Bicyclists Start Statewide Erie Canal Ride; Follow WAER News Director Chris Bolt's Coverage

Jul 6, 2013

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum features a replica cargo boat, as well as unearthed dry docks that tell story of activity along the canal.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

More than 500 bicyclists hit the trail Sunday following the path of the Erie Canal across the state. 

Parks and Trails New York organizes the ride…Director Robin Dropkin says the trip is eye-opening.

“You’d be amazed at how many people don’t really understand that the  Erie Canal is not just a legendary canal that opened up the West, but it is still a very living, vibrant canal.  Boats still go along it and I think that’s actually a big surprise to people.”

Sims Store at Camillus Erie Canal Park is a replica of a stop along the canal for cargo boats and passengers.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Of course our area has a deep connection through the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse and Camillus’s canal park.  Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum’s Christine O’Neil has seen visitors on the trail from other states, Europe, even Iceland.

“They’re walking, riding, running on a  trail that mules and horses used, and the mule drivers, some of whom were maybe 9 or 10 years old.  They’re on a trail that really opened up the entire country.”

WAER News Director Chris Bolt is riding the trail all this week.  You can follow his coverage on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  There will also be stories and photos each day on our website – W-A-E-R-dot-org.

This Aqueduct in Camillus was rebuilt and carries boats over Nine Mile Creek, just like it did in the 1800's when it was first constructed.