Biking the Erie Canal Bike Trail – Rome to Albany

We did it!  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.  

bikes outside our home before we start for Erie Canal Bike Trail ride.

Storms the previous week left a few downed trees that we had to get around on the trail.   

trees blocking the Erie Canal bike trail.
Trees across the Erie Canal bike trail blocking passage.

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.   

Bridge and biker on Erie Canal bike trail.

Heading towards Little Falls, we came across Fort Herkimer Church.  

Fort Herkimer Church as seen from the Erie Canal bike trail.

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.  

Ruggiero's Trattoria and Italian Steakhouse restaurant in Little Falls, NY.  We ate here when biking the Erie Canal Bike Trail.
Italian and steak atRuggiero's Trattoria and Italian Steakhouse in Little Falls, NY

Day 1:  45.70 miles

Day 2:  Little Falls to Amsterdam

Leaving Little Falls is  a scenic and peaceful portion of the trail.  

Scenic bike trail section leaving Little Falls, NY on the Erie Canal bike trail

Shortly outside of Little Falls is the General Herkimer Home.  

back of General Herkimer Home outside Little Falls, NY on the Erie Canal bike trail.
front of General Herkimer Home outside Little Falls, NY on the Erie Canal bike trail.

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.  

Canoe on General Herkimer Home on the Erie Canal Bike trail outside of Little Falls, NY
Root Cellar at General Herkimer Home on the Erie Canal bike trail
Root cellar
General Herkimer’s grave, complete with canon and canon balls on the Erie Canal bike trail
General Herkimer’s grave, complete with canon and canon balls.

We had some rain on the way to Amsterdam but crowded under an overpass waiting it out.  We were joined by several other cyclists.  

Rain delay with other cyclists while biking the Erie Canal bike trail.

Luckily on our second downpour of rain, we found another overpass and waited about 45 minutes.  

Rain delay while biking the Eire Canal bike trail shows two bikes and a wet biker under an overpass waiting out the rain.

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.

View of downtown Albany, NY as seen from the Erie Canal bike trail. shows paved bike trail with tall buildings of city in the background.

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.  


Capture Moments: Share Stories.

SHARE THIS STORY
Comments
EXPAND

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!

Add a Comment

Leave a Reply to dmarquette@me.com CLOSE