2022 Cycling Programs

The Erie Canal Museum’s Tour the Towpath Initiative is funded in part through the generous support of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Beers, Bikes, and Barges– Bi-Weekly, Thurs., June 23 – Sept. 15, 2022

The Erie Canal Museum has teamed up with cultural sites and breweries across the state to develop a summer long cycling series along the Erie Canal titled “Beers, Bikes, and Barges.” The goal of this series is to showcase the Erie Canal’s diverse history, the newly completed Empire State Trail, and the unique breweries that are found throughout the state. Each event in the series will occur on Thursdays at 6pm and will consist of an approximately hour-long guided cycling tour of that week’s highlighted community followed by a drink at the partner brewery. The first drink will be covered as part of a $20 registration fee that will also provide a donation to the Erie Canal Museum and that week’s partnering cultural organization. Helmets are required.

August 11 (DATE CHANGED) – Syracuse Inner Harbor- Meier’s Creek Inner Harbor

 Join the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour around Syracuse’s Inner Harbor and Onondaga Lake looking at the Lake’s canal history. The ride begins and ends at Meier’s Creek Brewing’s Inner Harbor location, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride.

August 18- Utica- Bagg’s Square Brewing Company

Join the Oneida County Historical Center and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour around Utica looking at the city’s Erie Canal and brewing history, as you ride along the historic Mohawk River. The ride begins and ends at Bagg’s Square Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.

September 1- Downtown Syracuse- Talking Cursive Brewing Company

Join the Erie Canal Museum and Talking Cursive Brewing Company for this hour long cycling tour through Syracuse looking at the its unique brewing and Canal history, including Greenway’s Brewing, which once occupied the same site as Talking Cursive today! The ride begins at the Erie Canal Museum and ends at Talking Cursive, right down the street, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.

September 15- Seneca Falls- W.T. Brews Seneca Falls

Join the Seneca Falls Museum of Waterways and Industry and the Erie Canal Museum for this hour long cycling tour around Seneca Falls looking at the its unique Canal history! The ride begins at the Seneca Falls Museum of Waterways and Industry and ends at Fall Street Brewing, right across the street, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.

Buffalo Slow Roll Ticket to Roll Beers, Bikes, and Barges Partnership Rides

Experience Erie Canal history by bike, then enjoy a pint in this statewide series along Western New York’s historic canals! Part of Slow Roll Buffalo’s Ticket To Roll Series, these limited-capacity, ticketed rides are fundraisers in support of Slow Roll’s nonprofit mission to provide inclusive cultural experiences by bicycle that connect communities and promote public health. Your support helps keep their Monday community rides free for all. Tickets are $50 for this series.

August 27- Lockport- Noon

Join us August 27 for Beers, Bikes, and Barges LOCKPORT. Your ticket includes a SQUAD-led 10-mile ride highlighting our region’s unique canal history, a refreshing pint of beer and afterparty courtesy of Lock 34 Bar & Grill, an exclusive commemorative t-shirt and more.

This ride is rated GEAR 1. Shorter mileage and a 10mph pace with one stop make it appropriate for most riders.

Optional Ticket includes a ~35 mile ride departing 9am from Canalside in Buffalo along the Empire Trail to Lockport, joining the Lockport Beers, Bikes, Barges for 10 miles and the afterparty, then ~35 miles back to Buffalo before sunset. This ticket also includes your first beer and dinner at Lock 34 in Lockport, an exclusive commemorative t-shirt and more. This additional ride for a total of 80 miles is intended ONLY for experienced riders due to the distance and faster pace of the ride between Buffalo and Lockport.

October 10- Buffalo- Noon

Join us October 15 2022 for Beers, Bikes, and Barges BUFFALO. Your ticket includes a SQUAD-led 12-mile ride highlighting our region’s unique canal history, a refreshing pint of beer at our afterparty at Big Ditch brewing Company, an exclusive commemorative T-Shirt and more.

This ride is rated GEAR 1. Shorter mileage and a 10mph pace with one stop make it appropriate for most riders.

Bike Repair Station Workshops

August 17th- 5:30- Bring Your Own Bike Repair Workshop

Have a maintenance issue with your bike that you’d like to see if you can fix yourself? Join the Erie Canal Museum and Mello-Velo Bike Shop & Café in front of the Erie Canal Museum’s entrance with your bike to see if it is repairable on the Museum’s new repair station. Learn from the experts how to make a simple fix on your bike with these publicly available amenities. These workshops are totally free and open to the public. You are also welcome to join in the larger History Happy Hour, occurring throughout the Museum and its grounds that evening, which is also free and open to the public.

Tuesday on the Towpath

Syracuse Ride- August 23rd- 6PM- Free

Join staff of the Erie Canal Museum on this recreational bike ride along the route of the Erie Canal in Syracuse, New York. Learn about the 19th century Canal in downtown Syracuse, and explore some of the city’s historic and contemporary Canal systems, including the Onondaga Creekwalk and the Inner Harbor. Meet at the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse. Helmets are required. The bike ride is free and open to the public.

Central New York Trail Ambassador Program

Do you love Central New York as well as biking or hiking the Erie Canalway Trail through Central New York and want to share that passion? You could be a perfect candidate for becoming a Trail Ambassador!
This new program by the Erie Canal Museum, part of the larger Trail Ambassador program coordinated by Parks and Trails New York, aims to make Syracuse more inviting to the thousands of cyclists and hikers who come through our city every year enjoying the Erie Canalway and Empire State Trail Systems. Trail Ambassadors assist and inform trail users, monitor trail conditions, promote trail courtesy, safety and awareness, and serve as local advocates for the Canalway’s trail systems. This program relies on volunteer Ambassadors to be out on the trail only a few times a week, with a very flexible schedule tailored to your needs.
If you are interested or would like more information, please feel free to contact the Erie Canal Museum’s Educator, Derrick Pratt, at educator@eriecanalmuseum.org

Previous Events

Tour the Towpath – July 30-31, 2022

Looking for an adventurous way to experience New York’s brand new Empire State Trail? Join us for the 5th annual Tour the Towpath bicycle ride along the Historic Old Erie Canal from Rome to Syracuse. Experience 42 miles of beautiful, off-road trail riding AND the new Empire State Trail through Syracuse. Explore historic communities built around the Erie Canal. Complete the ride in one or two days with camping accommodations at the mid-point in Canastota. Helmets are required.

Numerous special events will occur over the weekend for riders including tours of the Canastota Canal Town Museum, music and a car show at ZEMS on Saturday night, blacksmith demonstrations at Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, an after party at the Erie Canal Museum on Sunday afternoon, and the Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival right down the street from the endpoint, to name a few. Cyclists will also be provided with a ride guide including coupons to special deals at local businesses! Click here for some FAQs.

Ride support is provided by the team at Mello-Velo Bike Shop and Café. Day 1 begins at the Erie Canal Village, 5789 Rome-New London Rd, Rome, NY 13440 and concludes at ZEMS Ice Cream, 124 W Hickory St, Canastota, NY 13032, where camping facilities will be provided. Day 2 begins at ZEMS and goes to the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13202. Please make arrangements in advance for getting to and from start/end points.

$50 for the first rider and $30 for each additional rider in a party. $40/$20 early bird special until June 15th

Members receive a $10 discount to total order.

June 12th- 11 AM- Bike Repair Basics

Join the Erie Canal Museum and Mello-Velo Bike Shop & Café outside the Museum’s front entrance to learn the basics of how to use its new bike repair station. Learn how to patch a flat tire, adjust brakes, and perform other basic maintenance functions. These workshops are totally free and open to the public. This workshop will use samples bikes brought from Mello-Velo. You can also join the Museum for a free guided cycling tour of Syracuse that begins immediately afterwards at 12:30PM.

Previous Beers Bikes and Barges

June 23- Albany- C.H. Evans Brewing Company

Join the Historic Albany FoundationDiscover Albany, the Albany Ale Project, and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour through Albany looking at the city’s Erie Canal and brewing history. See sites like the location of the enormous John Taylor and Sons Brewery and Lock #1 on the Old Erie. The ride begins and ends at C.H. Evans Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.

July 7- Port Byron/Weedsport- Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Company

 Join the Canal Society of New York and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour of the historic Erie Canal in Cayuga County. This ride will take visitors through a number of interesting historic canal destination, including the locks at Port Byron! The ride begins and ends at Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride.

July 28 (DATE CHANGED)- Schenectady- Druthers Brewing Company

Join the Schenectady County Historical Society and the Erie Canal Museum for this hourlong cycling tour through Schenectady looking at the city’s Erie Canal and brewing history, as you ride along the historic Mohawk River. The ride begins and ends at Druthers Brewing Company, where you will be treated to a beer as part of your ride as well as a brief history of the brewery itself.