Erie Canal Trail Bike Trip, New York
North Tonawanda to Montezuma, New York
August 17-23, 2024
Co-Trip Leaders: John South and Joan Pea
Type of Trip: Biking
Trip Cost/Deposit: $810/$405
Cancellation Date and full payment: June 17, 2024
Wilderness Level: 1
Trip Difficulty: Moderate; 138 Miles total; 31-37 miles daily; 10-12 mph; nearly level canal trail
Group Size: 8/6 Maximum/Minimum
Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment
Level 2: Primarily applies to trips in which we carry only day packs. In one day, we can hike up to 9 miles and 4500 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 7 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged, less-maintained trails. For a Level 2 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a light day pack. If a backpacking trip has a Level 2 rating, it means the distances are 2-4 miles with little elevation gain/loss.
Level 3: Applies to backpacking trips in which we hike with 25-35 pound backpacks. In one day, we can hike up to 7 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 5 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged trails. For a Level 3 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack.
While considering your participation in CIWC trips, be aware that some trips will involve shared transportation, lodging, and other activities. Each participant is encouraged to evaluate your comfort level with such arrangements based on your health condition, vaccination status, and unknown COVID positivity rates at the time of the trip. Members are encouraged to review the COVID waiver as a part of this evaluation.
The Erie Canal Trail is part of the larger Empire State trail in New York. The trail follows the once active Erie Canal. We will start riding at North Tonawanda, NY (N. of Buffalo) and reach Montezuma, NY four days and 138 miles later. The trail is nearly level with a packed stone or paved surface. Daily mileage varies from 31 to 37 miles.
The following description is on the Erie Canal website- “Travel what is often rated “the 100 Must See Miles” of the Erie Canal on this multi-day ride. Keeping a leisurely pace, you will have ample time to explore quintessential canal towns and villages that have been serving as ports for pleasure craft and commercial vessels since 1825. In addition to scenic cycling, explore the museums, shops, and local eateries that serve up a distinct Western New York flavor.”
- Witness Lockport’s famous Flight of Five historic locks and the equally impressive Locks 34-35. Built in 1918, they are still in use today
- Explore the unique offerings of several canal villages and towns
- Cycle through picturesque countryside, local farms and big open skies
- Get an up-close look at the structures used to operate the canal, including locks, lift bridges, and guard gates
- Visit Niagara Falls if we arrive early on Monday
- Taughannock Falls State Park
- Watkins Glen State Park
- A winery visit and tasting.
Lodging will be in a hotel or Inn each night. All meals will be at the participant’s expense. Breakfast is planned to be provided by the hotel.
This trip will not involve wilderness travel or conditions. Cell phone coverage should be available at all times. Participants will need to condition their legs and butt before the trip. They should take several back-to-back rides of 30 miles or more to prepare for the trip.
Note about e-bikes: Most bikes and our local cycling club allow the use of pedal assist e-bikes or Class 1. These bikes must be pedaled and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 2 bikes have a throttle and may be ridden like a motorized scooter. Class 3 e-bikes are pedal assist with a tp assist of 28 mph. Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on trips, but not Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes.
Questions may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form and Long Waiver Form.
Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 nonrefundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e. those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee.