Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor invites New Yorkers to take part in the 2020 Canalway Challenge, tracing history and tracking miles along New York’s canals and Canalway Trail. Part fitness challenge, part journey of discovery, the Canalway Challenge is free and registration is open to people of all ages and abilities.

“Staying healthy is a Number 1 priority for everyone right now. The Canalway Challenge is a great way for people to get outside and invest in mental and physical health, while exploring the canals in their local area,” said Bob Radliff, executive director of the heritage corridor.

Participants register online and choose a mileage goal of 15, 90, 180, or 360 miles; then walk, run or cycle on the Canalway Trail or paddle safe sections of the New York State Canal System to achieve it. The challenge can be done in one big trip or many small ones.

The 2020 challenge runs through the end of October, so people have plenty of time to complete it.

“Set alongside our state’s iconic canals, the Canalway Challenge offers participants an opportunity to enjoy the bucolic landscapes of Upstate New York, exercising their minds and bodies, while also practicing safe social distancing,” Brian U. Stratton, director of New York State Canal Corporation, said.

Families are encouraged to use the Canalway Challenge to supplement home-based learning about New York state history. Educational worksheets and learning resources are available from the National Heritage Corridor to complement what children will see while on the trail.

Participants in last year’s Canalway Challenge logged 285,000 miles, the equivalent of circling the Earth 11 times.

Sign up at

Participants should follow all state health department guidelines for social distancing, wearing a mask and proper hygiene while on the Canalway Trail and while visiting state parks, historic sites, and communities along the way. Updates are posted at

Recommended for you