Author Topic: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail  (Read 4095 times)

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Offline ninacnm

Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« on: February 20, 2023, 10:11:30 pm »
I plan to bicycles from Chicago to NYC but would like to pick up the Empire State Trail in Buffalo and follow that back to NYC. It looks like picking up the Northern Tier from Chicago makes the most sense for the trip East. Does anyone know the best way to pick up the Empire State Trail from the Northern Tier? Also what can you tell me about terrain and weather? I will probably do this trip in early June but possibly late June. I sent my Cannondale Quick 2 to my daughter in Chicago. The bike isn't working out for her so I've decided to retrieve it and bike it back to Brooklyn. It doesn't have a front rack option so I will need to be mindful about how much I can carry. I plan to camp with some motels and other stays.

Thanks.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2023, 10:26:47 pm »
I see you have a couple of options.

Assuming you take ACA's Northern Tier route, when you get to Buffalo, you can:
1) continue on the NT to Ticonderoga and then head south on NY's Champlain Valley Trail and connect to the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail in Albany and take that to NYC. 
2) Connect to NY's Erie Canalway Trail and take that to Albany and then head south on the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail to NYC.

https://empiretrail.ny.gov/map

The Erie Canalway has more crushed gravel than the first option but it is shorter.

Hope you have a great trip!  Tailwinds, John

Offline jwrushman

Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2023, 07:46:02 am »
No need for camping along the Erie Canalway - enough motels, hotels, B&B's.  But camping is readily available too.

It's easy to stay on roads that parallel the canal. Not as picturesque, but faster and cleaner than the gravel.  The path through Rochester is paved, so no need to deal with city traffic there.

Offline canalligators

Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2023, 06:02:11 pm »

Does anyone know the best way to pick up the Empire State Trail from the Northern Tier?


Three options.
1. Follow the NT through the Canadian section to Queenston, back to the US via the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, follow NT to Lockport. The NT takes the EST east from there. So simply follow the NT map.
2. Follow the NT through the Canadian section but only go as far downtown Niagara Falls ON, cross the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls NY.  The EST starts there and goes east.
3. Follow the NT into Buffalo, but do not cross the Peace Bridge into Canada. Instead, pick up the Riverwalk trail two blocks west, along the Niagara River.  Take it north to Tonawanda.  Connect with the Erie Canalway Trail. Take it east and north to Lockport.  This route is best if you have any reason to avoid Canada, such as isolation restrictions becoming stricter, no passport, personal history, etc.

You should do your own detailed map research on these choices, i.e. get a map of Riverwalk, Northern Tier Section 10, and EST.  I only told enough here to explainthe choices.

Offline ninacnm

Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2023, 09:09:28 pm »
I really appreciate all this info. I'm compiling it so I can take a better look at maps and routes as I get closer to the date. Some options may be dictated by time and how well I handle bicycling with a load. I may need to opt for ferries or a train If I can't cover enough ground. If anyone has done this in June and has info about weather - always some unpredictability but I worry about being under prepared and cold! My bike can only hold a rear rack. so the plan is my 2 Ortlieb classic panniers, Arkel Tail Rider, Ortlieb Classic 5L handlebar bag. I have a 1 person tent, Amicus Soto stove, Big Agnes Aircore Ultra pad, either a light weight sleeping bag or a quilt that can also work as a poncho.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2023, 10:23:26 pm »
For climate historical data, check out WeatherSpark.com.  Another good website for historical wind direction is WindHistory.com (be sure to do it by the appropriate month). 

If you are unsure of the time frame and may need to take a train, I would encourage you to look at Amtrak's route system and compare that to your preferred routes.  Do forget about rental cars also.

To read about others journeys, check out CycleBlaze and CrazyGuyonaBike.

Hope you have a great tour!  Tailwinds, John