Parks & Trails NY is hosting its inaugural Cycle The Hudson Valley bike tour, taking advantage of the new Empire State Trail that traverses the entire north-south length of the state, from Canada down to the tip of Manhattan. This trip starts midway, in Troy, on July 29 and follows the Empire State Trail 200 miles south, ending in the Big Apple a week later. This seven-day fully-supported tour is limited to the first 300 cyclists who sign up.
Daily routes average 30-50 miles/day with additional mileage options for riders wanting more. The route is 63% paved and 13% crushed stone dust trail, with 24% on road, and will take bicyclists through the cities, villages, countryside and parklands of the picturesque Hudson River Valley.
On the second night of Cycle the Hudson Valley, the tour rolls into the village of Hudson, which has become quite a mecca for art galleries and boutique shops. The group spends the next two nights in Kingston, the first capital of New York State, where George Clinton was sworn in as the first Governor almost 246 years ago to the day that the group will be in town. On the lay-over day cyclists can explore by biking an optional loop or strolling through the Kingston Stockade District(on the National Register of Historic Places) or visiting the Hudson River Maritime Museum.
On Day Four, cyclists ride over the incredibly popular Walkway Over the Hudson, an elevated multi-use park that spans 1.28 miles, and soars 212 feet above the Hudson River into Poughkeepsie on the eastern shore. Shuttles will be available to take cyclists to visit the FDR Home and Library and the renowned Culinary Institute of America. The next day’s countryside ride ends in the charming hamlet of Carmel.
The last overnight brings the tour close to NYC. Riding along the Hudson River Greenway offers river views most of the way. The tour ends at Battery Park with a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty. Cyclists can visit the 9/11 Memorial Pools, or book a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. There’s also a superb National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian, located in the historic Alexander Hamilton US Custom House at One Bowling Green, across from Battery Park.
Parks & Trails NY has opened registration for the 25th Anniversary Cycle the Erie Canal 2023. The eight-day, 400-mile adventure from Buffalo to Albany takes place July 9-16.
This year, the ride – a supported camping trip – returns to its full complement of 650 riders.
There are two options: an 8-day tour from Buffalo to Albany and a 4-day option from Buffalo to Syracuse (4-day capped at 100 riders).
The route follows the legendary Erie Canal passing locks and aqueducts and winding through historic villages and rural farmlands.
The 400-mile journey along the legendary Erie Canal ends in Albany eight days later. Along the way, cyclists enjoy some of the finest scenery, most interesting history, and unparalleled cycling in the United States. Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.
Designed as a camping trip, accommodations are provided with showers, toilet facilities, some with pools or lakes for swimming; eight breakfasts and six dinners; two daily refreshment stops along the route; evening entertainment including music and historical presentations; guided tours of the Canal, historic sites, museums and other attractions including the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, Erie Canal Museum and Village, Fort Stanwix National Monument and a boat tour through the Lockport locks; kick-off reception and end-of-tour celebration; Cycle the Erie Canal t-shirt; baggage transport; SAG wagon and mobile mechanical support; daily maps and cue sheets; painted and arrowed routes; pre-departure info packet including training trips.
Other amenities available (at additional fee) include fresh daily towels, gourmet morning coffee, tent and air mattress rental and set up (for those who don’t want to pitch their own tent or prefer to rent).
Shuttle transportation from Albany to the start in Buffalo (you arrive the night before the bike trip starts and have an extra night camping), or from Albany back to Buffalo is available. Arrangements are made for parking.
Volunteer Events Taking Place at 120 State Parks, Historic Sites and Public Lands Across New York
Online Registration Now Open and Can Be Completed Here
Registration is now open for the 10th annual I Love My Park Day, which will be held over the weekend of May 1 and May 2, 2021 at state parks, historic sites and public lands across New York. The event, sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Parks & Trails New York and the Department of Environmental Conservation, is a statewide event to enhance parks, historic sites and public lands and raise awareness and visibility to the state outdoor recreation assets and their needs.
“More people than ever before are enjoying the beautiful and natural treasures New York State has to offer,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I Love My Park Day is a great opportunity to give back to our incredible park system, and I encourage New Yorkers to sign up and volunteer at a participating park or historic site in their area to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy these amazing resources.”
Volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in cleanup events at 120 state parks, historic sites and public lands from Long Island to Western New York and covering all regions in between, including sites operated by the Department of Environmental Conservation and municipal parks. Registration for I Love My Park Day can be completed here.
Volunteers will celebrate New York’s public lands by cleaning up debris, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitats, removing invasive species and working on various site improvement projects. Due to COVID-19, registration will be capped at 50 people per site per day to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all volunteers. All projects will adhere to the proper requirements for social distancing and face coverings.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “State parks provided a necessary escape for people to safely recreate and explore the outdoors during the height of the pandemic. This year, we look forward to celebrating the stewardship of I Love My Park Day by welcoming volunteers whose efforts continue to make our state park system the very best in the nation and incredibly vital to our local communities. I’d like to thank our partners at Parks & Trails New York for continuing to organize this event for ten years and expanding opportunities for the public to give back.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I Love My Park Day is the largest single-day volunteer event in New York State, providing opportunities for environmental stewards to help clean up, restore, and enhance the State’s parks, historic sites, and public lands. During the State’s ongoing response to the pandemic, more New Yorkers than ever before are venturing outdoors in search of recreation and I encourage them to consider giving back to our environment by registering to participate in preserving and improving these very special places and remembering to take care of public lands all year long.”
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, “Parks and green space are always important but never has that been more apparent than during this pandemic year. New Yorkers turned to parks in droves for recreation, respite and a safe place to spend time with family and friends. Now they have a chance to give back to the places that have sustained them over the last 12 months. We’re so happy to be able to celebrate the tenth anniversary of I Love My Park Day.”
Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space for all. With thousands of members and supporters across the state, PTNY is a leading voice in the protection of New York’s magnificent state park system and the creation and promotion of more than 1,500 miles of greenways, bike paths, river walks, and trails. More information can be found here.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit here, connect with us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram
Registration for Parks & Trails NY’s Cycle the Erie Canal 2021 opens today, April 1, at noon. The traditional eight-day, 400-mile biking adventure is returning for a 23rd year in 2021. Riders will leave Buffalo July 11 and reach Albany on July 18.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of riders, volunteers, staff, vendors, and local community members is at the forefront of planning. With this in mind, the PTNY coordinators have made the following changes:
The tour is limited to 350 participants and volunteers. Be sure to register early to reserve your spot!
All registrations will be for the full eight-day option.
Non-rider drivers will not be allowed to accompany the tour this year.
To keep everyone safe and meet state and local COVID-19 regulations, registration fees have increased this year.
To register, visit ptny.org/ctec2021. Registration opens today, Thursday, April 1, at noon.
The route follows the legendary Erie Canal passing locks and aqueducts and winding through historic villages and rural farmlands.
The 400-mile journey along the legendary Erie Canal ends in Albany eight days later. Along the way, cyclists enjoy some of the finest scenery, most interesting history, and unparalleled cycling in the United States. Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 85 percent complete and the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.
Designed as a camping trip, accommodations are provided with showers, toilet facilities, some with pools or lakes for swimming; eight breakfasts and six dinners; two daily refreshment stops along the route; evening entertainment including music and historical presentations; guided tours of the Canal, historic sites, museums and other attractions including the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, Erie Canal Museum and Village, Fort Stanwix National Monument and a boat tour through the Lockport locks; kick-off reception and end-of-tour celebration; Cycle the Erie Canal t-shirt; baggage transport; SAG wagon and mobile mechanical support; daily maps and cue sheets; painted and arrowed routes; pre-departure info packet including training trips. Other amenities available (at additional fee) include fresh daily towels, gourmet morning coffee, tent and air mattress rental and set up (for those who don’t want to pitch their own tent).
The price up until June 7 is $1200/adult, $650 youth (6-17); $290 child (5 and under); shuttle is $100.
The PTNY coordinators are following the guidance from New York State, and will be prepared to follow all regulations in place in July. Registrants will be notifiedof any updates or changes. Visit New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory to stay abreast of restrictions that might impact your travel plans.
This is huge for New York State’s tourism and recreational
opportunities: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s is proposing a $300 million plan
to reimagine the Erie Canal by creating recreational activities on the Canal to
boost tourism and recreational
fishing, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and restore wetlands.
“When the Erie Canal was created in the
19th century it set the state and the nation on a path to
prosperity, and this year we will repurpose the canal to fit our state’s
21st century needs,” Governor
Cuomo said. “This bold and visionary plan to transform
this historic waterway will build on the success of the Empire State Trail (750
miles of connected bikeways), grow tourism across Upstate New York,
improve resilience of today’s Canal communities and ensure the
economic sustainability of the waterway into the future.”
“The canals have played a crucial role in New York’s history and
growth, and with the implementation of these new exciting projects, the canals
will remain a vital force and make a positive contribution to the economic
well-being and quality of life in the 225 communities they travel through,”
said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
A first phase of funding starting this year – through the New
York Power Authority Board which oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary
– includes a $100 million economic development fund to invest
in communities along the Canal and a separate $65 million investment
in solutions that will help prevent ice jams and related flooding in the
The remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will subsequently be allocated
to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well
as to solutionsrelated to flood mitigation,
invasive species prevention and ecosystem restoration.
New Economic Development Fund for Canal Communities
In the first phase of the program, a $100 million economic
development fund will support projects that adaptively reuse canal
infrastructure to enhance water recreation, tie the Canal’s new
recreational improvements to the Governor’s Empire State Trail,
celebrate historic canal structures, and develop unique canalside
attractions and activities. Roughly $25 million of that will be allocated
immediately to a set of initial projects:
Connecting Communities: The “Brockport Loop” project in Monroe County will
connect SUNY College at Brockport to the Empire State
Trailand the village of Brockport through
the transformation of a canal guard-gate into a
pedestrian bridge and overlook, with a supporting grant of $2 million
from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.
Celebrating “Iconic Infrastructure”:Interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal “movable
dams” – initially in
Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the
Mohawk River valley – will celebrate the Canal’s
heritage and its history as an engineering marvel.
Expanding Water Recreation: A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca
Falls, will rely on existing water control infrastructure to construct an
active water sports course adjacent to the Montezuma National
Wildlife Refuge, to increase eco-tourism and sport visitors to the region.
Adapting Industrial Property for New
Uses: Winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition,
a canalside pocket neighborhood, will be developed by Madison
County in Central New York at a former industrial
property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal –
demonstrating a new model for 21st century canalside living.
Developing Destination Accommodations: The
historic Guy Park Manor, on the Mohawk River in
Amsterdam, will be reborn as a hospitality destination and a
pedestrian bridge constructed
across the already-existing Canal lock will provide
access to additional overnight accommodation along the Empire
State Trail on the opposite side of the river.
World-Class Fishing and Restored Wetlands
To create world-class fishing in Western New York, the new
plan recommends managing water releases from the Canal to enhance fish
habitat, improve angling opportunities, and extend the fall fishing season in
Lake Ontario tributaries. It also includes funding to expand public
fishing access along key streams in Orleans, Monroe and Niagara
Counties. In addition, it identifies a program to divert Canal water to restore and
re-nourish wetlands in Central New York that were compromised a
century ago by the Canal’s construction. This will allow areas in
close proximity to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory
stopover for more than 1 million birds each
year, to be significantly enhanced to further
attract naturalists, locals, and visitors from throughout the region and
Ideas in this plan originated from the Reimagine the
Canals Task Force recommendations, launched by
Governor Cuomo in May of 2019 to pursue a
comprehensive investigation of how the 195-year-old Erie Canal
could be reimagined for the 21st century. The Reimagine
the Canals Task Force Report was just released.
The Task Force engaged with municipal leaders, stakeholders, local
business owners, scientists and other experts, along with community
members, to identify opportunities and solutions that support a
new vision for future investments in the waterway. Many of the ideas that the
Task Force explored came from the completed Reimagine the Canals competition, held
last year by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal
Corporation. SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, on behalf of
the Task Force, conducted a series of outreach sessions during the summer
in five canal communities – Lockport, Brockport, Schenectady, Utica and
Syracuse – to solicit new ideas from the public at large. Ideas were also
solicited on a Reimagine the Canals website, offering more
distant canal users an opportunity to provide their views to the Task Force.
The “Reimagine” initiative builds on successful
efforts by Governor Cuomo to invest in the canal corridor, including
the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and successful Taste NY program, which have stoked new industries,
businesses and housing in canal communities. Harnessing the Canal’s full
potential to attract more tourism and recreation is a key focus of the
Initiative. Governor Cuomo and state agency and authority staff
will collaborate with Empire Line communities and continue to consult with
Task Force members and other stakeholders to ensure the success
of projects as they move forward.
There are 1.6 million trips taken annually on the Erie Canal Trailway,
the former towpath used by mules and horses to pull barges in the canals’ early
days. The Trailway is part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Trail,
which at 750 miles will be the largest state multi-use trail network when
completed in late 2020. Governor DeWitt Clinton began work on the original
Erie Canal on July 4, 1817.
In addition to investing $300 million in the Canal System, there are
also plans to create two new state parks in the
Hudson Valley, add 4,000 acres of land to parks and introduce a $3 billion
“Restore Mother Nature” bond act.
Meanwhile, registration has opened for the
22nd Annual Cycle the Erie, eight-day 400-mile, fully supported biking/camping
trip, from Buffalo to Albany, operated by Parks & Trails NY, taking place
July 12-19, 2020. For information on
Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York, 518-434-1583, email [email protected] or visit www.ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal.
One of the best bike tours on the planet is in our own backyard: the annual Parks & Trails NY Cycle the Erie Canal ride, eight-days, 400-miles and 400 years of history, from Buffalo to Albany, a fully supported biking and camping trip (you can even hire Comfy Campers to set up your tent).
ride raises money and awareness for advocacy for new trail development and this
year’s ride will highlight new trails that take the riders off the roadway – this
year, cyclists will ride a new stretch west of Lockport in the town of
Pendleton and a gorgeous new trail between Amsterdam and Pattersonville (so you
no longer bike on the highway). Some 550
riders are expected this year, its 21st
annual Cycle the Erie ride, taking place , July 7-14; Parks & Trails NY is
still accepting registrations ($925/adult, 6-17 $545, 5-and under $280,
organization’s key focus now is to build upon the state’s plan for 750-miles of
off-road recreational trails – the 360-mile long Erie Canalway, plus Empire
State Trail, north-south mixed-use, off-road trail system that will fully
connect New York City to Canada.
plans are already in place for the Empire State Trail to be completed by the
end of 2020. In 2019, PTNY launched Trails Across New York Campaign, to build
off the momentum of the Empire State Trail’s planned completion in 2020 and
support ways to turn the statewide trail system into a true network, connecting
local trails with the main spine of the Empire State Trail, including Long
Island, “and cementing New York’s position as the nation’s leader in multi-use
is currently pending in the NYS Assembly (A. 5035B) (S.4416B has already passed
the NYS Senate) would create a statewide multi-use trails plan. This important
bill would direct the state to come up with a blueprint for future trails
development, helping to turn our local trails across the state into a unified network
of trails with major spines and connecting routes, ensuring all parts of the
state have access to quality outdoor active recreation on trails.
Senate version has already passed; the Assembly version is in Ways & Means,
which directs the State Parks department to strategize and prioritize filling
in the trail gaps. Though it was considered possible for the Assembly to pass
its version by the June 19th close of session, if it languishes to
the next session, progress will not be lost. Parks & Trails was urging
people to contact their state legislator to ask them to cosponsor the
legislation and to make sure that the legislation is brought up for a vote
before the legislature adjourns for the year.
Across New York envisions a future in which all New Yorkers will be located
only minutes from a trail and ideally will be able to access that trail easily
and safely by walking or bicycling. Throughout the state, trails, bicycle
boulevards, and Complete Streets will be acknowledged as essential and
mainstream elements of community infrastructure, much as utility lines and
sidewalks are thought of today.”
PTNY notes that New York State’s trail-rich and
trail-friendly reputation will attract visitors from across the nation and
abroad to experience the historic communities and varied and beautiful
landscapes accessible through the state’s trail network.
offer a wide range of benefits, including stimulating local economies, PTNY
notes. The Erie Canalway Trail alone has an estimated annual impact of more
than $250 million, and has created close to 3,500 jobs. New York’s outdoor
recreation economy annually generates $41.8 billion in consumer spending and
supports 313,000 jobs.
Cycle the Erie series on goingplacesfarandnear.com:
Registration is now open for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile, eight-day bike tour, an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.
The 2016 tour kicks off in Buffalo on July 10 and arrives in Albany on July 17. This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:
2-day and 4-day Options: If you can’t take off a full week, consider joining us for half the tour or for a weekend. With 4-day options from Buffalo to Syracuse and Syracuse to Albany, you’re halfway to becoming an Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender. These shorter options are great for children, too.
Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride. Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal, and there is so much to discover.
Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more.
Last year’s ride had more than 600 riders and was frankly amazing, with all the sights to see and special activities arranged, not to mention to comradery and the adventure of camping out. The trip – superbly organized – really touches on all pistons.
For more information about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email [email protected]. Also, check out the new Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.
See our series from the 17th Annual Cycle the Erie bike tour: