The Erie Canalway Trail is an incredible ride that can span the entire state of New York, from Buffalo to Albany. Our tours focus on the longest contiguous section of this trail system, the western portion from Lockport to Newark.
New York State is committed to completed the Empire State Trail – which utilizes all 400-miles of the Erie Canalway – by 2020; in the meantime you can ride and enjoy one of the oldest and most scenic portions of this ambitious trail system.
The flat, crushed gravel canalway trail can be ridden by cyclists of all abilities and is perfect for a truly relaxing and enjoyable multiday self-guided bike tour experience.
This itinerary does not include a shuttle – it is a roundtrip excursion.
You’ll start (and end) your trip in Lockport, Ny., on Day 1. Enjoy your first day on the canalway – a mix of farm and wooded areas with several small canal towns thrown in for interest. Tonight you’ll bike into Brockport to enjoy dinner in town and relax for the evening at your B&B.
Meals: On own
After a full breakfast at the B&B, return to the canal and pedal through more small canal towns. You’ll see how so many of these canal towns earn the “port” names as you pass by the lift bridges. If the timing is right, you may even see the bridges lift as canal boats make their way along water beside you. You’ll bike past the town of Pittsford (your destination on the next day) and spend this night in Fairport.
Today is your “out and back” day of the roundtrip itinerary. You’ll bike out of Fairport to the easternmost contiguous trailhead in Newark, then return the way you came. Either pack a lunch or plan to stop in Palmyra before returning to Pittsford for the evening. Pittsford offers several food and wine options, and the B&B will complete a fantastic day of bike touring.
Today is a full day of cycling, but you’ll know the way since you’ll already have biked this portion of trail. This time you’ll have opportunity to visit any sights or towns you might have missed. The day will end in Medina, a historic town that started with the Erie Canal in the early 1800s. The Main Street retains its historic character and preservation efforts can be seen throughout the town. Your hotel tonight is part of that historic restoration and shares space with a cafe and meadery.
Have breakfast at the cafe attached to your hotel or in town, then you’re off to your last ride day on the canal. You’ll arrive back in Lockport with plenty of time to see the impressive set of locks and perhaps even take an historic canal boat ride.
If you’d like to extend your trip, the trail continues past Lockport (after biking a few blocks through town) and continues into Buffalo. We’re happy to suggest itineraries for Buffalo and the area – including Niagara Falls.
Meals: on own
We would be happy to recommend hotels near the trail in Lockport and Buffalo, just ask!
Tour is not offered in 2021.
This trip includes lodging for 4 nights and 3 breakfasts.
For non-included meals we provide daily suggestions and will consider your dietary requests, making special arrangements as needed. Please be aware that some restaurants close one day a week, and often that will be on a Sunday or Monday, depending on the town.
Our Erie Canalway bike trips utilize the best in local B&Bs to ensure a comfortable and unique stay each night. Lodgings in most towns DO require a short on-road ride.
There are a very limited number of single rooms, as well as suites, along the trail. If you require either room set up please let us know at the time of your quote request.
We do our best to advise of vegetarian and vegan options for dining along both trails.
Those with significant dietary restrictions, please also advise us AT THE START OF YOUR QUOTE PROCESS so that we can discuss your itinerary options. Food is important!
Erie Canalway Trail tours are offered between May and October. This schedule is dictated by weather and trail conditions.
The summer months are ideal for riders who love the long days, sunny and dry weather. Portions of the trail are not shaded, so do plan to bring sunscreen and appropriate clothing.
September and October offer cooler temperatures; fall foliage occurs generally in early- to mid-October, although exact dates do vary each year.
Our Erie Canalway Trips will start and end in Lockport. Riders can take advantage of the continued canalway trail westward from Lockport to Tonawanda and then to Buffalo. We can provide recommendations if you would like to extend your trip.
Parking is available in the Erie Canal Discovery Center in Lockport.
The Erie Canalway Trail is a crushed gravel rail trail surface with a grade of less than 1%. The trail is well-maintained and there are restrooms at several trailheads along the way. Towns are frequent along the trail.
Cell and wifi service is strong along the trail, and there are a good variety of food options for all diets.
The best bike for this trail is a hybrid-style bike. Road bikes and bikes with thinner tires can be appropriate in most conditions (in excessively wet weather, wider tires are recommended).
Bike rental is not currently offered on this trip.
If you can box and rebuild your bike on your own, and if you have good bike cases for shipping, BikeFlights.com or another shipping method can be much cheaper than renting a bike. If you need help boxing and rebuilding a shipped bike, we can direct you to bike shops along the trails which can assist you for a fee (usually $40-75/bikes).
Shuttling is not offered on this trip.
Daily luggage shuttling is not currently offered on this trip.
I can’t recommend this company enough. This was my second year using them. The first year I got injured on the trail, and they saved the day getting me a shuttle out and cancelling all the subsequent reservations that could be cancelled.
This year, there was lots of flooding and diversions that needed to be taken and they kept in constant contact with what my options were.
With Noble Invention they took the stress out of the trip by taking care of all the logistics necessary to make a five day trek across two states possible. All reservations were handled with B&Bs along the way, our bags were shuttled and always waiting at our next stop, our shuttle back to Pittsburgh was courteous and professional; not a hiccup to be found in the entire trip!
Kelley was professional throughout the booking process answering any questions and catering the trip to our needs as best as possible. I will definitely use them for my next bike trip on any route they serve.
The service that Ann and Sara provided was top shelf. They found wonderful B&B’s for us to stay at, and they were really concerned that we had a good riding experience. And we met plenty of new people that we really enjoyed.