Cycle the Erie Canal

Cyclists from 40 states begin second half of 400-mile cross-state bicycle trip

750 cyclists departed from Buffalo July 9 on the 25th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour, arriving in Rome

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York’s biggest multi-day bike tour departed from Buffalo on July 9, to arrive in Albany eight days later on July 16. 750 cyclists from 40 states and Canada are taking to the trail as part of the 25th anniversary of the Cycle the Erie Canal tour, organized by the statewide nonprofit Parks & Trails New York (PTNY). Covering between 40 and 60 miles a day, cyclists will travel along the now 85% off-road Erie Canalway Trail, the east-west leg of the 750-mile Empire State Trail.

Today, riders will spend a leisurely day riding along the peaceful Old Erie Canal State Park. Stops include the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum and the Canastota Canal Town Museum. Near the end of the day, cyclists will pass the location where the first shovel of dirt was dug for “Clinton’s Ditch” before arriving in Rome for the evening, where they will spend the night camping at Fort Stanwix National Monument.

The welcome for riders will be especially celebratory in Rome this year, as the city was selected by PTNY and the New York State Canal Corporation as an Empire State Trail Town for 2023.  Empire State Trail Towns are recognized for their high-quality trail-based services and amenities, as well as their demonstrated commitment to policies geared towards trail users. As part of this designation, PTNY is providing technical assistance to improve the trail user experience through the end of 2023.  The ultimate goals are to attract trail-based visitors, drive economic growth, and enhance the quality of life for residents.

Cycle the Erie Canal, now in its 25th year, is an exceptional tour accessible for cyclists of all levels.

“It’s more than just a tour. Like a magic loom, Cycle the Erie Canal weaves people and experiences together as they move through the landscape. We’ve seen grandparents riding with their grandkids.  We’ve celebrated weddings of folks who have met on the tour. Riders come back again and again, bringing more friends and family to experience the tour with them.  Every year we’re not only welcoming upstate New Yorkers, we’re hosting folks from all over the United States and the world,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York.  “We are so thankful to share such a meaningful experience with all our riders, not to mention the amazing towns along the canal who really go above and beyond, year after year, to roll out the red carpet for our riders.  With more of the Erie Canalway Trail completed year after year, and an even greater sense of celebration and joy from the towns and cyclists, Cycle the Erie Canal truly just keeps getting better and better.”

For a map of the full eight days, visit our interactive story map. Riders will spend the eight nights camping in Buffalo, Medina, Fairport, Seneca Falls, Syracuse, Rome, Canajoharie, and Schenectady, before finishing on Sunday, July 16 at Corning Preserve in Albany. For updates on the ride and the communities that riders are passing through, follow Parks & Trails New York on Facebook (@parksandtrailsny) and Instagram (@parkstrailsny).

The New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority, has partnered with Parks & Trails New York on Cycle the Erie Canal since its inception in 1998. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is the premier heritage sponsor of the event. Ten regional tourism agencies also sponsor the ride.

About Parks & Trails New York:

Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks, trails, and public lands. Since its founding in 1985, PTNY has been fighting to improve our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. In collaboration with members, supporters and partners from across the state, PTNY is a prominent voice for the protection and expansion of New York’s magnificent state park system and multi-use trail network, including more than 1,500 miles of greenways, bike paths, and river walks. Learn more at

Schedule of Events

Thursday, July 13 – Syracuse to Rome 

  • 8:00am-11:00am – Morning Rest Stop: Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum (717 Lakeport Rd, Chittenango, NY 13037)
  • 11am-4:00pm – Afternoon Rest Stop: Lock 21 (7176 Lock Rd. Rome, NY)
  • 3:30 pm – Rome Empire State Trail Town Celebration: Fort Stanwix Marinus Willett Visitor Center (112 S James St, Rome, NY 13440)

Tent City Overnight Location: Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome (200 N James St, Rome, NY 13440)

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