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Empire State Trail

Bike Tour Blueprint




750 Miles


Paved, Crushed Gravel




Northeast - New York


5-14 Days


Hotel, B&B, Camping




The Empire State Trail is a 750-mile trail system that crosses the state of New York from Buffalo to Albany, then from Plattsburg to New York City. The system is roughly divided into three zones: the Erie Canalway (Buffalo-Albany), the Champlain Valley (Plattsburg-Albany), and the Hudson Valley (Albany-New York City). The Empire State Trail offers an incredible opportunity to bike through the varied scenery, cultures, and history of New York State. This blueprint will provide bike tour planning information for all three segments of the Empire State Trail system.


Our guests who purchase the Empire State Trail Bike Tour Blueprint receive the following:

  • In-Depth Trail Knowledge
  • Detailed Trip Itineraries
  • Build-it Guide to Reserving your Trip
  • Digital Route Maps with POIs 


The Empire State Trail provides a bike touring experience that is unforgettable and should be on any bike tourist’s “must ride” list. It is made up of three routes which cross the state, any of which are worthy touring destinations on their own.

The Erie Canalway Trail is a 365-mile trail runs from Buffalo to Albany and parallels the historic Erie Canal along much of its length. It is an accessible trail with very little elevation change and runs primarily on bike paths. Along the Erie Canalway Trail riders can enjoy the farmlands and orchards of upstate NY, early transportation history along the canal, and views of the Mohawk River Valley as they approach Albany.

Erie Canal scene
Hudson Crossing, Empire State Trail
Kingston, Empire State Trail

The Hudson Valley Greenway is a gorgeous 190-mile trail system that runs from the city of Albany, along the Hudson River Valley, to end at Battery Park in New York City. This section of the Empire State Trail is moderately difficult with very little on-road riding and rolling elevation changes. The majority of the route is on dedicated bike trails/paths, including the segment that runs through NYC, although there is a short section on-road between the Bronx and Inwood.

The Champlain Valley Trail runs for 200 miles from the Canadian Border to Albany is almost entirely on-road and is recommend for experienced cyclists only. For cycle tourists interested in completing the entire Empire State Trail, this section offers incredible views along Lake Champlain and plenty of historic sites. 

Difficulty: The Empire State Trail system as a whole can be considered of medium difficulty with the Erie Canalway and Hudson Valley sections being the easier and the Champlain Valley section somewhat more difficult. The Erie Canal Trail is mostly flat and on bike trails but does have a good amount of on-road riding, although on secondary and rural roads only. The Hudson Valley Trail is primarily on paved bike trails, but there is a bit more rolling elevation than along the Erie Canal. The Champlain Valley Trail is essentially an on-road route and a portion (Westport to Ticonderoga) should be avoided if possible.




Frank and Sue F.
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The Schoolhouse and Lindenhof B&B were spectacular. The beds in all the hotels were really, really comfy. We loved the small towns along the trail and the downhill direction of the trail. We met lovely people everywhere….midwest hospitality and friendliness. There were plenty of little towns along the way. And there were many really, really friendly bikers who were very helpful and fun. Was the trip paced to your satisfaction? Yes, very much so.
Tom and Sharon B.
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The Country Inn staff did everything they could to help us…The Hotel Bothwell and Hotel Frederick were both very accommodating and friendly….Capt Wohlt Inn, in Hermann, had Brant going out of his way to help us. He even cleaned our bikes for us. …It was fine for us older folks ( we’re 71 & 72) with no shuttle taking our luggage. Each day was very doable. Of course we had almost perfect weather. We had no issues with food our water etc. thanks to your materials. And, of course, you can’t do anything about the Missouri wind and dust.

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