ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL:

UTICA-SYRACUSE, NEW YORK

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      November 14, 2023

Length:                Canalway Trail; Utica to Camillus; 72.5 miles

                              Fayetteville Feeder Canal Trail; 1.1 miles                             

Difficulty:            Canalway Trail; Utica to Rome; Easy. Flat trail. Consists of both paved and stone-dust sections. Short 0.8 mile on-road section.

                              Canalway Trail; Rome to Lock 21; Easy. Flat trail. Consists of both paved and stone-dust sections. 2.3 mile on-road section.

                              Canalway Trail; Lock 21 to DeWitt; Easy. Flat trail. Consists of both paved and stone-dust sections.

                              Canalway Trail; Syracuse-Camillus; Easy. Flat trail. Bike Lanes, paved & stone-dust sections. Utilizes 2 other trails through Syracuse.

                              Fayetteville Feeder Canal Trail; Easy. Flat, stone-dust trail with a paved section.                      

Directions:     

To start from N Genesee Street parking lot in Utica [Eastern End]; 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 left on Harbor Lock Rd and park in the lot. 

To start from the Route 32 parking lot in Oriskany [Eastern End]; 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 [Center Eastern Section]; 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 [Center Eastern Section]; 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 [Western End]; 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.

To start from Camillus [Western End]; From I-690 take exit 6 to Route 695 south. Keep right to merge with Route 5 west. Take your first exit to Route 173/Warners Rd and turn left. Travel 1.2 miles to a parking lot on your right across from the canal.

The Erie Canalway Trail travels from Albany West to Buffalo. I've separated the Erie Canalway Trail into 5 Sections. Starting from the East:

The Erie Canalway Trail; Utica-Syracuse travels West from Utica along the Erie Canal to Oriskany, where it follows the Old Erie Canal & Mohawk River to Rome. In Rome there is a 2.3 mile gap. The trail then follows the Old Erie Canal to DeWitt. The trail through Syracuse consists of several types of trail. SEPARATED BIKE LANE, paved trail along a median, BIKE LANES, 2 Way SEPARATED BIKE LANE. This section also utilizes two other Syracuse trails; Onondaga Creekwalk & Onondaga Lake Park Loop the Lake Trail which brings you to the NY STATE FAIRGROUNDS . From here the trail continues West to Camillus

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 is a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City North to Canada and Albany West to Buffalo, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation.

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

Note; For trail closures See; CANALWAY TRAIL CLOSURES .

Utica to Syracuse Section:

Starting from the N Genesee Street parking lot in Utica [Eastern End]; [Continuing Mileage]

Note; Heading East is the Erie Canalway Trail; Pattersonville-Utica [108.5 miles to Albany from here]

The paved Erie Canalway Trail starts out narrow as it travels West between the Erie Canal and Harbor Lock Rd. When you reach the Utica Harbor Lock at 109.1 miles you must cross over the canal along a gang plank. The Utica Harbor Lock links to the Mohawk River. The wider trail then continues West alongside the canal, passing underneath I-790. 

Note; A spur trail at 109.5 miles takes you up and over I-90 to River Rd.

You now travel through open woods with the canal to your right and the Utica Marsh on your left. Isolated. Check out the platform overlooking the marsh. Cross some RR tracks at 109.9 miles and travel down to Barnes Ave. Turn right and cross a large parking area/boat launch to return to the paved trail at 110.1 miles. This next section is open with little shade and away from the canal. The trail becomes more shaded at 111.4 miles, however, you'll have to deal with some tree root issues. Travel underneath Mohawk St and come to the Mohawk Street parking lot at 112.1 miles. Next, you'll travel underneath I-90 and on to Lock 20 at 113 miles. Map Board and picnic tables located here. Continue past the Lock along the road and you'll come to the Lock entrance road on your left. 

Note; This road leads to the Route 291 parking lot. From here you can also cross over the canal via the Route 291 Bridge to River Rd. Right a paved trail brings you to the Lock 20 State Canal Park. Straight will bring you alongside, then over Route 49 to the Paul Becker Road parking lot. The trail then continues to Whitesboro High School in Marcy.

The now stone-dust trail continues straight. Travel underneath Route 291 where the trail is more isolated as it follows the canal. Cross an iron arched bridge at 113.7 miles. Travel underneath Route 32 and turn left, South, up to the Route 32 parking lot in Oriskany after 115.5 miles. Map Board. 

Note; To reach the next section you'll need to travel 0.8 miles on-road

Exit the parking lot out to Route 32 and head right on-road (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 1st Route 69 parking lot on your right after 116.3 miles. The stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail continues Northwest along a partially shaded corridor between Route 69 and some RR tracks. This section follows the Old Erie Canal. Cross Thomas Rd at 117.8 miles. The trail is more isolated as you travel past wetlands. Cross Reber Rd followed by a  bridge at 120.5 miles where a stream feeds the Mohawk River. This section travels between the Mohawk River and Old Erie Canal. The trail becomes paved as you come alongside Routes 49 & 365 bringing you to the 2nd Route 69 parking lot after 122.2 miles. The 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. 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 123.4 miles. Turn left, then left again into Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome where you'll pass by a parking lot on your left as you enter the park. Pick up a paved trail straight ahead that brings you down to the Erie Canal.

Note; Heading left the trail will take you underneath the Mill Street Bridge to Bellamy Harbor East, where you'll find another parking lot, along with a picnic pavilion and boat launch.  

Continue right, West, along the wide concrete path that runs alongside the canal. This brings you 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 123.8 miles.

Note; Right, across the road, is the start of the Mohawk River Trail . The sidewalk takes you up to Route 49.

Heading left the Erie Canalway Trail continues traveling West above the canal. Travel underneath S James St and come to Muck Rd after 124.5 miles. The Gryziec Field parking lot is located here.

Note; To reach the next section requires a 2.3 mile on-road detour. Head right up Muck Rd to S James St (residential) and travel left, North, on-road. Cross Erie Blvd and turn left on W Dominick St after 0.8 miles. This is the parking lot for FORT STANWIX , as well as, the Mohawk River Trail . Travel West along W Dominick St (sidewalk available) and follow back to Erie Blvd W where you'll find a cross-light over to a paved trail after 2.3 miles [126.8 miles]. 

I haven't checked out this next section. Follow this paved trail East alongside Erie Blvd W and it will soon turn right into the woods bringing you back to the Erie Canalway Trail at 127 miles. 

This next hard packed dirt & grass section was approved for rehab in 2023. It will be upgraded to a 10' wide stone-dust trail to the Erie Canal Village. 

The Erie Canalway Trail travels West alongside Wood Creek (Old Erie Canal) through the woods. The trail then passes through ERIE CANAL VILLAGE . Parking lot located here. I've checked out this next section.

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. The first 15 miles, from Rome to Utica, opened in 1819. 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

Just past the Village you come to an intersection with a paved trail at 128.6 miles.

Note; This paved trail travels North alongside Rome-New London Rd (Route 49) to Erie Blvd W after 0.7 miles.

You pass by an old Gate where Wood Creek exits. The trail now travels Southwest through woodlands briefly alongside Wood Creek on your right and remnants of the Old Erie Canal on your left. Cross Seifert Rd, Zingerline Rd, then a culvert over Stony Creek before coming to the Erie Canal after 132.4 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 underneath Route 46 at 133.2 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 134.7 miles. The Erie Canal continue West where it enters Oneida Lake. Short 0.6 mile on-road detour. Travel out the parking lot and head left along Lock Rd (low traffic). Cross Route 46, Caution; No Crosswalk where you'll pick up the Erie Canalway Trail on your right at 135.3 miles. The stone-dust towpath travels South alongside the Old Erie Canal again. Route 46 parallels the canal. The trail travels along a partially shaded corridor past woodland and open fields. Cross Senn Rd at 135.9 miles, Collins Rd at 136.8 miles, Higginsville Rd at 137.8 miles and Germany Rd at 138.2 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 139.8 miles. Here you'll find an informational board along with picnic tables. The paved trail continues out to Route 46 at 140.3 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 141.3  miles. Reach Broad St 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 142.6 miles. Here the canal utilizes the Oneida Creek Erie Canal 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 143.4 miles. Here you again travel on-road (wide shoulder) along Canal Rd, crossing over I-90 and coming to another cross-walk at 143.7 miles where you rejoin the stone-dust trail between Canal Rd and the canal. Cross a bridge over Cowaselon Creek and leave behind Canal Rd at 144.8 miles. The trail turns right alongside an open field and brings you to N Court St. Use the cross-walk, then head left along N Court St via a paved path. Come to N Court St Spur on your right.

Note; From here you can connect to the Oneida Rail Trail . Continue on-road along N Court St (narrow shoulder) crossing over the canal. Enter Wampsville and you'll pick up the Oneida Rail Trail on your left at 0.6 miles across from the Madison County Highway Dept.

Bear 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 Old Erie 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 148 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. 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 149.8 miles. 

Note; The towpath continues straight, but ends at RR tracks.

Head left over the canal and across active RR tracks. You'll pick up the trail on your right, next to the Beebe Bridge Road 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 150.9 miles. This was as far as I traveled. The stone-dust trail continues West alongside the canal crossing Harsh Rd and a culvert over Canaseraga Creek followed by Canaseraga Rd at 152.2 miles. The next 1.6 miles are paved. Come to the Lakeport Road parking lot in Chittenango at 154.7 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. Future plans call for connecting the existing Chittenango Creekwalk just South of here in Chittenango, North to the Erie Canalway Trail

At 155.1 miles the canal crosses over Chittenango Creek. Continuing along the canal cross Bolivar Rd, followed by White Bridge Rd at 156.9 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 West alongside Pools Brook Widewater and Pools Brook Waste Weir. This is where Pools Brook feeds the canal. Cross N Poolsbrook Rd followed by, Kirkville Rd N and another pedestrian bridge over the canal at 160.5 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 Erie Canalway Trail).

Come to the Manlius Center Road parking lot at 162.3 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 163.1 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 parking lot where you'll find a playground, picnic pavilion and restrooms. 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 163.7 miles where you'll find another parking lot. Travel underneath the Coopers Tubular Arch Bridge at 126 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 165.5 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 165.6 miles. A Map Board is located here.

Syracuse to Camillus Section:

Click Here for Syracuse Section Map .

Continuing from the Butternut Drive parking lot in DeWitt; [Western Section; Eastern End] [Continuing Mileage] I haven't checked out this next section. The paved Erie Canalway Trail heads left up Butternut Drive to Kinne Rd where a pedestrian bridge takes you across I-481 to Towpath Rd. Here the Erie Canalway Trail travels right, North, alongside Towpath Rd via a SEPARATED BIKE LANE. The trail turns West bringing you to Erie Boulevard E & Bridge St in Syracuse at 167.2 miles. Cross Bridge St where a cross-light brings you to the Erie Blvd E median. Here the Erie Canalway Trail utilizes the median for a paved trail separated from the traffic. This section travels North along the median before turning West to Columbus Ave at 170 miles where you'll find the Erie Canal Monument

The Old Erie Canal (Clinton's Ditch) and the Enlarged Erie Canal originally ran through the center of Syracuse. Today, the former path of the Old Erie Canal is known as Erie Boulevard. When tolls were charged, boats were weighed in the Syracuse Erie Canal Weighlock building. By 1905, the weighlock building was being used as the canal office, and today the building is home to the Erie Canal Museum.  

From here you lose the median so the trail now follows a 2 Way SEPARATED BIKE LANE to Beech St at 170.3 miles. Head left across E Blvd E to S Beech St and turn right on E Water St. Here you'll utilize a BIKE LANE along this low traffic street. Cross S State St at 171.3 miles where you'll now utilize BIKE SHARROWS (Basically "Share the road" markings). Just before your next street crossing of Montgomery St, on your right will be the ERIE CANAL MUSEUM located in the old Erie Canal Weighlock building. Continue West along E Water St and cross S Warren St where you pick up a SEPARATED BIKE LANE (Westbound) BIKE SHARROWS (Eastbound) to S Clinton St where BIKE LANES then bring you to Franklin St at 171.7 miles. 

Note; Here the trail utilizes the Onondaga Creekwalk

Cross Franklin St and head right, North, following the paved, off road Onondaga Creekwalk/Erie Canalway Trail. Turn left alongside W Genesee St, then right on Wallace St. Here the trail turns away from the streets as a paved trail traveling North alongside Onondaga Creek at 171.9 miles. Follow the Onondaga Creekwalk/Erie Canalway Trail North underneath I-690, across a pedestrian bridge over the creek and past the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre before coming to an intersection just before the Bear Street W Bridge at 173 miles. Head left off the Onondaga Creekwalk to the Van Rensselaer Street parking lot. Head right, North, crossing Bear St W where the Erie Canalway Trail follows a BIKE LANE to Hiawatha Blvd W. Head left, South, along another BIKE LANE. You'll pick up the paved Onondaga Lake Park Loop the Lake Trail on your right at 173.6 miles. I haven't checked out this next section. The Loop the Lake Trail/Erie Canalway Trail heads West past the wastewater treatment plant to a pedestrian bridge over the RR tracks to the Southern End of Onondaga Lake. The trail then travels North up the Western Side of the lake. It appears a gravel road parallels I-690, while the paved Loop the Lake Trail/Erie Canalway Trail parallels the lake. Several crushed gravel intersecting trails between the two. You pass some type of wood structure before coming to a parking lot and fishing pier. Past here the trail follows the road to the ONONDAGA LAKE VISITOR CENTER parking lot & boat launch on your right at 175.4 miles. You then cross a small bridge and travel up a small hill. Come to an intersection at 175.8 miles.

Note; This is where you exit the Loop the Lake Trail (which continues straight, North). 

The Erie Canalway Trail heads left, South, along the paved Restoration Way Trail, now traveling back down the hill. Pass by bench pavilion with a nice lake overlook. This brings you down to the NY State Fair Orange parking lot. Head right, then left to a wide sidewalk which takes you to the Western Side of the parking lot. Follow this sidewalk North to a pedestrian bridge on your left. This long bridge takes you over I-690 to the NY STATE FAIRGROUNDS and Main Gate at 176.8 miles. Bear left out to and East along State Fair Blvd to Bridge St and head right, South. Bridge St starts out with a narrow sidewalk and BIKE LANE, but soon follows a double-wide sidewalk with a BIKE LANE along the opposite side of the road (Northbound). Cross over the RR tracks. Come to a sitting area and informational sign for the Erie Canal Overlook & Historical Marker at 177.6 miles. Here the stone-dust Erie Canalway Trail picks back up heading West. Cross Belle Isle Rd where the trail follows alongside the old Enlarged Erie Canal before passing by a parking lot on your left for the Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 50 (also called Gere's Lock) and coming to Horan Rd at 178.6 miles.

Note; The gates from Gere’s Lock have been salvaged and restored and are on display at Camillus Erie Canal Park, across Warners Road parking lot, at the Western End of this segment.

The trail now parallels Gerelock Rd, traveling underneath Route 695. The trail then turns South to Thomas Ave where it turns West alongside the road. Cross Belle Isle Rd at 179.7 miles where the trail winds past open fields before entering the woods and coming to Warners Rd parking lot in Camillus, next to Reed Webster Park after 181 milesCamillus Erie Canal Park located across Warners Rd. [181 miles from Albany to here] See; Erie Canalway Trail; Syracuse-Rochester for the next section.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR ERIE CANALWAY TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR EMPIRE TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR HERKIMER & ONEIDA COUNTIES BIKE TRAIL GUIDE

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

HOME PAGE