The Erie Canal is full of history. The corridor has seen its fair share of hustle and bustle, bringing strange visitors and oddities. Over the years, there have been many spooky occurrences, unresolved mysteries and other downright odd happenings. Today, the places that were home to these spooky happenings are now some of your favorite places to bicycle or walk with your family.
Three Bike Friendly New York (BFNY) businesses and establishments along the Erie Canalway Trail are prime examples of this. Although these businesses will be especially kind to two-wheeled visitors, they make no promises about any spectral Canalway Trail travelers. Even if you have visited these spaces before, you may want to revisit them before All Hallows Eve.
Did you know the Erie Canal Museum is home to many ghosts? Don’t believe us? Check out this video – if you’re brave enough – of the museum sharing a brief explanation of their spooky background. Visitors have reported sightings of ‘see-through children’ and ‘tromping through the 150-year-old hallways’. The museum has hosted exclusive paranormal investigations of the historic Weighlock Building. Independent ghost hunts are available by reservation; contact the museum for more information at (315) 471-0593.
The Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride became a certified Bike Friendly New York business in 2019 but has been scaring visitors for over 40 years now. Join them for a thrilling guided lantern tour where you will hear chilling folklore stories about the dark waters of the Erie Canal. Try not to be too frightened as you enter the forbidden tunnels and caves under historic Lockport. Tickets are required to join this scary boat ride and ticketed visitors must be eight or older.
One of the most haunted places in the country is right along the Erie Canal. Bike Friendly certified Historic Palmyra’s Phelps General Store is not for the timid or faint of heart. When built in 1826, the structure served as a boarding house, bakery, tavern, and general store. Julius Phelps, after having inherited it from his father 65 years prior, closed the doors to the business. What he left behind was a store forever stuck in 1940. Ghost hunts can be scheduled year-round and can be tailored to your group’s experience level. Groups that choose guided tours will have stories, photos, and equipment provided. Guests have felt the eerie presence ever since and some have even heard whispers from unseen beings. What will you feel on your visit?
Do you know a business or establishment that accommodates bicyclists? We strongly encourage them to apply to be a certified BFNY business (paranormal presence or not). The BFNY program connects bicyclists and outdoor recreation enthusiasts with businesses along the Erie Canalway corridor. Applicants must meet requirements and offer amenities useful to two-wheeled guests. For more information and to see a full listing of certified establishments, visit ptny.org/bikefriendly.