If you are planning an end-to-end cycling adventure on the Erie Canalway Trail, read up on some of our most frequently asked questions to make the most of this once in a lifetime trip.
How should I start my planning?
Decide how many days you have to spend and how many miles you want to cover each day. The trip typically takes eight days if you cover 40-60 miles a day. Your itinerary will fall into place based on your mileage.
Where should I stay?
A variety of lodging options are available close to the trail, including basic camping, B&Bs, Airbnb's, and hotels. Your choice of lodging will influence your mileage, since not all lodging options are available in every community. Find out about primitive camping at locks on the NYS Canal Corporation website.
What's the best direction to ride?
Most End-to-Enders go west to east from Buffalo to Albany to take advantage of prevailing winds.
How do I get back to my car at the starting point?
You can return to your starting point by Amtrak train on the Maple Leaf or Empire Service. Read Amtrak's rules for bikes on trains. Alternately, you can hop-skip a car ahead each day with rotating drivers. Having a car is great if you don't want to carry your gear on your bike. There are no designated shuttles along the canal. You may be able to make arrangements with a privately-owned transportation company.
Are tours or pre-packaged itineraries available?
YES! Take a tour and leave the logistics to an expert. Cycle the Erie Canal (July 9-15, 2023) is an outstanding fully supported annual ride offered by Parks & Trails New York. See the Cycling Resources page for additional tour operators.
Also check out our four-day itineraries for Cycling the Western Erie from Buffalo to Newark and Cycling the Eastern Erie from Syracuse to Albany.