Author Topic: Erie Canal Trail in 2020  (Read 802 times)

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Offline SwampYankee

Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: July 18, 2020, 02:53:51 pm »
I am looking at riding the Erie Canal Trail in mid-August. Anyone have information on lodging, camping, restaurants? Will it work do you think? Going Albany to Buffalo. Will either ride back, Amtrak back, or convince a friend to pick us up.

Any updated information you have would be appreciated.

Offline Johnny10000

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 03:46:50 pm »
Here’s a whole site devoted to the trail:
https://bikeeriecanal.com/default.aspx

There’s a trip planner, towns and services, forums, maps, mileage charts, etc.   Lots of good info, especially the forums. You don’t even need to register to post questions.

John

Offline John Nettles

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2020, 03:59:22 pm »
Be sure to review NY's "banned" states due to the virus.  If you are coming from one of the banned states, you are supposed to quarantine for up to 14 days.

Tailwinds, John

Offline SwampYankee

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 04:02:12 pm »
Thank you both. Coming from Connecticut so should be okay. That forum is very helpful and I had not found that. Have the tour book too. Looks doable and i see at least some lodging is open.

Offline canalligators

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 11:35:13 pm »
I live less than a mile from the trail.  I spoke with a couple who were westbound the other day.  They said that campgrounds were generally closed for tent camping, as the bathrooms were closed.  (RVs with self-contained plumbing were allowed.)  Also, most Warmshowers hosts (including us) are not accepting guests yet.  Regular bathrooms are likely closed as well, but porta-potties are open.  So I'd plan on either motels or stealth camping.

Offline SwampYankee

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 08:23:36 am »
Thanks for the information canalligators - that is very helpful. I guess I'll leave the tent/sleeping pads, bags, & cooking gear home and force myself to air-conditioned, clean, rooms. Such are the sacrifices we need to make in a pandemic  ;)

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2020, 03:56:10 pm »
I did it last year, so pre-pandemic, and your experience may be quite different.  There are very few mileage or cross roads signs on the towpath, and the little booklet doesn't have Lat and Long overprint.  The path is on the north side of the canal, so you have a southern exposure; sunny and hot in the summer.  The path gets nicer and nicer as you go west.  Google Maps on your smart phone can be very helpful when there are counterintuitive turns from roads to path and vs.  I did a mix of camping and various lodgings.  B&Bs are nice, but may not get going in the morning as early as you wish.  A lot of the listings of inns, motels, B&Bs, etc.in the guide booklet were out of date/business; I would advise calling ahead.  I live in VT, so I drove to Albany, left the truck in Amtrak longterm parking, rode to Buffalo, and got a one way car rental back to Albany.  That was satisfyingly self-contained, but the pandemic may have changed car rental options.
Good luck, have fun!

Offline adventure124

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2020, 10:15:55 am »
Hello,

that sounds like an interesting tour.  I would also be interested to hear more about it.

Kind regards,

Carina

Offline SwampYankee

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 10:30:12 pm »
Just finished the Erie Canal Trail... FAR BETTER THAN EXPECTED. Took 9 days due to heat on August 10/11. Great food, people, and accommodations were excellent. People in NY are being very careful and well behaved with covid-19 protection. The Erie Canal Trip Planner site was a big help:   you can follow on IG @muddybrookpotters.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2020, 07:36:30 pm »
More info!  Did you go east-west?  Did you have problems with Isaias?  Were accommodations a problem?

Offline SwampYankee

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 08:06:07 pm »
We went East to West. I realize this is not the "promoted" direction, but I would definitely do it again - here is why:
1. Best parts of the trail are Utica to Tonawanda. The rest if fine too - but leaving the best for the end was better for us.
2. Sun is at your back in the morning, not in your eyes
3. Headwinds are a controversial topic, we had a 10MPH one or two days - which was a relief in the heat

No real issues from the storm. We did see limbs down etc, but it was cleaned up by the time we went through.
Accommodations were easy. Places are not full - some campgrounds were open but we stayed at hotels and B&Bs.
People and places are open, clean and doing a great job at virus protection. Lots of people in NY State are wearing masks and hotels are booking every other room. We have points so could use hotels for nothing and added a day
Restaurants are well done and many are open - we actually had great meals along the way. There are still some places just closed but never had any problems with food.
Did not see a lot of bike shops open however. Melo Vello in Syracuse was open - great bike shop and cafe with meals and beer DEFINITELY STOP THERE
The road ride sections of this trip are nice - I enjoyed the mix of surface and being on trail and then some road. Wide shoulders and NY State even does rumble strips well with lots of room to the right of those rumble steps.
Lock Keepers are great to talk with too - friendly and helpful

Let me know if you want more information. I hope you get to go.

Offline canalligators

Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2020, 02:08:53 pm »
Glad you had a good trip!  I plan to ride the whole Empire State Trail soon, which will be a re-ride of the Erie part, and a partial re-ride of Albany-NYC.