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Adopt-A-Trail Program

Canalway Trail Maintenance

Canalway Trail Clean-up The Canalway Trail needs regular maintenance to keep it in good repair for biking, walking, and other trail activities. Grass needs to be mowed, brush cut, litter and weeds removed, and graffiti cleaned. In addition, some trail facilities need to be painted and repaired. State and local agencies are working hard to maintain the trail, but volunteers are needed to provide the regular attention and care to help make this trail a world class recreational resource.

You Can Help

The Canalway Trail Adopt-a-Trail program helps keep the trail clean and in good repair by encouraging volunteers to adopt sections of the trail in their communities. The Canalway Trails Association New York, in cooperation with the NYS Canal Corporation, organizes and guides volunteer work on the Canalway Trail. Parks and Trails New York also provides assistance on this program.

Who Can Adopt a Trail?

Individuals, families, and organizations may adopt a mile or more of the Canalway Trail. It is a great community project for a scout or youth group, school, company, or service organization. There is no cost to volunteers to be involved. Volunteers in the Adopt-a-Trail program must be at least 12 years old.

Trail adopters can work on their own schedule but must engage in adopter activities at least 4 hours each month between April and November.

Adopters will be required to:

  • Commit to a 3-year term
  • Submit volunteer registration form for each participant
  • Update volunteer roster annually
  • Agree to minimum requirements:
    • Visit trail monthly (April – November)
    • Provide 4-hours (min) of service per month
    • Host a Canal Clean Sweep Event (April)
    • Provide activity field reports (2/year)

It’s Fun!

Adopt-a-Trail groups can tackle many types of maintenance tasks, such as litter pick-up, mowing, trimming brush, removing fallen branches, raking and patching the trail surface, maintaining signs, painting, and landscaping.

Volunteers may become involved in trail planning, local trail map development, and environmental such as the Canal Clean Sweep Leaving NYS Canal's Website and historic education activities.

Volunteers may also be interested in participating in the Canalway Trails Association New York Leaving NYS Canal's Website at the regional or state level.

How to Adopt a Trail

To learn more about the Adopt-a-Trail program, please send an e-mail to Please include your name, address, group name (if any), day and evening telephone numbers, e-mail address and note the location of the Canalway Trail segment you would like to adopt.

After notifying us of your interest in participating you will be contacted by your Regional Canalway Trail Group Adopt-a-Trail Sponsor.  When you are ready to get started, please complete an Adopt-a-Trail Agreement form below and submit it to the Canal Corporation at the address provided on the form.  In addition, each volunteer who participates in the Adopt-Trail Program must complete a Volunteer Registration form below.  In some locations, an Adopt-a-Trail Permit will be required to perform Adopt-a-Trail activities.  The Adopt-a-Trail Sponsor or Canal Corporation can help Determine whether a permit is needed and assist with the application.   

Application Package