About Tour the Towpath

Tour the Towpath is a two day recreational supported bike ride along the world famous Erie Canal!


Tour the Towpath 2017 begins in Rome, NY and follows the off-road Old Erie Canal Towpath trail for 36 miles to DeWitt, NY with an option to bike to the Inner Harbor in Syracuse (additional 10 miles). There are options to complete the ride in either one or two days. 

What You Will See and Do

There are lots of organized and spontaneous things to discover along the way! Tour the Towpath is a family friendly event and open to cyclists of all abilities. Riders will receive a map and guide to the many attractions, museums, restaurants, shops, and historic sites that they can explore in the communities between Rome and Syracuse.

About World Canals Conference

This year's Tour the Towpath is an official pre-conference event for the World Canals Conference. That means that local riders and international participants will be sharing the experience of riding the Old Erie Canal Towpath Trail and exploring the towns and villages along the way. All participants end at the World Canal Conference Kick-off Celebration at the Inner Harbor in Syracuse.

Ride Support

Tour the towpath is a supported ride. Skilled mechanics from Syracuse Bicycle will be riding with the group and can fix most minor technical bicycle issues. Event staff will also be on hand in case a rider has a more serious bike issue, or does not wish to finish the ride. Riders can call staff at any time with any issue during the ride. 

Luggage Transportation

Luggage Transportation is available for overnight riders so that they don't have to carry tents, sleeping bags, or other items. Riders wishing to use this service will drop off their luggage at the registration table. 

Bike Share Program

If out of town riders do not have a bicycle, there are a few, limited rental options available locally. We also are helping to facilitate bike sharing within the community for people who have extra bikes and would like to lend one. As you register for this event, there will be an option to lend or request a bicycle. 

Shuttle Service

Shuttle Service is available through the Erie Canal Bike Shuttle Company for an extra $27. The shuttle will pick you and your bicycle up at the finish location and bring you to the start. That way, your car will be waiting for you at the end. It is also common for riders to coordinate rides with friends or family between the start and finish. 



Two Day- September 23-24, 2017
One Day- September 24, 2017


Two Day- Starts at Erie Canal Village in Rome (10 am), overnight in Canastota, ends in DeWitt or Syracuse Inner Harbor (NY)
One Day- Starts at Zems Ice Cream in Canastota (8 am), ends in DeWitt or Syracuse Inner Harbor (NY)


Two Day
$30 Regular Registration
$15 Kids 

One Day
$30 Regular Registration
$15 Kids


Shuttle $27
Shuttle service to the start for you and your bike is available for an additional fee. A limited number of seats are available. You can add this to your order through the registration page.  Some people choose to coordinate rides with friends or family. 

Bike Rental

A few local bike shops offer a bike rental service. Riders who wish to rent a bike should coordinate with these outfitters. 

My favorite thing about Tour the Towpath was...

“The slow pace as well as the history of the canal we could experience during the ride.”


“The atmosphere of the canal. Mike, the blacksmith at the Canal Museum at Chittenango, and the ease of the ride for my two daughters, who were on their first ride.”


“Hard to single out one thing. Camaraderie, exceptional organization, challenging exercise (for me), and of course, the Canal itself.”

"There was a lot!  It was great to visit the towns on a Sunday when there is much less car traffic than during the weekdays. And seeing the countryside at 12 mph really allows you to "see" it a lot better. The entire ride was very peaceful and a great way to enjoy the outdoors- we saw many different birds, fish, and turtles. We really enjoyed stopping at the Chittenango Landing Museum." 

"The casual at-your-own-pace approach, how detailed the info was about what to do at the turn-offs, and the enthusiasm of the crew leading it."

"Meeting people and learning history."