More than 700 cyclists participating in the 20th annual 400-mile Cycle the Erie Canal tour departed Buffalo on Sunday and will reach Cayuga County this week, a Parks & Trails New York press release said.
The cyclists, traveling 40-60 miles of the Erie Canalway Trail a day, are expected to arrive in Seneca Falls on Tuesday. On Wednesday, with the final destination of Syracuse, cyclists will pass through various areas in and around Cayuga County.
Included on Wednesday's itinerary is a visit to the Montezuma National Wildlife refuge. The village of Jordan has also put together an event including a historical building tour, a carriage ride down the canal and other local novelties such as maple syrup to welcome the cyclists. Within the county borders, the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park in Port Byron will welcome the riders.
“The 20th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour is a wonderful way to celebrate the Erie Canal Bicentennial, Barge Canal Centennial, and explore Upstate New York. Plus, it’s fun, healthy, and good for the economy,” said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin in the release. “We have cyclists aged 6 to 82 from 37 states and several Canadian provinces, as well as Australia and the United Kingdom, and they all get to experience what makes the Erie Canal and Upstate New York so special.”
Cyclists are expected to reach the cycle tour's finish line in Albany on Sunday after passing through Rome, Canajoharie and Schenectady.
The release also stated that the Erie Canalway Trail, now 80 percent complete, will be completed by 2020 as part of a 750-mile Empire State Trail. A recent study concluded that nearly 1.6 million people visit the trail each year and it helps generate $253 million.
Visit ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal/annual-bike-tour/itinerary for the tour's full itinerary.