Erie Canalway Trail

Mapped Routes for a 9-day Ride from Buffalo to Albany

We created routes using Ride with GPS prior to our trip - at least one for each day's planned route. For some days we created a map for an alternate route on a portion of the trail where others may have recommended a detour. These routes were based on the best information available to us at the time. We used the interactive maps of both the Parks and Trails of New York website and the Bike Erie Canal website. Where those maps differ, we made the choices based on our preference for avoiding on-road riding, hills, and high-traffic areas when possible.

We made some changes in the planned routes - sometimes because we missed a turn and ended up seeking out another way forward, and other times we opted for the alternate route instead of the one we originally mapped. We have a subscription to Ride with GPS, which allows us to save our maps offline onto our iPhones. This allows us to consult the map, and zooom in for more detail, even if we are not in an area with a strong cell signal. Since using these kinds of maps, we found we generally do not need to carry printed maps. Likewise, we scanned the entire Erie Canalway Trail guidebook and saved it as a PDF file on our phones.

I created my own versions of cue sheets, something I could carry in a map holder on top of my handlebar bag so I would not have to stop and look at the map each time we approached a turn.

Cue Sheets

Day 1 - Buffalo to Lockport
Day 2 - Lockport to Brockport
Day 3 - Brockport to Palmyra
Day 4 - Palmyra to Weedsport and alternate route from Lyons to Port Byron
Day 5 - Weedsport to Syracuse; alternate route to enter Syracuse
Day 6 - Syracuse to Rome
Day 7 - Rome to Little Falls
Day 8 - Little Falls to Amsterdam
Day 9 - Amsterdam to Albany


On Day 1, riding out of Buffalo, we found that the trail along the lake (Amvets Drive) in Lasalle Park was unrideable, and we backtracked to get on DAR Drive. We turned east too soon off of DAR Drive and crossed I-190 on a bridge at Hudson Street. (We were supposed to continue on DAR Drive to a different crossing near Peace Bridge.) As a result, we missed seeing the Peace Bridge and continued north on Niagara Street to its intersection with W. Ferry Street and Robert Reich Way.


In Tonawanda, we diverted off the route through Ellicott Creek Park to find a place to get food for lunch at a convenience store on Niagara Falls Blvd. near Ellicott Creek Rd. To get back on the route, we rode again through Ellicott Creek Park and rode on the busy Route 62 (Niagara Falls Blvd.) northward to its connection with Tonawanda Creek Road. In retrospect, we agreed it would have been preferrable to stop for food sooner and avoid the busy street riding.


No deviations on Day 2.

No deviations on Day 3 except a little confusion at the end of the day for how to get back to the town center from the Pal-Mac Aqueduct Park.


On Day 4, we started the day by riding back to the trail on Temple Rd. and Stafford Rd. In the town of Clyde, instead of sticking with our plan to use a detour on the south side of the Clyde River, we took the ECT on the outside of town – and it terminates at Brown Rd, a couple miles east of Clyde, forcing us onto Hwy 31 for the remainder of the ride to Port Byron. (This might actually have saved us some additional climbs, but we did not enjoy the on-road riding, particularly east of the point with Armitage Road (Hwy 89) joins Hwy 31 and the shoulder is more narrow and bound by a guard rail.)


On Day 5, we followed our mapped route until we reached Bridge Street at Solvay (east side of Syracuse) and then took an alternate route via Milton Ave and W. Fayette Street to ride into downtown Syracuse. This avoided the crossing at the State Fairgrounds and the trail network after that.


On Day 6¸ we followed our mapped route until we reached the edge of Rome and then missed a connection to the trail as it curves around Fort Bull/Wood Creek. This brought us to Hwy 69 (Erie Blvd W) about four or five blocks west of our intended crossing. We found the nearest safe crossing (at Gifford Rd) and continued through town on W. Liberty Street.


No deviations from our planned route on Day 7.


On Day 8, instead of taking the planned on-road detour in Fink Basin (east of Rome), we continued on the trail. This was a section with reported soft spots/loose gravel, but we found it to be better than expected and much safer than riding on the road. Also, on Day 8, we changed our lodging arrangements to stay at the Amsterdam Castle and avoided the need to ride up a steep hill at the end of the day to reach the Microtel Inn.


No deviations on Day 9 but a steep hill (~ 15% grade) around 22 miles.

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