ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL:
UTICA-SYRACUSE, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: July 31, 2016
Length: Canalway Trail; Utica to Rome; 16 miles
Canalway Trail; Rome to DeWitt; 37.8 miles
Fayetteville Feeder Canal Trail; 1.1 miles
Difficulty: Canalway Trail; Utica to Rome; Easy. Flat trail. First 4.5 miles are paved, then stone-dust next 9 miles and returning to paved the final 2.5 miles. Short 0.8 mile on-road section.
Canalway Trail; Rome to Lock 21; Easy. Rome to Erie Canal consists of stone-dust and a short paved section. Erie Canal section is paved to Lock 21.
Canalway Trail; Lock 21 to Canastota; Easy. Flat, stone-dust trail with some short on-road sections.
Canalway Trail; Canastota to DeWitt. Easy. Flat, stone-dust trail with a 3.3 mile paved section.
Fayetteville Feeder Canal Trail; Easy. Flat, stone-dust trail with a paved section.
To start from Utica; From I-90 take exit 31. After passing through the toll booth stay straight in the left lane. This will bring you around to N Genesee St. Turn right and cross over the canal, but not the river. Turn right on Harbor Lock Rd and park in the lot. The trail runs alongside the road.
To start from the Route 32 parking lot in Oriskany; From I-90 take exit 31. After passing through the toll booth stay straight in the right lane. This will bring you around to N Genesee St. Turn right and travel underneath the interstate to Route 5 and turn right. Take the next right onto Route 49 west. Take the Oriskany exit to Oriskany Rd and head right. Take your next right and cross over Route 49 along Route 32. Turn right on an access road for the parking lot.
To start from Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome; From I-90 take exit 31. After passing through the toll booth stay straight in the right lane. This will bring you around to N Genesee St. Turn right and travel underneath the interstate to Route 5 and turn right. Take the next right onto Route 49 west. Take the E Dominick St exit and head left (west) for 2 miles. Turn left on Harborway and follow to Mill St. Park is across the road.
To start from the Lock 21 parking lot outside Rome; From Rome follow Routes 46, 49 & 69 west. Continue along Route 46 south over the Erie Canal. Take your first right on Lock Rd and follow to parking lot at Lock 21.
To start from the Butternut Drive parking lot in DeWitt; From I-481 take exit 3W to Genesee St and turn right. Turn right on Pickwick Rd followed by a quick right on Butternut Drive. Turn right on Kinne Rd then left on Butternut Drive. First parking lot on the right.
This section of the Erie Canalway Trail travels from Utica to Syracuse. A gap currently exists in Rome. See Also; Erie Canalway Trail; Amsterdam-Utica and Erie Canalway Trail; Syracuse-Rochester .
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
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 .
Utica to Rome Section:
Starting from Harbor Lock Road in Utica; The trail runs along the northern side of Harbor Lock Rd.
Note; Heading east the trail ends after only 0.1 miles. Currently, as of June 2018, there is an unfinished gap in the trail between Utica & German Flatts further east. Plans are in the works to extend the trail 3.8 miles east to Dyke Rd in Frankfort. In Frankfort, 1.2 miles of trail are in the planning stage from Acme Rd east to Ilion Marina.
Heading west the paved trail starts out narrow as it travels between the canal and Harbor Point Rd. When you reach the Utica Harbor Lock at 0.6 miles you must cross over this canal along a gang plank. This canal leads to a harbor, as well as the Mohawk River. The wider trail then travels alongside the canal, passing underneath I-790.
Note; A spur trail at 1 mile takes you up and over I-90 to River St.
You now travel through open woods with the canal to your right and marshland on your left. Isolated. Check out the platform overlooking the marsh. Cross some RR tracks at 1.4 miles and travel down to Barnes Ave. Turn right and cross a large parking area/boat launch to return to the paved trail at 1.6 miles. This next section is open with little shade and away from the canal. The trail becomes more shaded at 2.9 miles, however, you'll have to deal with some tree root issues. Travel underneath Mohawk St and come to the Mohawk St parking lot at 3.6 miles. Next, you'll travel underneath I-90 and on to Lock 20 at 4.5 miles. Map board and picnic tables located here. Continue past the lock along the road and you'll come to the Lock entrance on your left. Parking is available out this road which leads to Route 291. The trail now heads up a gravel road next to a Lock building and utilizes a stone-dust surface. Travel underneath Route 291.
Note; A spur trail leads up to Route 291, crosses the canal and splits. Right takes you to Lock 20 State Canal Park. Straight will bring you alongside, then over Route 49 to the Paul Becker Road parking lot.
The isolated trail continues alongside the canal. Cross an iron arched bridge at 5.2 miles. Finally you'll reach a map board and the end of the trail at the Route 32 parking lot in Oriskany after 7 miles.
Note; To reach the next section you'll need to travel out of the parking lot up to Route 32 and head right on-road along a wide shoulder. After crossing over the Mohawk River and RR tracks you'll come to Erie Blvd (Route 69). Turn right and follow the sidewalk to the Route 69 parking lot on your right after 0.8 miles (7.8 miles).
The stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail continues along a partially shaded corridor paralleling Route 69 and the RR tracks for a bit following the Old Erie Canal. Cross Thomas Rd at 9.3 miles. You'll cross into Rome where the trail is more isolated as you travel past wetlands. Cross Reber Rd at 11.2 miles. Cross a bridge at 12 miles where a stream feeds into the Mohawk River which parallels the trail for a bit. The trail then becomes paved as you come alongside Routes 49 & 365 bringing you to the Route 69 parking lot after 13.7 miles. The paved trail continues right alongside Route 69 to Route 233 where it turns right traveling underneath Routes 49 & 365. After crossing Wheelers Creek you continue alongside Martin St before coming to Mill St at 14.7 miles. Use the cross-walk then turn right along Mill St following the sidewalk underneath the RR bridge and across the Erie Canal. Come to E Whitesboro St at 14.9 miles. Turn left, then left again into Bellamy Harbor Park where you'll pass by a parking lot on your left as you enter the park. Follow the paved road into the park where you'll come to a long building. You can either continue straight through the park along a paved trail or bear left to a wide concrete path that runs alongside the canal. This path takes you out to where the Mohawk River enters the Erie Canal. Two large canal gates loom over the canal. Map board located here. Head right along the paved trail to a pedestrian bridge over the Mohawk River. This takes you to a circle at the end of Canal St. Follow the paved trail underneath Route 49 and you'll come to an intersection at 15.3 miles.
Note; The sidewalk heading up to Route 49, right across the road, is the start of the Mohawk River Trail .
Heading left the Erie Canalway Trail continues traveling above the canal. Travel underneath S James St and come to Muck Rd after 16 miles.
Note; As of August, 2016 a gap currently exists between Muck Rd and Route 49 in Rome.
To continue on-road; Head up to S James St and travel left (north) on-road for 0.7 miles to Erie Blvd (Route 49). Continue left on-road 2.3 miles along Erie Blvd (High traffic road/sidewalk available). Route 49 turns left (west) where you can pick up a paved trail after a 3 mile detour.
Rome to DeWitt Section:
Starting from Erie Blvd W (Route 49) in Rome; A paved trail off Erie Blvd W (Route 49) heads south alongside Rome-New London Rd (Route 49). You travel past the ERIE CANAL VILLAGE [Closed in 2015 for Rehab?] and join the Erie Canalway Trail alongside the Old Erie Canal after 0.7 miles.
This reconstructed 18th-century settlement is built on the site where the first shovel full of earth was turned for the Erie Canal on July 4, 1817. Now there's an entire village full of Colonial buildings here, staffed by costumed players. You can also take a 40-minute boat ride on the Erie Canal.
Note; Future plans call for rehabbing the Erie Canalway Trail north alongside the Old Erie Canal and then south down to Muck Rd and the Erie Canal. This will complete the missing gap.
After passing by an old Gate? where Wood Creek merges with the old canal you cross a gravel road and the trail reverts to stone-dust at 0.9 miles. The trail now travels through woodlands briefly alongside Wood Creek on your right and remnants of the Old Erie Canal on your left. Cross Seifert Rd at 2.3 miles and Zingerline Rd at 2.9 miles. Cross a culvert over Stony Creek at 3.4 miles and come to the Erie Canal after 4.6 miles where the trail is now paved. The Old Erie Canal continues across the Erie Canal where you can see an old Lock off dry dock Rd. The trail now travels west alongside the Erie Canal. Travel past the Circle Drive parking area at 4.9 miles and underneath Route 46 at 5.4 miles. Come alongside the Lock where you'll find picnic tables and a signboard. Cross over Lock 21 and you'll come to the Lock 21 parking lot after 6.9 miles. The Erie Canal continue west where it enters Oneida Lake.
Note; A short on-road section takes you to the Old Erie Canal section of the Erie Canalway Trail which continues to Syracuse. Travel out the parking lot and head left along Lock Rd (low traffic). Cross Route 46, Caution; No Crosswalk and you'll come to the Old Erie Canal section of the Erie Canalway Trail after 0.6 miles (7.5 miles).
The stone-dust towpath travels south alongside the Old Erie Canal (Pools Brook). Route 46 parallels the canal. The trail travels along a partially shaded corridor past woodland and open fields. Cross Senn Rd at 8.1 miles, Collins Rd at 9 miles, Higginsville Rd at 10 miles and Germany Rd at 10.4 miles. Here the trail parallels Dunbarton Rd for a mile. When you reach Mills Rd you'll cross over the canal and continue south along a paved section of the canal that takes you past the Route 46 parking lot at 12 miles. Here you'll find an informational board along with picnic tables. The paved trail continues out to Route 46 at 12.5 miles. Continue straight alongside Route 46 to Route 31 where you'll find a cross-walk. Head left alongside Route 31, then right on-road along Canal St (low traffic). A corridor of trees and shrubs separates you from the canal, however, you can still spot arched stone culverts and an old iron bridge over the canal at 13.5 miles. Reach Broad St at 14.6 miles and bear left (follow signs). Turn right on Church St, then right on Center St and you'll return to Route 46 where you'll find a Cross-walk. Head left a short distance and your be back on the stone-dust trail on your right at 14.8 miles. Here the canal utilizes an aqueduct to cross over Oneida Creek. Cross-walk over Lake Rd where the partly shaded trail continues alongside the canal. Soon you travel alongside Canal Rd and come to a cross-walk at 15.6 miles. Here you again travel on-road (wide shoulder) along Canal Rd, crossing over I-90 and coming to another cross-walk at 15.9 miles where you rejoin the stone-dust trail between Canal Rd and the canal. Cross a bridge over Cowaselon Creek at 16.6 miles. Leave behind Canal Rd at 17 miles. The trail turns right alongside an open field and brings you to N Court St at 17.8 miles. Use the cross-walk, then head left along N Court St bearing right down N Court St Spur. This brings you to the N Court Street Spur parking lot where you'll return to the trail alongside the canal. Soon the trail resumes traveling between Canal Rd and the canal before turning west. Cross Diamond St in Canastota and follow the paved trail past the Diamond Street parking lot at 20.2 miles. Here you'll find a map board. The canal is buried through a short section of town. A cross-light takes you over Peterboro St (Route 13) where a narrow trail winds past a monument and returns you to the canal. Across the street is the CANAL TOWN MUSEUM . Travel on-road along North Canal St to Main St where you pick up the narrow stone-dust trail on your left after 20.4 miles. Cross buck St and leave the town behind as you follow an open berm alongside between the canal and State St. Come to Beebe Bridge Rd at 22 miles. The towpath continues straight, but ends at RR tracks, so you need to head left on-road over the canal and across active RR tracks. You'll pick up the trail on your right past a gravel parking lot and head into the woods. This section follows an old rail bed. The trail takes a sharp left bringing you back down to the canal at 23.1 miles. This was as far as I traveled. The stone-dust trail continues west alongside the canal crossing Harsh Rd at 24.3 miles and a culvert over Canaseraga Creek followed by Canaseraga Rd at 24.4 miles. The next 1.6 miles are paved. Come to the Lakeport Road parking lot at 26.9 miles.
Note; If you head left across the canal it will bring you to the CHITTENANGO LANDING CANAL BOAT MUSEUM where a dry dock still exits.
At 27.3 miles the canal crosses over Chittenango Creek.
Note; Future plans call for connecting the existing Chittenango Creekwalk just south of here in Chittenango, north to the Erie Canalway Trail.
Continuing along the canal cross Bolivar Rd at 28.1 miles and White Bridge Rd at 29.1 miles before coming to a pedestrian bridge over the canal.
Note; This bridge takes you over to the canal to a path that heads right bringing you to a parking lot with picnic tables overlooking the canal. This is the Old Eire Canal State Historic Park Pools Brook site.
The Erie Canalway Trail continues alongside Pools Brook Widewater and Pools Brook Waste Weir. This is where Pools Brook feds the canal. Cross N Poolsbrook Rd at 30.3 miles, Kirkville Rd N at 31.5 miles and another pedestrian bridge over the canal at 32.7 miles. I've checked out this next section.
Note; This bridge takes you over to a map board and stone-dust trail. Head up a slight hill to a crosswalk over Route 290. Caution fast moving traffic. Cross to a paved trail and enter GREEN LAKES STATE PARK . Parking lot located here next to the camp store at 0.3 miles. Paved and stone-dust trails through the park. GREEN LAKES SP MAP (Includes the Canalway Trail).
Come to the Manlius Center Road parking lot at 34.5 miles where you'll find a map board and informational sign. From here to Butternut Drive in DeWitt the trail is paved. Pass by a dirt culvert over the canal before coming to another pedestrian bridge over the canal at 35.3 miles.
Note; This bridge brings you to the Fayetteville Feeder Canal Trail. If you cross this bridge a stone-dust trail atop the old towpath follows the feeder canal south. After crossing a small bridge you'll utilize Feeder St (gravel road) for a short distance before coming to an iron arched bridge over Limestone Creek after 0.9 miles. Small parking area here. Cross the bridge and head left alongside the creek on a paved trail. Trail splits, however, both trails bring you to Canal Landing Park where you'll find a playground, picnic pavilion, restrooms and parking lot. Trail ends at Limestone Plaza after 1.1 miles.
Continuing along the Erie Canalway Trail you cross over the Limestone Creek Aqueduct. Cross N Burdick Street at 35.9 miles where you'll find another parking lot. Travel underneath the Coopers Tubular Arch Bridge at 36.7 miles.
Note; This bridge takes you over the canal to Cedar Bay Park and another parking lot. Restrooms and picnic tables.
Pass by Cedar Bay before coming to a final pedestrian bridge over the canal at 37.7 miles.
Note; This bridge leads to a 0.1 mile stone-dust trail that brings you across Kinne Road to a parking lot for the 0.8 mile paved Genesee Street Spur Trail which leads to a shopping plaza in Fayetteville.
Next to this bridge is the Butternut Creek Aqueduct. The trail then brings you up to the Butternut Drive parking lot in DeWitt after 37.8 miles. A map board is located here.
Click Here for Map of finished gap .
Note; The gap between DeWitt and Camillus in Syracuse was completed in 2020, however, I haven't checked out this new section. A bridge has been built across I-481 from Butternut Drive (Dewitt's Erie Canalway Trail) to Towpath Rd. The paved trail was then extended northwest alongside Towpath Rd to Erie Boulevard at about 39.4 miles. The trail then follows Erie Boulevard median northwest to Water St. Continue west along Water St to Franklin St at about 43.9 miles. Here the trail utilizes the Onondaga Creekwalk heading north towards Onondaga Lake. When you reach Hiawatha Blvd at about 45.5 miles you'll need to head left leaving the Onondaga Creekwalk behind. Continue along Hiawatha Blvd and you'll pick up the paved Onondaga Lake Park Loop the Lake Trail on your right. I haven't checked out this section yet. This trail heads west to a pedestrian bridge over the RR tracks with scenic views of Onondaga Lake. Here the trail follows the western side of Onondaga Lake to the ONONDAGA LAKE VISITOR CENTER . Not sure of the mileage. From here you'll leave behind the Loop the Lake Trail and head north to the NY State Fair Orange parking lot where you'll spot a pedestrian bridge on your left. This bridge takes you over I-690 to the NY STATE FAIRGROUNDS . Continue straight along State fair Blvd to Bridge St and head right. Bridge St will take you over the RR tracks. Just before another set of RR tracks turn right on Matthews Ave, then right again Belle Isle Rd. Not sure if this route is on-road or off. This will take you past the Enlarged Erie Canal Lock No. 50 (also called Gere's Lock) as Belle Isle Rd turns into Gerelock Rd. Travel underneath Route 695 and somewhere you'll connect to a 3.5 mile stone-dust section of trail that leads to Warners Rd parking lot in Camillus, next to Reed Webster Park. See; Erie Canalway Trail; Syracuse-Rochester . Not sure of the total mileage.
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