Have Bike, Will Ride for Ice Cream

If you’re like many cyclists, treating yourself to ice cream or a beer during or after your ride is the best way to roll. The Canalway Corridor is full of fantastic local flavor, and you’ll find great options in almost every community. Here is a list of some of our favorites (listed along the Erie Canal west to east). Find more Best Bet Trips at https://eriecanalway.org/explore/cycling.


Miles: 12.6 Miles Round Trip

Start/End: Stevens Street/State Street Trail Parking Lot (Lockport, NY)

Description: Cycle west along newly paved trail with great views of the canal. You’ll see lovely gardens planted with flowers and Bike Art and several canal artifacts displayed along the route. This section of trail is cared for by Adopt-a-Trail volunteers, so be sure to say hello and thank you if you see them in the gardens. Ride to Washington Street and Uncle G’s Ice Cream for a treat and then return.


Miles: 15 Miles Round-Trip

Start/End: Spencerport

Description: Start your ride in the quaint canal town of Spencerport and set the stage for your ride at the Spencerport Depot and Canal Museum, a small museum and visitor center located in a restored 1908 Trolley Depot. Depart west and in about 4 miles, you’ll pass the hamlet of Adam’s Basin, marked by the Washington Street lift bridge. This is about the halfway point to your destination. In just over 7 miles, you’ll reach the Village of Brockport (the first Empire State Trail Town!), also marked by a lift bridge. Cross the bridge to poke around main street, where you can grab a coffee at Java Junction or a sandwich and ice cream at Port Pockets & Deli. Looking for a full meal? Stay to the north of the canal and venture up to 58 Main for some barbecue and brews that will be sure to power you all the way back!


Miles: 9 miles round-trip

Start/End: Fairport Canal Harbor

Description: Head west from the picturesque canal promenade in Fairport until arriving at the bridge that crosses the canal at the hamlet of Bushnell’s Basin. This is a single lane bridge, so you may want to walk your bike over. Bushnell’s Basin is home to the historic Richardson’s Canal HouseSeven Story Brewing Company, and Abbott’s Frozen Custard. Treat yourself to a cone before heading back to Fairport the way you came. For an 11.5-mile ride round-trip, head west to Pittsford and check out Artisan Gelato & Espresso at Schoen Place or Pittsford Farms Dairy.


Miles: 13 miles round-trip

Start/End: Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

Description: Rent a bike or bring your own to the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum where you’ll start your journey. Take some time to explore the park’s restored 100-foot-long timber and stone dry dock and replica canal boat before heading east on the Canalway Trail. The trail will lead you right into Canastota where you’ll continue west on Canal Street before making a right on to S Peterboro Street to the heart of town and the front door of Erie Canal Brewing Company. Bike racks just outside allow you to lock up and enjoy a pint before making your return journey.


Miles: 8 Miles Round-Trip

Start/End: Yankee Hill Lock (Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 28)

Description: This ride packs in historic canal sites, scenic views, and a tasty destination, all within a four-mile stretch of Canalway Trail. Ride through the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and the hamlet of Fort Hunter along a quiet, nature-filled stretch of trail. Start just outside of Amsterdam at the remains of the old Yankee Hill Lock, where you can look back in time at a stone lock built in 1841 and see a recreated canal store. Head west and in about 2 miles, visit the Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center which provides a good orientation to the park and canal history. Continue for another mile to reach Karen’s Ice Cream and Produce on RT. 5S. Note: you will have to cross Rt. 5S to reach Karen’s. May we recommend the blueberry pie a la mode?


Miles: 16.4 Miles Round Trip, some on-road

Start/End: Mohawk Harbor, Harborside Drive, Schenectady

Description: Cycle west on the ALCO Heritage Trail along the Mohawk River/Erie Canal until you reach Front Street. Turn right and follow Front St. through the Stockade, Schenectady’s oldest neighborhood. Turn left on Washington Street and right on State Street to pick up the Canalway Trail. You’ll pass Lock E8 and Rotterdam Kiwanis Park to reach your destination at the Mabee Farm Historic Site. Stay for a tour or explore on your own before you make the return trip. Treat yourself to a beer from Druthers Brewing Company at the end of your ride.

Author: Jean Mackay, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

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