an End-to-Ender is reserved for those who cycle, hike or paddle the entire distance (360 miles) from Buffalo to Albany (or Albany to Buffalo). Plan an extended trip or get there by checking off one 90 mile region at a time.
The Erie Canal and Canalway Trail are divided into distinct regions, each roughly 90 miles. Rack up all four regions to become a 360 End-to-Ender! Connecting canals offer more opportunities for adventure. You can count miles on any of these canals toward your Canalway Challenge total.
Calm water, flat trail, and rural landscapes connect charming towns in Western NY.
Highlights: Buffalo's Canalside and downtown architecture, Lockport's Flight of Five, lift bridges, canal villages, Holley Canal Falls
Varied terrain on water and land joins picturesque scenery with vibrant cities.
Highlights: Schoen Place in Pittsford, Fairport, Historic Lock 60 Macedon, canal murals, Camillus Erie Canal Park, Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse
Tasty craft brews and ice cream await along the historical canal of the 1800s and today’s canal route.
Highlights: Old Erie Canal State Park, Green Lakes State Park, Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Canal Place in Little Falls
The Erie Canal merges with the Mohawk River in this scenic region rich in culture, arts and architecture.
Highlights: Herkimer Home SHS, Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, Schoharie Crossing SHS, Mohawk Valley Overlook Bridge, Cohoes Falls, Waterford Flight, Albany's Riverfront
Montezuma to Geneva, Cayuga and Seneca Lakes (92 miles) Famed for its wineries, wildlife, and beautiful lakes.
Highlights: Women's Rights National Historical Park, wine tours, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Three Rivers to Oswego (23 miles) Short but sweet! Paddle the scenic Oswego to Lake Ontario.
Highlights: Great Bear Springs Recreation Area, Oswego Paddlefest, H. Lee White Marine Museum
Waterford to Whitehall (63 miles) Paddle or cycle a region steeped in American history.
Highlights: Saratoga National Historical Park, Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville, Glens Falls Feeder Canal
Use our Canalway Map to find great places to visit while racking up your Canalway Challenge miles.
Show off special moments and inspire others to take the challenge! Join the Canalway Challenge Facebook Group and share on Instagram using the hashtag #CanalwayChallenge.
The Canalway Challenge is funded in part by a grant from Market NY through I LOVE NY, New York State’s Division of Tourism, as part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.
Many organizations help to promote participation in the Canalway Challenge and ensure its success. Thank you!
Arkell Museum & Canajoharie Library
Brockport Welcome Center
Camillus Erie Canal Park & Canal Society
Capital District Triathlon Club
Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
Chittenango Rotary Foundation /
Erie Canal Run
Corn Hill Navigation
Discover Schenectady DiscoverUpstate.com
Down by the River Kayak Rentals
Environmental Design & Research / Old Erie Canal Community Working Group
Erie Canal Boat Company
Erie Canal Discovery Center
Erie Canal Half
Erie Canal Museum
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
Fort Stanwix National Monument
Friends of Great Bear, Oswego
Glens Falls Feeder Canal Alliance
Greater Rochester Track Club /
Genesee Valley Harriers
H. Lee White Marine Museum
Healthy Capital District Initiative
Hudson Crossing Park
Hudson River Greenway / Empire State Trail
Kayaking 4 Meso
Little Falls Canal Harbor and Rotary Park
Lockport Locks Heritage District
Lockport Visitor Center
Madison County Planning
Mohawk Towpath Byway
Mohawk Valley Villages /
Diefendorf Hall/Canal Store
Montgomery County Tourism
New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association / Northern NY Paddlers
NPS, Rivers Trails Conservation Assistance Program
NYS Canal Corporation
NYS Tourism Industry Alliance
Old Erie Canal Community Working Group
Oneida County Tourism
Orleans County Tourism
Oswego County Tourism
Our Ability, Inc.
Parks & Trails NY
Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park
Rochester Accessible Adventures
Rochester Bicycling Club
Rome Historical Society / Old Erie Canal Community Working Group
Roser Communications Network
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site
Seneca Falls Heritage Area Visitor Center
Spencerport Depot & Canal Museum
T. Spencer Knight Park / Visitor Center
Upstate Kayak Rentals
Village of Phoenix
Waterford Harbor Visitor Center
Wayne County Office of Tourism