There's nothing better than taking a bike ride outside on a nice day. Now you can do it for free with your friends and family along the Erie Canal.

Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) has partnered with the New York State Canal Corporation to create the "Empire State Trail Town" program. PTNY will provide technical assistance to towns to better promote and invite people to the Erie Canal. The goal is to provide a bike stop at every town along the canal, but for now it will start as a pilot program.

Brockport Welcome Center via Google Earth
Brockport Welcome Center via Google Earth
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The first town to test the waters is the Village of Brockport. A bike station has been set up, allowing visitors to borrow a bike at any time. People are welcome to ride the bikes up and down the Erie Canal Trail, as long as they bring the bikes back after.

By promoting and supporting Brockport as a premier destination for cyclists, the program seeks to create long-term economic, health and quality-of-life benefit for the entire community and surrounding area.

PTNY is also working to establish a "Trail Town" committee to help research village conditions and create better economic recommendations for the town.

Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash
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A 2014 study by PTNY showed that the Erie Canalway Trail generates over $250 million annually. They hope through efforts, like the Empire State Trail program, they will help generate even more revenue to towns along the Erie Canal.

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