Skip to Main Content

Canalway Challenge - Launches

Apr 30, 2019

Discover all you can do along New York's Canals

WATERFORD, NY- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor today announced the launch of the Canalway Challenge, a new initiative that invites people to trace history while tracking miles walking, running, cycling or paddling on the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail. The free program includes a range of mileage options--15 miles, 90 miles, 180 miles, and 360 miles—so that people at all fitness levels can choose a mileage goal that suits their ability and participate. Details and signup are available here.

I LOVE NY Executive Director Ross D. Levi said, “New York State's Canal System and the Erie Canalway Trail offer great opportunities for visitors to experience the state's history and heritage, and the Canalway Challenge will introduce even more travelers to these scenic treasures across the state."

“Whether you are an avid cyclist or a family looking to get more active, the Canalway Challenge will help you discover all you can do along New York's canals. We're excited for a great season of fun, fitness, and adventure along the waterway," said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Participation is free, and registration is open to individuals, organizations, and groups. Participants choose a mileage goal, then track their miles using the Canalway Challenge mileage log or their favorite fitness app. They can complete the Challenge in one big trip or many small ones. Participants can count mileage on the Erie, Champlain, Cayuga-Seneca, and Oswego Canals toward their Canalway Challenge goal.

Like a hiker seeking to become an Adirondack 46-er, participants can strive for mileage status and recognition. Upon completion, they can show off their accomplishment with a photo finish, car/kayak decal, and gear bag. Eastern Mountain Sports is supporting the Canalway Challenge with special discounts for signing up and completing the Challenge.

“As we prepare to open the New York State Canal System on May 17, the Canalway Challenge offers a new invitation for people to enjoy the scenic beauty and incredible recreational opportunities along the waterway," said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “This is a fun and multidimensional challenge everyone should take the opportunity to embrace."

Participants are encouraged to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #canalwaychallenge and tag their favorite miles #favorite15. Participants can also join the Canalway Challenge Facebook group,, to show off special moments, share photos, and ask questions.

The Canalway Challenge is open to groups such as companies, scout groups, and community groups. The online mileage log will calculate group totals so that businesses can tally employee miles.

The Canalway Challenge is funded in part by a grant from Market New York through I LOVE NY, New York State's Division of Tourism, as part of the state's Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Additional sponsorship is provided by the New York State Canal Corporation.

Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. We achieve our mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York. Click here to learn more. Click to watch You Tube Promo