ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL:

ROCHESTER-BUFFALO, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:    Sept 24, 2021

Length:              Canalway Trail; Rochester-Buffalo; 96.8 miles

                            Spencerport Heritage Trail; 1.1 miles

                            Andrew Como Canalway Trail/Holley Canal Falls Trail; 1.3 mile Loop (1.5 mile Loop from the Canalway Trail).

                            Medina Riverwalk; 0.5 miles

                            Lockport Loop; 2.5 miles (4.5 mile Loop)

                            Gateway Harbor Canalway Trail; 1.9 miles.

Difficulty:          Canalway Trail; Rochester-Buffalo; Easy. Stone-dust and paved trail. Some on-road sections.

                             Spencerport Heritage Trail; Easy. Paved and stone-dust trail.

                            Andrew Como Canalway Trail/Holley Canal Falls Trail; Moderate. Paved, crushed gravel with a steep hill.

                            Medina Riverwalk; Easy. Red paving stone path.

                            Lockport Loop; Easy. Paved & stone-dust trails w/short on-road section.

                            Gateway Harbor Canalway Trail; Easy. Paved, brick and cement. BIKE LANE.

Directions:     

To start from Genesee Valley Park in Rochester [Eastern End]; From I-390 take exit 17 to Route 383. Head left (north) to Genesee St.

For the Genesee Valley Park; Northwest parking area; Turn right down Genesee St. Parking lot entrance is on your left. Follow the paved trail south from the parking lot.

For the Genesee Valley Park; Northeast parking area; Continue straight on Elmwood Ave and cross over the Genesee River. Take an immediate right on Moore Rd into the park. Parking lot will be on your right. 

For the Genesee Valley Park; Red Creek & South parking lots; Turn right on Elmwood Ave and cross over the river. Take an immediate right on Moore Rd into the park. Cross the canal and turn right on Hawthorne Dr. Red Creek parking lot will be on your left. Head left along Hawthorne Dr to reach the trail. If you continue along Hawthorne Dr, crossing Red Creek, you'll come to the South parking lot. Trail is on your right.

To start from the Henpeck Park parking lot  Union Street parking lot in Spencerport [Center Eastern Section]; From the intersection of I-490 take the exit for Route 531 west. Travel about 4.5 miles and exit onto Route 259 north. Cross over the canal in Spencerport and turn right into the parking lot.

To start from the Canal Park parking lot in Holley [Center Eastern Section]; From the junction of Routes 31 and 237 in Holley travel east on E Albion St, then left on East Ave. Just before the canal turn right into Canal Park. 

To start from the Prospect Ave parking lot in Medina [Center Section]; From the junction of Routes 31 and 63 in Medina head north on Route 63 (Main St). Turn right on Prospect Ave and cross over the canal. The parking lot is on your right.

To start from the North Canal Road parking lot in Lockport [Center Western Section]; From the junction of Routes 31 and 78 in Lockport follow Route 78 north for 1.9 miles. Turn right on Old Niagara Rd, then left on N Canal Rd. First right into the parking lot.

To start from the State Street parking lot in Lockport [Center Western Section]; From the junction of Routes 31 and 78 in Lockport travel south on Route 78 and turn right on State St. Cross Stevens/W High Streets and the parking lot will be on your right.

To start from the Ellicott Creek Park/Ellicott Creek Trailway parking lot in Tonawanda [Western End]; FromI-290 take exit 3 to Route 62 north. Travel 1.4 miles crossing over Ellicott Creek and turning left into the park. Travel through the park towards Creekside Dr. Park before Creekside Dr as there is no parking where the two trails meet.

To start from the Niawanda Park/Two Mile Creek Greenway parking lot in Tonawanda [Western End]; From I-190 take exit 17 to River Rd and head right. Travel 1.2 miles and turn left just after crossing 2 Mile Creek and where the trail crosses the road.

To start from the Unity Island parking lot Buffalo [Western End]; From here you may also access the Scajaquada Creek Bike Path.

From I-190 northbound take exit 12 to Niagara St and head right. Travel underneath the RR bridge and turn right next to a sign reading "Squaw Island Park". A ramp takes you up to a RR/car bridge and out to Unity Island. Follow the road straight and you'll come to the parking lot. 

From I-190 southbound take exit 14 to Niagara St and head right. Travel 1 mile, passing underneath a RR bridge and turn right next to a sign reading "Squaw Island Park". A ramp takes you up to a RR/car bridge and out to Unity Island. Follow the road straight and you'll come to the parking lot.

To start from the La Salle Park parking lot in Buffalo [Western End]; From I-190 take exit 9 to Porter Ave and turn right. Follow to Amvets Dr and into the park. 

This section of the Erie Canalway Trail travels from Rochester to Buffalo. The Buffalo to Tonawanda section utilizes the Shoreline Trail .

The Erie Canalway Trail is a network of approximately 300 miles of multiple-use trails across upstate New York. The trail follows the towpaths of both active and historic sections of the New York State Canal System, such as the Erie Canal and Old Erie Canal, as well as, adjacent abandoned rail corridors such as the former West Shore Railroad which was chartered December 5, 1885 , as successor to the New York, West Shore & Buffalo Railway. Called in its day "the eighth wonder of the world," the Erie Canal remains one of America's best known and enduring icons. A marvel of nineteenth-century engineering, the canal, begun in 1817, followed a path already popular to westward-moving Americans, following the Mohawk River through the Appalachian Mountains and then on to Lake Erie. Building the canal was a tremendous feat. Workers had to dig a 363-mile ditch that was 40 feet wide and four feet deep, through rocky hills and swamps and across rivers. What's more, this ditch had to slowly rise 565 feet on its way from the Hudson River to Lake Erie, which it did through a series of Locks. Derided as "Clinton's Ditch," after New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, within months of the canal's opening in 1825 the doubters were proven wrong by the canal's overwhelming success. The canal gave rise to additional connecting canals, including the Oswego, Cayuga-Seneca, and Champlain, the last of which actually opened before the Erie Canal. For more information visit; CANALWAY TRAIL or NY CANALWAY SYSTEM

The Erie Canalway Trail is part of the Empire State Trail , which will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation.

Note; A shuttle system has been set up along the length of the Erie Canalway Trail. Visit: BIKE TOURS/SHUTTLE .

 

Rochester to Buffalo Section:

Note; Heading East; The Erie Canalway Trail travels 87.2 miles to the Warners Road parking lot in Camillus; See; Erie Canalway Trail; Syracuse-Rochester .

 

Starting from Genesee Valley Park; Northeast (North of I-390 & Erie Canal & East side of Genesee River) in Rochester [Eastern End]; [268.2 miles to Albany from here] [Continuing Mileage] From the Genesee Valley Park; Genesee River Bridge, this is the start of the Erie Canalway Trail; Rochester-Buffalo section. 

Note; Heading north through the park is the Genesee Riverway Trail; East Side .

Head over the Genesee Valley Park; Genesee River Bridge to Genesee Valley Park; Northwest (North of I-390 & Erie Canal & West side of Genesee River).

Note; Straight leads to the Genesee Valley Park; Northwest parking area.

The Genesee Riverway Trail; West Side crosses here traveling north-south. Heading left the Erie Canalway Trail & Genesee Riverway Trail; West Side travel south between the Genesee River and Genesee Valley Park; Northwest. You quickly come to a junction. This is the official start of the paved Genesee Valley Greenway Mile 0 according to the map. All three trails then continue left crossing over the Erie Canal via a pedestrian bridge. Look right to spot an old RR bridge and left to see the confluence of the Erie Canal and Genesee River. You then come to another intersection just below I-390 at 268.4 miles. The Erie Canalway Trail continues right.

Note; Just ahead the trail splits where the Genesee Valley Greenway veers right and the Genesee Riverway Trail; West Side continues straight.

The paved Erie Canalway Trail heads west from Genesee River alongside the southern side of the Erie Canal, passing by a spur trail left up to Route 383 (Scottsville Rd) and following a very industrial corridor. I haven't checked out this section. At 269.5 miles you'll pass by an old RR trestle across the canal before traveling underneath Brooks Ave at 269.8 miles. Travel across some RR tracks before a cross-light takes you over Chili Ave at 270.6 miles. Next a bridge takes you over some RR tracks before a cross-walk takes you over Route 33 at 271.4 miles. Travel underneath I-490 and across Route 31 (cross-walk). The trail passes by some defunct RR tracks and bridges (I believe from an old Trolley Line) before traveling underneath Route 154 and Route 390 at 273.2 miles. 

Note; A spur trail on your left leads to Trolley Blvd.

Come to the Route 136 bridge and a spur trail on your left at 274.3 miles.

Note; Continuing straight underneath the Route 136 bridge the trail reverts to stone-dust and ends after 1.4 miles at Allen's Canalside Marine

Instead head left following the spur trail up to Route 136. Head right utilizing a wide shoulder (sidewalk available) across the bridge where you will pick up the paved trail on your right. This will take you back alongside the canal and underneath the Route 136 bridge where the stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail continues west along the northern side of the canal. Here the canal is more isolated. You pass by the Henpeck Park parking lot (Porto-potty & boat dock located here) before traveling underneath Route 158. Pass by a boat dock and spur trail for GREECE CANAL PARK at 276.8 miles. Travel underneath Route 208 and Route 210 at 278.7 miles before passing by a canal Guard Gate. As you enter Spencerport you pass through Towpath Park, where the trail is paved, out Union St. Head right for a crosswalk and this will bring you to the Union Street parking lot at 280.2 miles. Map Board located here.

Note; From here you can check out the Spencerport Riverwalk. I've checked out this section. Cross the Union St bridge to downtown Spencerville. Look for a cement passageway on your left between two buildings. This leads to the paved Spencerport Riverwalk. Travel past a canal dock and the SPENCERPORT DEPOT & CANAL MUSEUM . The paved trail turns to stone-dust. This open trail continues east alongside the canal passing by picnic tables and a dock before turning south and ending after 1.1 miles. A parking lot is located near the dock and can be accessed off of Lyell Ave

Continuing along the paved Erie Canalway Trail after traveling underneath the Martha St bridge at 280.3 miles the trail reverts to stone-dust again. The trail now travels between the canal and Canal Rd, passing underneath Trimmer Rd and crossing Route 212 (crosswalk) at 283.1 miles. As you approach the Gallup Rd bridge at 284.1 miles the trail becomes paved for a short distance and isolated again as you lose Canal Rd. Travel underneath Route 260 at 285.5 miles and across Fayette St. Here the trail is brick lined in the town of Brockport. Cross over to the Main Street parking lot at 287.7 where you'll find a Map Board. Trail reverts to stone-dust. Travel underneath the Smith St bridge and across a small spillway before passing by another Guard Gate at 288.6 miles. Travel underneath Route 31 twice before coming to the Sans Souci Park parking lot at 290.9 miles where you'll find a Map Board, picnic pavilion and Porto-potty. Travel underneath Bennetts Corners Rd before coming to East Ave at 292.3 miles in Holley.

Note; From here you can check out the Andrew Como Canalway Trail/Holley Canal Falls Trail. I've checked out this section. Cross the canal via the East Ave bridge and turn left along East Ave where you'll find Canal Park. A boat launch and pavilion located here. Head right along the wide, paved Andrew Como Canalway Trail. This takes you inland past a small pond, picnic pavilion and playground. Come to an intersection at 0.3 miles. Note; Straight takes you up to Geddes St where you can check out the old 1907 Holley RR Depot. Head left down the gravel Holley Canal Falls Trail which leads to the Holley Canal Falls parking lot at 0.5 miles. Here your treated to a beautiful man-made waterfall. The Holley Canal Falls are a result of a Waste Weir off the Erie Canal. Excess water from the canal was diverted into East Branch Sandy Creek, dropping 40 feet along the way. Cross the bridge and head right past the pavilion along a crushed gravel trail. A steep climb takes you up to an intersection. Note; Right the trail leads out to State St. Head left and the trail splits. Keep left and you'll travel above the falls, alongside East Branch Sandy Creek and out to a 3-way intersection at 1 mile. The Waste Weir is straight ahead. Note; Hard right leads 0.3 miles to State St, right leads 0.2 miles to Bennetts Corners Rd. Head left where the trail travels west alongside the canal before becoming paved as you pass by a dock before returning to Canal Park for a 1.3 mile Loop (1.5 mile Loop from the Erie Canalway Trail).

Continuing west along the stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail you travel underneath the Route 237 bridge, Route 54 and Groth Rd before crossing Route 24 in the town of Hulberton at 295.4 miles. The trail briefly utilizes Canal Rd before continuing west alongside the canal. Travel underneath Route 387, past the old Hindsburg bridge, underneath Route 64 & Route 11 bridge, Keitel Rd bridge, Butts Rd bridge and Brown St bridge before crossing Ingersoll St at 301.8 miles in Albion. The trail then utilizes a road out to Main St past which the trail returns to stone-dust. You travel underneath a steel bridge before passing by a Guard Gate at 303.1 miles. Travel underneath Route 86 before crossing Route 21 at 305.3 miles. Here you'll need to continue straight along Eagle Harbor-Knowlesville Road where you'll pick up the trail next to a Parking lot. Travel underneath Allens Bridge Rd, Presbyterian Rd bridge and Route 10 at 308.4 miles where you pass through Knowlesville. At 309.8 miles you cross Culvert Rd, which travels through a tunnel underneath the Erie Canal. Built in 1823 it's the only road to travel underneath the Erie Canal. Travel underneath Beals Rd before coming to Bates Road where you must travel up and across to an access road for a boat launch and parking lot at 311.6 miles. Here you'll find another Guard Gate. You'll pass by the Horan Road parking lot before traveling underneath Horan Rd, past a Map Board and coming to a cement causeway in Medina at 312.5 miles. Here the rough cement trail takes you across then above Old Orchard Creek. If you look right you can see the Medina Falls. Spillway into the creek located across the canal. Travel underneath the Glenwood Ave bridge before passing by a giant apple sculpture and crossing Prospect Ave at 313.1 miles where you'll find a parking lot.

Note: From here you can access the Medina RiverwalkI've checked out this section. Cross the Prospect Ave bridge and turn left along the Medina Riverwalk which consists of red paving stones. Travel alongside the canal and along a narrow catwalk underneath the Glenwood Ave bridge. Briefly follow an access road before returning to pavers. Come to a Map Board, gazebo and dock after 0.5 miles. Trail ends here.

Continuing west you'll pass by the small Prospect Ave parking lot before rejoining the stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail. Travel underneath the Marshall Rd bridge, passing by a Guard Gate and coming to Front St where you briefly share the road out to Main St in Middleport at 317.8 miles. Cross Main St and continue along the canal traveling underneath the Carmen Rd bridge, Root Rd bridge and crossing a sluiceway over East Branch 18 Mile Creek at 322.4 miles. After passing by a Guard Gate you cross Route 103 in Gasport at 232.2 miles. Small parking lot and Map Board located here. Travel underneath the Orangeport Rd bridge and North Canal Rd bridge before passing by the 1st North Canal Road parking lot and traveling underneath Day Rd bridge at 327 miles. You pass by a 2nd North Canal Road parking lot (Map Board) before traveling underneath the Cold Springs Rd bridge at 328 miles. 

*Note; From here you may complete a nice Loop up to Lockport, then back along the southern side of the Erie Canal returning back to the 2nd North Canal Road parking lot.

I've checked out this section. Continuing west along the stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail you travel underneath the Lake Ave bridge as you enter Lockport, past the closed Adam St bridge and past the Mill St bridge where you briefly share an access road before crossing 18 Mile Creek and coming to a detour around the Canal Lockport Shop at 329.2 miles. Pass by a dry dock and return to Erie Canalway Trail which shares a paved access road. Travel past some old ruins on your right then underneath a high RR bridge before coming to the start of the old Flight of Five Locks and Locks 34 & 35 in Lockport at 329.7 miles. 

The 60 foot rise in the Niagara Escarpment presented a major engineering problem during the construction of the original Erie Canal (1817-25). It was solved by Nathan S. Roberts, who designed a double set of five combined Locks; one for ascending traffic heading west and another for descending traffic heading east. Each Lock was 90 x 15 feet and had a lift of 12 feet. The first enlargement of the Erie Canal took place between the years 1835 and 1862. At this time, the canal prism was extended and the locks at Lockport were increased from their original size to 110 feet x 18 feet. This allowed an increase in the tonnage of canal boats from seventy-five to two-hundred-forty. From the years 1909 to 1918, the Erie Canal was modified to become the New York State Barge Canal. The southern tier of the locks at Lockport were removed, and in their place was constructed a set of two electric lift locks [Locks 34 & 35]. These concrete locks with steel gates were 310 feet x 45 feet x 12 feet, and had a combined lift of 49 feet. The water gates of the northern tier of locks were removed so the locks could be used for the passage of surplus water. 

The Erie Canalway Trail travels up alongside the old Flight of Five Locks with lots of informational signs, sculptures and a small museum located between the two Lock systems before bringing you to Canal St.

Note; If you head right between the two stone buildings and look across the parking lot you'll spot an 1843 stone canal building which now hosts the ERIE CANAL DISCOVERY CENTER .

Follow Canal St out to the junction of Cottage, Church and Niagara Streets at 330 miles. This is the location of the Lockport Gateway (I'm not sure what that entails).

*Note; From here you may Loop back to the 2nd North Canal Road parking lot along the southern side of the Erie Canal. Head left on Cottage St over the canal, then left up Main St (sidewalk available). Pass by the huge old marble Lockport Exchange building. Turn left down Market St and you'll pick up a paved trail along the left as you travel underneath the RR bridge at 0.5 miles. You travel by Scalzo ParkLOCKPORT LOCKS & ERIE CANAL CRUISES and an old stone building before coming to the Josephine Carveth Packet Park. Here the trail winds along the canal through shade trees. Pass a gazebo and cross Mill St where a boardwalk briefly travels along the canal. Pass by the old Adams St bridge at 1 mile. Travel underneath the Lake Ave bridge and through Nelson Gohele Park before coming to Widewaters Marina parking lot at 1.8 miles. Travel on-road up Market St to Cold Springs Rd and head left across the canal. Turn right on N Canal Rd then right into the 2nd North Canal Road parking lot after 2.5 miles (4.5 mile Loop).

Note; An 0.8 mile on-road detour is required to access the next paved section of the Erie Canalway Trail

Travel straight along Niagara St (BIKE SHARROWS) for 0.3 miles and turn left down Prospect St where you'll find a BIKE LANE. Turn left when you come to Stevens St and cross over the Erie Canal via a BIKE LANE. This brings you to State St where you'll pick up the paved Erie Canalway Trail at 330.8 miles. The trail travels south along State St bringing you to the State Street parking lot at 330.9 miles. Map Board located here. The trail travels south between State St and the canal along an open corridor. The Erie Canal is mostly obscured. You cross State Rd and Route 93 at 332 mile (Crosswalk; Caution high speed traffic) before crossing Robinson Rd.

Note; From here you can access the Pendleton Rail Trail by heading left over the canal to Lockport Rd and traveling on-road (wide shoulder) 0.7 miles to the start of the paved Pendleton Rail Trail on your left.

I haven't checked out this section. Across Robinson Rd you'll pass by the East Canal parking lot at 333.6 miles. Map Board located here. Continuing south the trail travels between the canal and E Canal Rd. Look right to spot a Guard Gate across the canal. Cross a bridge and you'll come to the Fisk Road parking lot after 335 miles. Cross the road to a 2nd Fisk Road parking lot. Picnic tables at both lots. The trail continues south between the Erie Canal and E Canal Rd, briefly separated by a railing between the road, before pulling away from the road. Cross Tonawanda Creek Rd in Pendleton and a pedestrian bridge over Tonawanda Creek at 337.7 miles. Here the paved trail follows Tonawanda Creek. Pass by a spur trail on your left that leads to Tonawanda Creek Rd.

Note; Across the road is a parking lot for the BUFFALO NIAGARA HERITAGE VILLAGE .

The creek merges with the Erie Canal and the trail continues south along the canal. Come to Orbit Dr at 338.2 miles. Follow Orbit Dr right (south) on-road (residential) for 0.4 miles and you’ll pick up the paved Erie Canalway Trail just before Tonawanda Creek Rd. The trail now parallels Tonawanda Creek Rd heading west crossing an iron bridge over Ransom Creek and passing by a small parking area and picnic spot at 339.3 miles. Come to an intersection at 340.2 miles.

Note; Left takes you out to Tonawanda Creek Rd where the trail leads to the Duane Rodke Memorial Park parking lot in Wendelville.

Head right around the park and underneath the Route 270 bridge then back out to Tonawanda Creek Rd at 340.5 miles. Head right on-road (BIKE LANE) for 0.8 miles following Tonawanda Creek Rd before picking the paved Erie Canalway Trail on your right at 341.2 miles. Travel underneath Bear Ridge Rd before coming to Brenon Rd at 342 miles. Head right for a short on-road (residential) section before rejoining the trail on your right. Here the trail passes by the University at Buffalo Boathouse before jutting south around Amherst Veterans Canal Park and traveling between the canal and Tonawanda Creek Rd. The trail abruptly ends at 343.2 miles. Head right on-road along Tonawanda Creek Rd (wide shoulder) inland for 1.3 miles, crossing busy Route 62, before picking up the paved trail at 344.5 miles. The paved Erie Canalway Trail continues south between the Erie Canal and Old Niagara Falls Blvd. Travel underneath the E Robinson Rd bridge before passing by the Ellicott Island Bark Park parking lot at 345.2 miles (a bridge leads over to this dog walking island). The trail now travels between the Erie Canal and Creekside Dr. You'll pass by multiple parking lots. The trail abruptly ends at 346.2 miles next to Creekside Dr.

Note; Across Creekside Dr is the entrance to Ellicott Creek Park and the start of the Ellicott Creek Trailway . Parking available.

Head right on-road along Creekside Dr (shoulder available) for 1 mile before picking up the paved Erie Canalway Trail on your right at 347.2 miles. The trail now travels west between the Erie Canal and E Niagara St. Travel underneath the Route 425 bridge, pass by E Niagara Street parking lot #1, then underneath a RR bridge and past E Niagara Street parking lot #2. Just past this parking lot and before you travel underneath the Route 384 bridge spot an old blue canal boat across the street.

Note; From here you can access the Tonawanda Rail Trail by crossing over to Fillmore Ave. See; Tonawanda Rail Trail .

Travel underneath the Route 384 bridge and across an iron trestle bridge over Ellicott Creek to Young St in Tonawanda.

Note; Across Young St to your left is the Tonawanda Gateway (Tonawanda Blue & Greenways Intermodal Hub) Parking, picnic tables and restrooms for bikers, hikers and canal users.

Head right to the intersection of Main, Niagara & Young streets in Tonawanda at 348.6 miles. Tonawanda Gateway Harbor on your right. 

Note; From here you can access the Gateway Harbor Canalway Trail. I've checked out this section. Head right on Main St/Webster St across the Erie Canal to Sweeny St and head right. A wide cement path takes you above the Erie Canal and through an pavilion (rest rooms). Cross Main St, then turn right through a parking lot to a brick lined trail along the Erie Canal. Travel underneath a RR bridge where you pick up a wide paved trail at 0.4 miles. Trail meanders alongside the Erie Canal before traveling around the Sweeney Street parking lot out to Sweeney St at 0.7 miles where a BIKE LANE continues east. Just past Bryant St you'll pick up the paved trail again on your right for a short time before the BIKE LANE continues east underneath Route 425. Just after 1.1 miles you'll pick up the paved trail again on your right. I haven't checked out this section. The trail then pulls away from the canal before turning right off Sweeny St at 1.5 miles and back along the Erie Canal bringing you to Mayors Park at about 1.9 miles. Future plans call for continuing the trail NE along the Canal to the City Botanical Garden.

Note; From here the Erie Canalway Trail utilizes the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section, also called the Shoreline Trail; Greenway Upper River Section south to Canalside in downtown Buffalo. See; Shoreline Trail Riverwalk Section. The Shoreline Trail; Niagara River Greenway, also called the Shoreline Trail; Greenway Upper River Section travels north across the Erie Canal through North Tonawanda. See; Shoreline Trail Niagara River Greenway Section .

Cross Main St where the trail follows a wide sidewalk. Pick up the paved trail on your right just before Seymour St. Travel underneath Seymour St and back alongside the Erie Canal. Pass by an old RR turn bridge out in the middle of the canal before coming to the juncture of the Niagara River, the Erie Canal and Ellicott Creek at 349 miles. Across the river is Tonawanda Island

The Erie Canal utilizes the Niagara River south past Grand Island. Just south of Grand Island the Erie Canal utilizes Black Rock Canal which continues south between Buffalo and Unity Island. It is then separated from the Niagara River via a stone causeway before entering Buffalo Harbor in Downtown Buffalo.

The trail now travels south alongside the Niagara River entering Niawanda Park which contains multiple parking lots, a boat launch, dock, band shell and restrooms. Across the river is Grand Island. Just past the final Niawanda Park parking lot and before you cross a bridge over Two Mile Creek at 350.5 miles will be a Map Board.

Note; This is the start for the Two Mile Creek Greenway which travels across Niagara St to Veterans Memorial Park and south alongside Two Mile Creek.

I haven't checked out this section. After you cross the bridge and Two Mile Creek you enter Isle View Park. Multiple parking lots, boat launch, dock, picnic tables and gazebos. You exit the park where the trail follows River Rd south. You travel underneath the I-190 bridge at 351 miles.

Note; I haven't checked out this section. If you head left along a paved trail, then straight when it splits this leads up to the I-190 bridge. From here you can access the Shoreline Trail; Grand Island. See; Shoreline Trail Grand Island Section .

The trail continues alongside River Rd, away from the river. Very industrial corridor. Travel underneath a RR bridge and come to the intersection of River Rd, Sheridan Dr and Aqua Lane at 354.6 miles.

Note; Across River Rd is where Two Mile Creek Greenway rejoins the Erie Canalway Trail.

[This section south to Buffalo is also called the Shoreline Trail; Greenway Headwaters Section]

Continue south alongside Aqua Lane, passing Aqua Lane Park where the trail passes Stingers Marina and travels just below I-190 and above the Niagara River. You pass by a pedestrian bridge over  I-190 that leads to Riverside Park. You travel between Black Rock Harbor Rd and the Niagara River before passing through Black Rock Canal Park parking lot at 356.3 miles. Follow Aqua Lane out of the park and underneath an exit ramp for  I-190 where the paved trail continues on your right. Pass by a Dog Park, then around Harbor Place Marine, just below I-190 before coming to Hertel Ave at 356.7 miles.  

Note; Right down Hertel Ave brings you to Tow Path Park parking lot. Short Loop trail here. Looking south you'll spot Unity Island and the Black Rock Canal. The Black Rock Canal extends 3.5 miles from Buffalo Harbor north to the Black Rock Lock, which was constructed in 1908-1913. The canal allows vessels to bypass the reefs, rapids and fast currant of the Niagara River

You have 2 Options from here:

1. Follow the Erie Canalway Trail route which heads left up Hertel Ave to Niagara St. From here the trail follows a Separated BIKE LANE south along Niagara St. Pass by the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section ramp on your right after 0.6 miles.

Note; The first trail on your right is where the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section heads north to Hertel Ave. The ramp leads up to where the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section crosses over to Unity Island, then continues south. This ramp also leads to the start of the Jesse Kregal Pathway which follows Scajaquada Creek out to Delaware Park.

Continue following the Separated BIKE LANE south along Niagara St. Come to Robert Rich Way on your right after 2 miles **[358.7 miles]. This is where the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section joins the Erie Canalway Trail from Unity Island.

 

2. Follow the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section route (more scenic, but longer). Turn right then left across Hertel Ave to return to the trail. Travel past a marina before crossing Austin St where the trail continues below I-190. Cross Hamilton St where the trail utilizes Dann St briefly as you pass by Black Rock Lock. A ramp then takes you up and over I-190 and out to Niagara St. 

Note; The Erie Canalway Trail passes by following the Separated BIKE LANE south along Niagara St.

Head right up a ramp to an intersection at 0.7 miles. 

Note; From here you can access the start of the Jesse Kregal Pathway which follows Scajaquada Creek out to Delaware Park. Just head right underneath the RR/car bridge.

Continue straight up to and across the RR/car bridge where you'll cross over Black Rock Canal to Unity Island. The trail cuts west across the Island next to the RR tracks before crossing the access road and traveling underneath the International RR Bridge which crosses the river to Canada. 

Note; Before you cross the access road there are some paved trails on your right that will bring you to the northern tip of the island where you can check out Black Rock Lock. A stone pier leads to the canal's end where it enters the Niagara River. About 0.6 miles one-way to the end of the pier. I haven't checked out this section.

You pass by the Unity Island parking lot at 1.1 miles before coming alongside the Niagara River. Here the trail travel south alongside the river and past the sewage treatment plant. The trail brings you to Broderick Park at 2.1 miles. The Black Rock Ferry was located here and traversed the river to Fort Erie from 1825 until the 20th Century. The dock was used as part of the Underground Railroad.

Note; Continue straight to check out the park and Bird Island Pier, which forms the stone break for the Black Rock Canal. The pier is a 4' walkway atop the stone break that travels 1.2 miles traveling underneath the Peace Bridge.

Head left on-road along Robert Rich Way, across the canal, underneath I-190 and out to Niagara St at 2.3 miles **[359 miles]. This is where the Shoreline Trail joins the Erie Canalway Trail.

 

Continuing south, both the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section & Erie Canalway Trail utilize the same route. The trails follows a Separated BIKE LANE south along Niagara St. Bear right on Busti Ave and you'll pick up the paved Erie Canalway Trail on your right across from Hampshire St at 359.2 miles [add 0.3 miles to all totals if you followed Option 2]. You travel underneath the Peace Bridge to a pedestrian bridge that crosses over some RR tracks and I-190 to an overlook of the Black Rock Canal and Niagara River. A ramp then brings you alongside the Black Rock Canal. Pass by the West Side Rowing Club and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse before coming to Porter Ave at 360 miles. Head right alongside Porter Ave, passing by the Buffalo Yacht Club. Here the trail again travels alongside the Black Rock Canal and enters La Salle Park. Parking located here. I've checked out this section. You follow alongside Amvets Dr passing picnic shelters, sports fields, a Dog Park and a playground before heading inland across a field. To your right is the entrance to the Black Rock Canal. Cross Lakefront Blvd where the trail travels alongside some RR tracks just below I-190 before taking you back out to Lakefront Blvd. Head left and you'll come to a crosswalk over Erie St at 361.8 miles. Head right to Perry Blvd, just below I-190 and turn right following a BIKE LANE south to Commercial St and continue right.

Note; Left the BIKE LANE follows Pearl St to north to downtown Buffalo.

The BIKE LANE takes you underneath the Buffalo Skyway to Marine Dr at 362.1 miles. 

Note; If you travel straight across Marine Dr you'll come to the BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY NAVEL & MILITARY PARK which features the USS Little Rock & USS The Sulllivans, a submarine, along with various aircraft. A paved path then travels north through Veterans Park and alongside the Buffalo River bringing you to the Erie Basin Marina Observation Deck after 1 mile. 

The BIKE LANE continues left along Marine Dr crossing over the Commercial Slip

The Commercial Slip was a remnant of Little Buffalo Creek, which flowed into the Buffalo River just before the larger stream entered Lake Erie. The Commercial Slip formed one boundary of Buffalo's infamous Canal District, and was filled in when the district was marked for urban renewal in the 1950s. The Erie Canal Redevelopment project unearthed building foundations from the Canal-era neighborhood and restored the Commercial Slip

Note; CANALSIDE is located to both your right and left. To your left the Canal has a freezing system that was built to replicate historic canals. The canals have water in the spring and summer and ice in the winter for skating and ice biking. Paths, bridges and walkways encircle this canal. The CHILDREN'S MUSEUM is located here. To your right, next to the Commercial Slip, is the excavation site of the original Steamship Hotel building foundations, which are presented alongside several interpretive exhibits showcasing the historical significance of the Erie Canal. Just past these exhibits you'll come to a Bowstring Truss Bridge over the Commercial Slip at Inner Harbor. This area is the 1825 terminus of the original Erie Canal. This is the start of the Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage Section-East Side which follows a wide boardwalk south alongside the Buffalo River past the Great Lawn at Canalside. You then travel underneath the Buffalo Skyway and come to the junction of the Erie Canalway Trail/Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section.

Note; To connect to the Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage Section-West Side, which travels south along the Outer Harbor, you must cross the Buffalo River via a Bike Ferry. The Bike Ferry Landing is located next to the Commercial Slip. See; QUEEN CITY BIKE FERRY for hours and feesSee: Shoreline Trail Industrial Heritage Section.

Continuing along the BIKE LANE on Marine Dr you come to Main St.

Note; Left leads to the NFTA ERIE CANAL HARBOR STATION .

Head right along the paved trail which travels alongside the Light Rail tracks. This brings you to the Buffalo River just below the Buffalo Skyway at 362.4 miles. Map Board. This is the end of the Shoreline Trail; Riverwalk Section, which now continues left along the Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage Section-East Side & Erie Canalway Trail

Note; Right the Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage Section-East Side returns you to the Commercial Slip and Canalside.

Here the trail follows alongside the Buffalo River. You pass by the red Edward M Cotter Fire boat before coming to Michigan Ave. Continue straight along Ohio St (BIKE SHARROWS) along with a double wide sidewalk which soon becomes paved. Pass by Riverfest Park on your right and Conway Park on your left before crossing the Buffalo River at 363.6 miles. The paved trail continues alongside some RR tracks through an industrial area before coming to an intersection just before a tunnel underneath Route 5.

Note; The Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage Section-East Side continues left.

Travel underneath Route 5 and across Fuhrmann Blvd to Buffalo Harbor State Park where you'll pick up the Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage-West Side which crosses here. Head left along the paved trail, past parking lots, a harbor, another parking lot and a playground at 365 miles and the end of the Erie Canalway Trail and Empire State Trail. This is also the site of the Buffalo Gateway. The Shoreline Trail; Industrial Heritage-West Side continues south. See; Shoreline Trail Industrial Heritage Section.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR EMPIRE TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR GENESEE VALLEY GREENWAY MAP

(Shows the Genesee Valley Park Trail system in Rochester)

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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