Author Topic: Erie Canal with kayak in tow  (Read 5284 times)

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Offline geegee

Erie Canal with kayak in tow
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:40:24 am »
I'm contemplating doing something different this summer, and do a tour partly cycling and partly kayaking. I've done afternoon trips of 40 kms cycling and 10 kms paddling with this set up and I think I'd like to try doing extended tour with it. I've rigged up my other kayak (a more stable sit-on-top) with a fork rack so I can load a bike on it like this and be able to do a contiguous journey. Since I'm lucky enough to live in a region of North America that is rich in historic canals (Rideau, Erie, Trent, et al), it will be fun to slowly explore them all this way in the future.

One of the itineraries I'd like to do is to head down from where I live in Ottawa to upstate NY and hook up with the Erie Canal to Buffalo. Although I live within a few hundred miles north of the Erie Canal, I've never really been on it. I'd like to hear from others regarding cycling and paddling along this route. I'd like to cycle the parts to avoid big water (like Lake Ontario), and paddle sections that are scenic and to avoid busy roads towing a long load. One stretch I will most likely have to cycle is the Seaway Trail from Cape Vincent (where I cross the border) to Oswego (NY 12E, 180 and 3) — how busy is this route? I looked on google and it doesn't seem to have a consistent shoulder.

My other option (which I can save for another time) is to head east towards Albany and possibly loop back up to Canada from there. Which part of the Erie Canal is more interesting?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 01:42:13 am by geeg »

Offline scott.laughlin

Re: Erie Canal with kayak in tow
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 11:19:40 am »
Have you read "River Horse" by William Least Heat Moon?  It's a few year old now, but it might give you some insite into what the Erie is like.

Offline JimF

Re: Erie Canal with kayak in tow
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 09:17:44 pm »
My wife and I cycled the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany. It was an enjoyable tour. Many historical spots to visit on the canal and near. Services are abundant. Much of the path is stone dust. OK when dry; not so when wet. NY Bike Route 5 parallels most of the canal, so you can divert if necessary. The shoulders on 5 are very wide. If you haven't already looked at , you will find it worthwhile. The guide book is a good investment. Good luck.

Offline Marc6Sargent

Re: Erie Canal with kayak in tow
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 04:36:55 pm »
What an interesting idea.

I rode from near Utica to Lockport summer before last with my son. Get the Guide Book "Cycling the Erie Canal". It's from New York State Parks and Trails. It's spiral bound with a map that covers 10 miles per page. Shows local sites, restaurants, bike shops, etc. Very handy.

About 70% of the route is on a bike path. Much of the bike path is packed stone dust. We had 700X28 tires which were ok for a very dry path. I definitely wouldn't use anything narrower and would feel more comfortable with a wider tire. If you have the option, go west to east. I've heard that if there's a breeze, it's usually that direction.

And thanks for the picture of the biyak (or is it a kaycycle), I'm going to paste it into an email to a friend who may ride with me and tell him I've made a slight change of plans.


Offline geegee

Re: Erie Canal with kayak in tow
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 06:31:45 am »
Well I'm finally doing it. My blog is at
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 05:33:17 pm by geeg »