This bicycle tour of the Erie Canal begins with a 5 1/2 hr. train trip from the Amtrak Rensselaer-Albany station to the station in Buffalo. The first night is spent in downtown Buffalo, followed by six days of cycling on the Erie Canal bike path back to Rensselaer, with an average daily distance of approximately 60 miles of cycling for a total of approximately 356 miles.
As of 2020, much of the work on the Erie Canal bike path is completed but there are still many on-road sections. The urban sections in Syracuse and Utica have frequent turns, and signage at some of these turns is minimal or non-existent. The routes will be updated when Google maps updates their maps with recent rail trail additions.
As of late 2020, each car in the Empire Service Train has one bicycle rack, which must be reserved at the time you make your ticket reservations. Tickets cost $40 – $65, plus $20 for the bicycle rack reservation, and the journey takes 5h 23m.
Hotels and accommodations shown on this page were chosen for their proximity to the trail when it is finished but in Syracuse and Utica require navigating through the cities. Other accommodations will be added to the maps.
Information and resources
- Annual NY Erie Canal ride
- Cycle the Erie Canal site
- Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor
- Cycle the Erie Canal trail map
- Empire Service: schedule
- Empire Service: train tickets
- AMTRAK bicycle FAQs
- Bike-friendly businesses on the Erie Canal
- Bike-friendly businesses brochure
- Places to Stay Along the Erie Canalway Trail
- View the Parks NY Erie Canal bike tour 9 day itinerary.
- Ride Start: Amtrak Station, Exchange St., Buffalo
- Destination: Hotel at the Lafayette in Buffalo
- Cycling Distance: 1/2 mile
- Start: Hotel at the Lafayette in Buffalo
- Destination: Hart House Hotel, Medina NY
- Cycling Distance: 50 miles
- Feature: Lockport
- Start: Hart House Hotel, Medina NY
- Destination: Canaltown Bed and Breakfast, Palmyra NY
- Cycling Distance: 70.5 miles
- Start: Canaltown Bed and Breakfast, Palmyra NY
- Destination: Jefferson Clinton Suites, 416 S Clinton St, Syracuse, NY 13202
- Cycling Distance: 67 miles
- Features along the way: Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY 13202
- Start: Jefferson Clinton Suites, 416 S Clinton St, Syracuse, NY 13202
- Destination: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 23 Wells Ave Utica, NY 13502
- Cycling Distance: 61 miles
- Feature: Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
- Start: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 23 Wells Ave Utica, NY 13502
- Destination: Microtel Hotel and Suites, 1393 State Hwy 5S, Amsterdam, New York 12010
- Cycling Distance: 64 miles
- Start: Microtel Hotel and Suites, 1393 State Hwy 5S, Amsterdam, New York 12010
- Destination: AMTRAK Rensselaer Rail Station 525 East Street Rensselaer, New York 12144
- Cycling Distance: 48 miles