A cross-country trip often follows a college graduation, but for Martine Wong and friends it was not the usual road trip. They made the journey by bike, becoming End-to-Enders in the process.
Upon graduating from the University of Vermont, Martine, Shana McCann and Brooke Shaffer chose to travel from Burlington, Vermont to Seattle, Washington without using a car. The women became End-to-Enders as they used the Erie Canalway Trail to cross New York State. “It was a great experience to be able spend some quality time with two of my best friends and be outdoors on my bicycle,” said Martine. “My favorite part of the Erie Canalway Trail was riding through beautiful Herkimer County. Spending an entire sunny afternoon outside of Little Falls climbing gradually and somewhat painfully through softly rolling farmland dotted with large farm equipment and round hay bales, was a rewarding and memorable part of the trip.”
In addition to the scenery, Martine was struck by the kindness of the people they met along the way. One evening the three women were offered a unique camping arrangement beside a nearby restaurant. The owner fed them for free and allowed them to camp alongside the adjacent canal banks. “We will never forget his generosity,” Martine remarked.
Since the End-to-End program was launched by PTNY and the NYS Canal Corporation in 2012 to recognize those who complete the entire 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail, almost 2,000 persons have registered as End-to-Enders. Visit the PTNY website or send PTNY an email to find out how you can become an End-to-Ender or register as an End-to-Ender and share your End-to-End experience.