Author Topic: Northern Tier along Erie Canal - by road  (Read 3422 times)

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Offline rvklassen

Northern Tier along Erie Canal - by road
« on: May 26, 2010, 07:28:31 am »
We just completed a section (two day trip - there 'n back) along the canal, and because of a) the amount of increased rolling resistance - hence work per mile, and b) the amount of dust kicked up on the bike, including its drive train, generally stayed off of the unpaved portions of the trail.  This did mean more hills, and sometimes less scenic.  At other times, there is a road either on the same side, adjacent to the towpath, or on the other side of the canal, but right next to it, so for scenery nothing is lost.

I found the ACA map less than ideal in planning a route off the towpath, however, as it only shows major roads when they are not the route itself.  Information about services is good, but it would be nice to have an "on-road alternate" marked on the map, for those who prefer - for one reason or another - to ride on paved surfaces.  I would be able to detail a route from Middleport NY to the other side of Rochester - Palmyra or perhaps Newark - NT turns north somewhere around there - if there's interest.  Not having ridden it, I would have to guess about the part between Middleport and Lockport, where the route leaves the stone dust for good.

Offline va_bentrider

Re: Northern Tier along Erie Canal - by road
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 10:21:42 am »
I plan on riding the NT this summer with my wife who, because of bad knees, rides a motor scooter.  Since she cannot ride on bike paths, we are forced to stay on roads.  Here is a portion of the cue sheet we will be using; it generally follows NY Bike Route 5 parallel to the Erie Canal:

Leave ACA route while heading south on Maple Ave, about 1/2 mile north of Palmyra, NY and just before the Erie Canal.

276.3   Right (W) on Quaker Rd
279.4   Right (N) onto Oneill Rd
280.3   Left (W) on Oneill Rd
280.6   Left (S) on SR 350, Ontario Center Rd
281.0   Right (W) onto Quaker Rd
283.6   Left (W) to stay on Quaker Rd
286.1   Left (W) onto SR 31F, Macedon Center Rd
288.6   FAIRPORT
288.9   Right (N) onto SR 250, N Main St
289.1   Left (W) onto Whitney Rd W
289.5   (0.3 mi. off route) Fairport AS
291.3   Left (W) onto E Linden Ave
291.9   Cross SR 150, N Washington St
292.9   (1.9 mi. off route) Pittsford AS
293.0   Cross SR 441
293.0   Left (W) on Linden Ave
293.9   Right (NW) on SR 441 and KEEP LEFT TO STAY OFF RAMP TO I-490
294.1   Cross I-490
294.3   Cross SR 96, Linden now becomes Elmwood Ave
295.6   Cross I-590
296.2   Cross SR 31, Monroe Ave
298.8   Cross SR 15, Mount Hope Ave
299.7   Right (N) onto Plymouth Ave S immediately after crossing Genessee River
300.2   Left (W) onto SR 204, Brooks Ave
301.3   Cross Erie Canal, then I-390
302.8   Left (SW) onto SR 33A (Chili Ave)
303.0   Right (NW) onto Howard Dr
304.3   Cross SR 33, Buffalo Rd
304.8   Cross I-490
305.0   (1.5 mi. off route) Rochester AS
305.3   Left (W) onto Lyell Rd
309.6   Right (N) onto Gillett Rd
309.8   Left (W) onto Ogden Center Rd
311.4   Right (N) onto S Union St
312.0   Left (NW) onto SR 31, Nichols St
317.2   SR 260 comes in on right
318.9   (1.3 mi. off route) Brockport AS
320.6   Right (N) onto Redman Rd
322.1   Left (W) onto West Ave / Brockport Holley Rd
323.8   After crossing Erie Canal, SR 31 name changes to State St
325.3   (0.3 mi. off route) Holley AS
325.3   Cross SR 237, SR 31 now named W. Albion St
328.5   SR 31 turns right (N) and becomes Francher St
329.6   Left (W) to stay on SR 31
329.7   FRANCHER
334.8   (0.6 mi. off route) Albion AS
342.7   Bear left (SW) to stay on SR 31
344.2   Bear right onto E Center St
344.7   MEDINA
349.8   Middleport AS
349.8   Left (S) onto SR 26/ 45 /271, Main St - still SR 31E
350.3   Right (W) on SR 31, onto Telegraph Rd
354.9   GASPORT
359.1   Right (W) to stay on SR 31, Chestnut Ridge Rd - SR 77 joins on left
359.8   Right (NW) onto Cold Springs Rd
360.9   Left (S) onto SR 78, Lake Ave
361.0   Keep left to stay on Lake Ave
361.2   Bear right onto Clinton St, still SR 71
362.1   Zig Zag: Left (S) on Gooding St, then right (W) onto Grand St
362.4   Left (S) onto N Transit St
362.8   Right (W) on Genessee St immediately before canal.

BACK ON ACA ROUTE, NT Section 10, Map 129

Offline rvklassen

Re: Northern Tier along Erie Canal - by road
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 04:35:27 pm »
Very close to what I would (and did) choose from the intersection of Whitney and Linden west.  If you don't mind being apart for a stretch, turn south along the river trail immediately after crossing the Genesee river, and take the trail (paved) toward Greece, exiting at Long Pond road.  The road conditions (surface and traffic) are significantly worse for the stretch you'll be avoiding.  I consider that one of the best parts of the towpath, as it's paved, usually more than wide enough, lightly travelled, and it has its own level railroad crossing complete with a scaled down crossing gate.  In fact, after Long Pond it remains questionable for one or two bridges whether you would have been better off staying on the stone dust or going to Bike Route 5.  Worth noting that at the time the signs for the various NY bike routes went up, they were more a matter of wishful thinking than consultation with local bike advocacy groups: they do not represent an endorsement that the roads or traffic are any better than another choice.   On average these roads may be better 20 years later, as a result of having been signed, and therefore received some priority for maintenance and paved shoulders.

East of Fairport, you could follow 31 from Palmyra to Macedon, rather than making so many turns.  Somewhat more traffic, but a wide paved shoulder and a good view of the canal. 

From Quaker Rd. Turn north at West Walworth Rd, and then west at Macedon Center (31F).  This adds one new instruction, but avoids travelling uphill and upwind as you pass what is, on some warm days, a rather smelly landfill.  Pretty close to the same distance.