Every journey begins with a single step.

Take your first step and complete your 1st Mile with the Canalway Challenge. Walk, cycle, paddle, or use a wheelchair. There are numerous places along the canals and Canalway Trail that are accessible. We invite people of all abilities to participate. Once you complete your 1st Mile, challenge yourself by signing up for more through the Canalway Challenge.


"One mile turns into two, turns into 90 and, before you know it, turns into a more healthy and active life."

-- John Robinson

Start Today!

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Journey Along the Erie Canal

Stay tuned for 2021!

Each summer since 2012, John Robinson, CEO of Our Ability, Inc has handcycled all 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities. Journey Along the Erie Canal has grown to include thousands of individuals with disabilities, community leaders, and allies who meet John and his team, cheer them on, and even cycle alongside them. John and his team hope to return in 2021, depending on the status of the pandemic.

John Robinson is a renowned entrepreneur, advocate, and motivational speaker whose personal story has inspired thousands. Born without full arms or legs, he has overcome countless obstacles to become a successful businessperson, family man, and inspirational keynote speaker. He founded Our Ability, as a way of helping to mentor and inspire people with disabilities and advocate for employment. Robinson first learned to ride a bike in 2010.

Hand cyclists riding along the Erie Canal in Fairport

Pass to Play

Summer 2021 - TBD

Rochester Accessible Adventures Pass to Play program offers deep discounts on adaptive cycling and kayaking equipment at Erie Canal Boat Company's Fairport and Lockport locations. Trained staff are available to help you get started.

Rochester Accessible Adventures transforms recreation businesses to ensure individuals with disabilities are able to access inclusive active recreation and sports opportunities.


Adaptive Events


Erie Canalway offers event sponsorships of $500 to community events. Applications open in January. We will list adaptive events here, so be sure to check back in May 2021. Events will subject to Covid-19 safety precautions. If you are hosting an adaptive event, please consider applying for sponsorship.

Many thanks to our sponsors!


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.