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Posts Tagged ‘Erie Canal Park’

By Katrina Koerting / Post-Standard / link to original post

Joggers, bikers and walkers are able to add some history to their exercise along the Erie Canalway Trail in Camillus, part of the village’s Erie Canal Park.

Take Your Bik - Finger Lakes

It’s easy terrain. The flat, two-mile trail on the banks of the canal is surfaced with compact stone dust, which also allows for wheelchair and stroller accessibility. “It’s a great family place,” said Cathy Solarte of Camillus, who walks the trail about three times a week. “It’s got a great history. It’s got a museum and different markers of what life used to be like.”

Boathouses, boats — including one that used to travel the old canal — and signs showing historic pictures of the canal are scattered along the trail.

One of the featured structures is the renovated Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, a stone structure built in 1844 that once transported boats over the creek to continue their trip on the Erie Canal. The aqueduct, located about a mile into the trail, sat idle for 80 years. It was rebuilt two years ago, and is now the only restored navigable aqueduct in New York.

The trail is secluded, thanks to a canopy of trees at the start and a wooded area lining the canalway. The crunch of the stone dust under your feet, the soft chatter of walkers and the birds singing are the only noises along this stretch of the canal. At points, cars can be heard in the distance; but save for a 50-foot stretch of the trail that goes by a road and a farm, you are hidden.

The seclusion is something else Solarte enjoys. She and husband Dave have been coming for about 20 years and walk the trail together at least once a week. “I like to come out every season and see spring and the blossoms come out and the leaves change in the fall,” said Cathy, 48. “Especially when you get down where it’s more wooded. It’s like walking through a tunnel of foliage.”

The stone dust trail was reconstructed for recreation two years ago and is part of a 350-mile project to connect trails along the old Erie Canal route from Albany to Buffalo, said Fenton Hanchett, a member of the Camillus Canal Society. The Camillus section begins at Route 173 by Reed Webster Park and extends west to the Sims Store Museum, a recreated canal store.

Anglers fish on the tree-covered banks or on wooden docks along the trail that jut over the canal. There is also a wooded area with trails for hikers to venture off the stone dust path.

And there are a lot of dog walkers on the trail, because it is the only park in Camillus where dogs are permitted. Michelle Osbourne, 35, of Syracuse walks with Dahlia, her border collie mix. “It’s clean and well-maintained,” Osbourne said. “It’s a great there-and-back trail. It’s great for anything — walking, biking, jogging — I see it all on the trail. It’s good for anybody. There are no ups and downs.”

Erie Canalway in Camillus
Trail length: 2 miles (4 miles roundtrip)
Hours: Dawn to dusk, 7 days a week
Terrain: Flat, compact stone dust
Access points: Sims Store in Camillus, 5750 DeVoe Road, or Route 173 in Camillus by Reed Webster Park
This is one of the 43 trails mapped & described in the guidebook “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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tyb-fl-cover1“Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region” is now on sale for only $12.00 on-line only at www.footprintpress.com.

Use it to enjoy biking on rail-trails, former canal towpaths, dirt biking trails and former roads – all safe places to take your family for a bike ride. It’s also useful as a source of trails for running.

Trails included are:

Rides in Orleans, Genesee, & Wyoming Counties
1. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area
2. Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area
3. Genesee County Park – Outer Loop
4. Genesee County Park & Forest – Inner Loop
5. Groveland Secondary
6. Silver Lake Outlet
7. Letchworth State Park – Trout Pond Loop
Rides in Livingston & Monroe Counties
8. Letchworth State Park – Big Bend Loop
9. Genesee Valley Greenway – Portageville to Nunda
10. Genesee Valley Greenway – Cuylerville to Avon
11. Rattlesnake Hill – Bike Loop
12. Rattlesnake Hill – Linear Bike Trail
13. Genesee Valley Greenway – Scottsville
14. Mendon – Lehigh Valley Trail
Rides in Ontario County
15. Victor – Lehigh Valley Trail
16. Auburn Trail
17. Ontario Pathways Trail
18. Canadice Lake Trail
19. Harriet Hollister Spencer Memorial State Recreation Area – Sidewinder Trail
20. Lakeshore Park/Seneca Lake State Park
Rides in Yates, Wayne, & Seneca Counties
21. Middlesex Valley Rail Trail
22. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail
23. Canal Park Trailway
24. Sampson State Park – Lake Trail
Rides in Schuyler & Tompkins Counties
25. Finger Lakes National Forest
26. Sugar Hill State Reforestation Area
27. Queen Catharine Marsh
28. Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area
29. South Hill Recreation Way
30. East Ithaca Recreation Way
31. Dryden Lake Park Trail
Rides in Cayuga & Onondaga Counties
32. Bear Swamp State Forest – Short Loop
33. Bear Swamp State Forest – Long Loop
34. Auburn-Flemming Trail
35. Casey Park
36. Howland Island
37. Cayuga County Erie Canal Trail (Port Byron to Jordan)
38. Erie Canalway Trail (Jordan-Camillus)
39. Erie Canal Park
40. Charlie Major Nature Trail

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