We did it! Biking the Erie Canal Bike Trail is our adventures of this historical trail from Buffalo to Albany in the state of New York. We biked the entire Erie Canal bike trail – 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany. In 2019, my husband and I wanted to do this. We biked from Buffalo to Rome. You can read about that ride here. We had planned to bike from Rome to Albany the following year, but the pandemic hit so we waited until this year. In July 2021 we finished the remaining trail.
Day 1: Rome to Little Falls
We started from our home in Lee, NY and picked up the trail in Rome where we left off.
Storms the previous week left a few downed trees that we had to get around on the trail.
We got around these without too much difficulty and later on the trail saw the crew clearing the trail. Thank you to them for all of their hard work to make this trail a great experience.
We had beautiful weather and pretty scenery heading into Utica.
Heading towards Little Falls, we came across Fort Herkimer Church.
The building of this house of worship was initiated by Johan Jost Herkimer, the father of General Nicholas Herkimer of the Revolutionary War. Being a settlement along the fur trading route during the French and Indian wars, the limestone walls also protected settlers during those wars and other raids, including the Revolutionary War. It was built in the mid-1700’s and 2 1/2 centuries later is still standing.
Fort Herkimer Church looks like a fort at its base because essentially that’s just what it was. When raiders came, settlers took refuge inside because it was virtually impenetrable. Its four corners are built out to look fort-like, and the massive limestone walls are pierced strategically with “loopholes” — gun ports that allowed colonial defenders to poke out a musket barrel and fire at intruders. If you look closely in the picture you can see these gun ports.
Our first night was spent in Little Falls. We had a fantastic dinner at Ruggiero’s Trattoria and Italian Steakhouse. The menu was fantastic as was the service and atmosphere. We couldn’t decide what to get so ordered two dinners and shared them both. This is a great place to go if you stop in Little Falls.
Day 1: 45.70 miles
Day 2: Little Falls to Amsterdam
Leaving Little Falls is a scenic and peaceful portion of the trail.
Shortly outside of Little Falls is the General Herkimer Home.
This colonial frontier home was completed around 1764 and General Herkimer is also buried here. General Herkimer was wounded in the Battle of Oriskany and died at his home 10 days later from complications from a leg amputation.
We had some rain on the way to Amsterdam but crowded under an overpass waiting it out. We were joined by several other cyclists.
Luckily on our second downpour of rain, we found another overpass and waited about 45 minutes.
All in all it was not bad. After the second rain delay the sun came out and it was clear riding. The trial is all paved so no problems there.
Day 2: 43.82 miles
Day 3: Amsterdam to Albany
This section of the trail, also known as the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway or Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail, is all paved with a couple of sections of roads. There are some hills, and definitely some pretty large hills. Since the Erie Canal trail is mostly flat since it follows the towpath in many spots, this is a change.
In Schenectady, the tree-lined Stockade Historic District with restored 17th and 18th century homes and churches along Union Street. Is a beautiful area. Continuing east, the trail goes through the town of Colonie, and it runs along the Mohawk River.
The Canalway Trail leaves the Mohawk Valley in Cohoes and turns south into the Hudson Valley. As the trail approaches its end in Albany, it runs through woodlands along the Hudson River and connects with the city’s popular Corning Riverfront Park.
Day 3: 50.25 miles
This was a spectacular trip. My husband still calls it one of our best vacations ever (and we have done extensive travel). If you get a chance to bike this, I highly recommend this. Many people camp, but we stayed in hotels. Every hotel was very accommodating and we brought our bikes into our rooms each night.
By the way, we completed this at the age of 63. I bike every day there is good weather and my husband bikes when he can in between working.
We met some great people along the trail from many places such as Nashville, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Boston and Vermont, I love how much the trail is biked and the camaraderie among cyclists.
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Very nice story. I did the trip in both 2015 and again in ‘16 but so much history so I enjoyed your description, thanks for sharing!