Trail Visits, Cycling & Paddling

Set out for adventure by foot, bicycle or paddle craft along hundreds of miles of trails and waterways for an up close and personal journey along the NYS Canal System.
Paddle for Paws event at Minekill State Park, Schoharie County, featuring a woman paddleboarding with her dog. Enjoying outdoor activities while supporting a charitable cause for animal welfare.

Your Trail Visit

Helpful resources to planning your visit to the Canalway Trails with information on routes, where to go and what to see along the way, and much more courtesy of Parks & Trails New York.

A group of people walking on a tree-lined path. The path is divided by a yellow dashed line, with some individuals walking on the left side and others on the right. Tall, leafy trees create a green canopy overhead, providing shade. The scene has a peaceful, suburban feel with well-maintained grass and a wooden fence on the right side of the path.


The Canalway Trail features more than 420 miles of networked trails you can explore by bicycle. Use the resources below to help plan and prepare for your cycling trip.

Prep for Your Cycling Visit

  • Hours: Dawn to Dusk
  • Speed Limit: 15 mph
  • What to Bring: Helmet, bike lock, drinking water, headlight/taillight, eye protection, first aid kit, spare tire & tube, compact hand pump.
  • E-bikes: Class 1 & 2 E-bikes not capable of peddle-assist beyond 20 mph are allowed
Group of people with adaptive bicycles at Clarkson, New York, during the Brockport Kayak & Cycling Accessible Excursion. A group stands proudly with their specialized bikes, ready for an inclusive outdoor adventure.


Venture down 524 miles of historic and scenic canal waterways with more than 125 publicly available access points. Be sure to learn and get all the information you need to plan a safe and enjoyable journey on the water.

Prep for Your Paddle

Whatever your paddle craft—kayak, canoe or paddleboard—you'll want to be prepared for your outing on the waterways with this list of essential and optional gear, and helpful tips.

Plan Your Paddle
Kayaking on Mohawk Harbor, Schenectady, NY - Enjoy a serene paddle along the Erie Canal and Mohawk River in Schenectady, NY.
Kayakers in Lock E-2 on the Erie Canal, Waterford, NY. People enjoy a sunny day as kayaks pass through the open gates, with spectators above. Capturing the activity of the Tugboat Roundup.

Locking Through While Paddling 

Experience Locking Through via paddle craft. The Canal waterways are home to dozens of locks, lift bridges and guard gates. There are specific ways to travel through these features while paddling the waterway, so read up before you go. Kayaks and canoes can lock through but paddleboards are not allowed to lock through for safety reasons.

Abandoned But Not Forgotten

Try walking, cycling or paddling the calmer, more intimate trails and waterways of New York State’s out-of-use canals that are still accessible on foot and non-motorized vessels.