Experience mountain biking on the Old Erie Canal State Park Trail in Central New York for an historic cycling adventure and glimpse into the history of this important New York State waterway. The Old Erie Canal State Historic Park is a linear park which follows a restored 36-mile segment of the 19th century Erie Canal. It is part of the New York State Canalway Trail System and a designated National Recreational Trail.
For an ideal family cycling adventure, mountain bike along this restored segment of the canal's waterway and towpath trail which begins in DeWitt, just 8 miles from downtown Syracuse, and ends in Rome, the site where construction began on the canal in 1817.
The scenery and quaint towns along the Old Erie Canal State Park Trail look pretty much as they did over 75 years ago. The route travels on a hard-packed stone dust and gravel surface for most of the route for a scenic ride through woodlands, wetlands and the beautiful rolling hill country of Central New York. There are two short on road sections (a 2 mile stretch between Durhamville and Route 31 and a 1 mile stretch along Lock Road near New London).
Interpretive signage, living outdoor museums and footbridges along the bike path provide a glimpse into the history of the Erie Canal. Several picnic areas with restrooms and parking including Poolsbrook at Kirkville and Cedar Bay at DeWitt are easily accessed from the trail via intersecting roads and footbridges.
Nearby, 21 mile long Lake Oneida, considered the "thumb" of the Great Lakes, is a remnant of a lake carved by glaciers long ago and serves as one of the links in the Erie Canal. This popular tourist attraction, located a few miles north of the Old Erie Canal State Park trail offers lake swimming, white sand beaches, camp sites and lakeside resorts.
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
7010 Lakeport Rd, Chittenango, NY
Erie Canal Village
5789 New London Road, Rome, NY
Fort Stanwix National Monument
100 S James Street, Rome, NY
Green Lakes State Park
For more scenic train excursions or Erie Canal boat cruises:
Special Feature: Bikes, Barges & Trains
Part of the New York State Canal System, The Erie Canal was opened in 1825 and became the most successful waterway in North America. Connecting the Hudson River at Albany with Lake Erie at Buffalo the canal was the first all-water link between the Atlantic Seaboard and the Great Lakes. Experience cycling this segment of the old canal which is rich in history and passes historic villages, rural farmland, old locks and abandoned aqueducts. Near its end is the Erie Canal Village restoration.
For More Information:
For other long distance multi-use rail trails in this region see New York Rail Trails
A free detailed map of the New York State Canalway Trail System is available. To obtain a copy, or to learn more about the Canalway Trail contact:
New York State Canal Corporation