Canalway Trail Times Issue 37 Winter 2015-16

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Canalway T R A I L Winter 2015-16

T I M E S Issue #37

The Canalway Trail offers recreational opportunities amidst the breathtaking scenery of Upstate New York

New Four-Mile Erie Canalway Trail Segment in Lockport and Pendleton Complete The Canal Corporation-Funded Project Helps Close a Critical Gap in the Erie Canalway Trail in Western New York Trail enthusiasts are now able to enjoy a new four-mile Erie Canalway Trail segment from Stevens Street in the City of Lockport to Fisk Road in Pendleton in Western New York. The project includes a new 180-foot pedestrian bridge crossing Tonawanda Creek, eliminating the need for bicyclists and pedestrians to use the existing New Road bridge to cross the Creek. A signed on-street link from Stevens Street to Erie Canal Locks 34 and 35 in Lockport was also installed. The new 10-foot wide asphalt trail meanders along partially wooded spoil piles that were created when the current Erie Canal was excavated in the early 20th century. Parking with trail access has been constructed at State Street in Lockport and several informational kiosks were also installed along the trail. The $4 million project was constructed for the Canal Corporation by Keeler Construction of Albion, New York. The new trail segment will be officially opened with a dedication event in the spring of 2016. The project helps close a major gap in the Erie Canalway Trail in Western New York and establishes a continuous 130-mile trail route from Buffalo to Lyons in Wayne County. The segment is part of the statewide, multi-use, Erie Canalway Trail linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie. More than three-quarters of the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail between Buffalo and Albany is now complete.

Cyclists visit the Five Combines Locks during the Champlain Canal Tour

Mayors and Supervisors show support for the trail at a meeting on the historic Dix Bridge

Champlain Canalway Trail: Enthusiasm Grows for Completion As 2016 begins, the work of building the Champlain Canal Trail (CCT) as a multi-use path that will link the Erie Canalway Trail with Lake Champlain continues. Construction began last fall on a short gap in Halfmoon, while design work is underway that will lead to construction of several miles of new trail in Waterford, Stillwater, Saratoga, and Kingsbury/Fort Ann. The trail is now about 25% available for public use (including secondary roads designated by towns). Perhaps the biggest success of 2015, however, was a June gathering of more than 50 town supervisors, village mayors and other guests from throughout the corridor to highlight progress, identify next steps and emphasize the benefits the trail will bring to communities. The CCT Supervisors/Mayors Meet-up was held

at Hudson Crossing Park and featured visits to completed sections of trail and lunch on the restored Dix Bridge. The gathering drew significant media coverage and a public commitment by both the Town and Village of Whitehall to complete the trail there, one of the most challenging segments along the route. In August, the CCT Working Group also completed the 4th annual CCT Bicycle Tour, with more than 30 riders starting at Lock 7 near Fort Edward, traveling along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal, visiting the Five Combines (locks) of that historic canal, stopping for lunch in Fort Ann, and boarding the Caldwell Belle, operated by Mohawk Maiden Cruises, for the return to Lock 7 by water.

Canalway Trail Times is made possible by financial support from the New York State Canal Corporation. Page 2

Canalway Trail Times

New Resources for Canalway Trail Users In 2015, with support from a grant from Empire State Development, Parks & Trails New York unveiled, the first site entirely devoted to the Erie Canalway Trail. combines existing resources – lodging and bike shop listings from the best-selling Cycling the Erie Canal guidebook, self-guided itineraries, and information about the annual bike tour – and new trip-planning tools in one easy-to-use package. New and enhanced features include: Enhanced Interactive Erie Canalway Trail Map – optimized for use on smart phones, the map now includes point-to-point bike and car directions to help you find your way Explore by Region and Explore by Interest pages– easily plan a day or weekend trip on a specific section of the trail or with your personal interests in mind Trail Travelers & Rider Reviews – get inspiration from other trail users Trail Happenings – stay up-to-date with the latest news from the ECT And there’s so much more – Be sure to visit to plan your next Erie Canalway Trail adventure!

visit at Canalway Trail Plan your next CycletheErieCa

Mud Creek Aqueduct, Macedon, Wayne County (Photo courtesy of Dave Valvo)

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Canalway Trail Times

New Trail Ambassador Dave Kellogg at the Cedar Bay Bridge in Dewitt

Trail enhancements by the Friends of Great Bear

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat What makes a day out on the Canalway Trail special? Well, there’s great natural scenery and, of course working and historic Canal infrastructure. A stop for lunch in a charming community or at a canalside attraction never hurts, either. But it’s really the people that make the Canalway Trail a unique and enjoyable experience. In 2015, the Canalway Trail community, including Trail Ambassadors and Adopt-a-Trail groups, rolled out the welcome mat like never before.


The Adopt-a-Trail program, which enlists the help of community groups to maintain local trail sections, expanded to 58 groups in 2015, with several new groups in the Rochester area and the Capital Region. Trail adopters now maintain over 120 miles of Canalway Trail. Adopters also make enhancements such as this year’s installation of a handicapped-accessible trail by the Friends of Great Bear. Canalway Trail Ambassadors do their volunteering on the move. That is, they provide assistance and a welcome to trail users while riding or walking their local trail sections. Long-serving Ambassador groups in the Rochester and Schenectady areas continued their great work, assisting with directions and local tips, snapping photos, and sharing stories. A new Ambassador in the Old Erie Canal State Park section of trail brought great energy and a helpful spirit to trail users in Central New York. Heading out from his base at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Dave Kellogg logged 54 patrols from June to December. Counting visits to local businesses and civic groups, Dave spent well over 50 hours welcoming trail users and promoting trail use. Thank you to all the members of the Canalway Trail community. Please visit for more information on volunteering. Page 4

Canalway Trail Times

2016 Canal Clean Sweep April 22-24, 2016 Join us for the largest Earth Day celebration in New York State! Register Today! For more information, visit, email, or call 518-434-1583

Canal Corporation Announces Awards to Upstate Municipalities through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Initiative Grants Will Fund Improvements to Recreation Sites in Erie Canal Communities The New York State Canal Corporation recently announced that 12 upstate municipalities will receive a total of $1 million in grants from the Canal Corporation as part of the $2.25 billion in awards that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) are providing to spur economic growth throughout New York State. “Governor Cuomo recognizes that New York’s Canal system and the Canalway Trail are economic and recreational anchors for upstate,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “The Canal system attracts everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to students of history and everything in between and the grants we have provided to municipalities throughout upstate are vital to their growth.” The grants in this program will support improvement projects along the Canal system across upstate New York. Each project will benefit its respective municipality through investment in the functionality and beautification of areas surrounding the Canal and Canalway Trail, promoting recreation and tourism. The Canal Corporation awards will support the following projects: $37,000 awarded to the Village of Baldwinsville for improvements to public boat launches at Mercer Park and Community Park. $75,000 awarded to the Village of Brockport for phase one of the Brockport Rowing and Canal Development Project.

$70,000 awarded to the Village of Cazenovia to fund a car-top launch for kayaks and canoes along the Erie Canal at Lakeland Park. $30,000 awarded to the Village of Fonda for new Canalside Park. $50,000 awarded to the Village of Fultonville for an extension to existing docks. $44,000 awarded to the Village of Green Island to complete an important link in Erie Canalway Trail from the end of the Black Bridge to Cannon Street. $100,000 awarded to the Town of Halfmoon for the installation of a car-top boat launch at Crescent Park. $100,000 awarded to Montgomery County to pave two sections of the existing Erie Canalway Trail between Fort Hunter and the Town of Root. $150,000 awarded to the Town of Niskayuna for new public restrooms, increasing dock capacity and boat storage for non-motorized water craft. $124,000 awarded to the Village of Palmyra for docking wall extension. $75,000 awarded to Schenectady County to resurface 2 miles of existing asphalt Erie Canalway Trail from Lock E-8 to the Thruway exit 26 bridge over I-890. $145,000 awarded to the Village of Waterloo for a trail connection from the Oak Island Canal Port to South Virginia Street and downtown Waterloo. Canalway Trail Times

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An organized Sunday run on the trail east of Syracuse

Palmyra trail count and survey

2015 Trail Counts Document a Busy Year on the Canalway Trail

2015 marked the 11th annual trail count conducted by the New York State Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails New York. Trail counts are conducted with the help of local volunteers, in order to develop a comprehensive picture of trail use throughout the Canalway Trail System.

Estimated annual trail use 2015 Canalway Trail Count Locations Location

Estimated Annual Traffic

Niawanda Park, Tonawanda

183,419 *

Bushnell’s Basin, Perinton


This year trail counts were conducted on the Erie Canalway Trail (ECT) in seven locations. At four of these locations, electronic counters were used to record trail use. Traditional volunteer counts occurred at three locations. At these physical count locations, volunteers also surveyed trail users to learn more about how and why they use the trail. 100%

Palmyra Canal Harbor


Cedar Bay Park, Dewitt


Lock 20 Canal Park, Marcy



49,424 40%

Rause Road, Ft. Plain

15,607 20%

Corning Preserve, Albany

156, 714

*Tonawanda figures based on full-year electronic count, rather than estimates

0% 2005















Canalway Trail Times

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End-to-End on the Erie Canalway Trail – A Historic Achievement!

“We bicycled from Ludington, Michigan to Brooklyn, New York. Watching the fall colors unfold and learning about the history of the Erie Canal along the way were highlights. The designated camping grounds at the locks were wonderful!” — Caito Bowles-Roth and Thomas Dixon, Minneapolis, MN

589 registered End-to-Enders in 2015

Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and 37 U.S. states represented

“I chose to become an End-to-Ender partly for exercise, partly for the personal challenge, and partly because I wanted to see the Erie Canal and experience Upstate New York.” — Jerry Mattern, Brockport, NY

3 End-to-Enders completed trail on foot in 2015 2,383 End-to-Enders since 2012

“I chose to become an End-to-Ender because I’m an eighth grade history teacher and I wanted to gather knowledge and the history of the Erie Canal to teach my students in class.” — Paul Henderson, Newmarket, NH

“It was a spectacular trip! We enjoyed the quiet trails alongside the working canal, particularly Lockport to Lyons. We visited every lock we could find and stopped at every historic site and museum.” — Robert Hickman and Charlotte Cohen, Brooklyn, NY

Register as an End-to-Ender at! Canalway Trail Times

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29 Elk Street Albany, New York 12207

Mark Your Calendars for the 18th Annual Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour - July 10-17, 2016 Each summer, Parks & Trails New York offers great cycling, wonderful scenery, and the history of the Erie Canal through the fully-supported, Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour. The 2015 tour brought more than 600 cyclists to the Erie Canalway Trail – the largest group ever! Join riders from near and far for the 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour, July 10-17, 2016. From the moment you begin in Buffalo to the festive finish line in Albany – and everywhere in between – you’ll experience the people, history, and charm that make the Erie Canalway Trail special. This year’s ride will take cyclists over historic aqueducts, by locks and other historic Canal infrastructure, and through dozens of charming Canal towns. Beyond the great scenery and warm, Upstate welcome for which the tour is known, recent enhancements have made the ride even better: End-of-tour shuttle from Albany to Buffalo: Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal. Cycle the Erie Canal Jersey: A must-have souvenir from the ride, the 2016 Cycle the Erie Canal jersey features an 1852 watercolor of Little Falls and an 1896 Erie Canal map. Four-day and Weekend Options: Same great cycling, tailored to your busy schedule. Registration for Cycle the Erie Canal is now open.

Visit for more information and to register. The New York State Canal Corporation has been proud to be the lead sponsor of this event since 2000.

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