More than 650 cyclists will be riding through the Niagara region Sunday as they make their across New York state via the Erie Canalway Trail between Buffalo and Albany as part of the 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour organized by Parks & Trails New York.
On Saturday, riders arrived at the Nichols School in Buffalo to set up camp for the first of eight nights. During the day, cyclists have a choice of two pre-rides: a tour through Buffalo, stopping at various attractions or a ride to Niagara Falls via the Peace Bridge into Canada.
Cyclists will make their way through Lockport on Sunday and stop for the night in Albion as part of the 400-mile journey.
Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 80 percent complete and will, by 2020, be completed as part of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail. This year’s tour will treat cyclists to riding the most amount of trail since the tour’s inception, thanks to the openings this year of new trail sections in Pendleton and Pattersonville in the Mohawk Valley.
“The 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour is a wonderful way to celebrate the Erie Canal Bicentennial. … ” Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said. “We have cyclists aged 5 to 86 from 39 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia and they all get to experience what makes the Erie Canal and upstate New York so special."
The Erie Canalway Trail contributes significantly to the economy of upstate New York. A recent study shows that the Erie Canalway Trail annually receives close to 1.6 million visits and generates an economic impact of $253 million.
Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space.