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Canalway Challenge Kicks Off Along New York’s Canals!

Canalway Challenge Kicks Off Along New York’s Canals
Walk, run, cycle, roll, or paddle to achieve your mileage goal

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor invites New Yorkers to take part in the Canalway Challenge in 2021 and enjoy the great outdoors along New York’s canals and Canalway Trails. Participants choose a mileage goal of 15, 90, 180, or 360 miles. They then walk, run or cycle on the Canalway Trail or paddle on the NYS Canal System to achieve it. People with disabilities are welcome to participate in a 1st Mile Challenge by completing one mile.

“As New York begins to open more, the Canalway Challenge is a great way for people to get outside and discover all they can do along the canals and Canalway Trail,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “The range of mileage options is suited to people of all ages and abilities, from those who are just taking their first steps toward fitness to more experienced athletes.”

The Canalway Challenge is free and registration is open to individuals and teams. People can complete their miles in one big trip or many small ones.

The 1st Mile Challenge offers people with disabilities and their family and friends opportunities to recreate together and build more active lifestyles. There are numerous places along the canals and Canalway Trail that are accessible and several that offer adaptive bikes and kayaks.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “New York’s Canals and adjoining trails offer unparalleled opportunities for safe, socially-distanced outdoor recreation.  The Canalway Challenge showcases the tremendous investments made in both our canalside communities through Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals program, and in opening of the 750-mile Empire State Trail – the longest multi-use trail in the nation. As we continue to seek new and engaging ways to get outdoors while remaining safe and responsible, the Canal Corporation is thrilled to support this initiative and to invite all New Yorkers to experience the unmatched history and natural beauty of our magnificent Canalway Trail system.”

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “With more New Yorkers looking for ways to safely recreate outside and experience parts of the state they haven’t previously visited, the Canalway Challenge is the perfect opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to explore the state’s canal system and the Erie Canalway Trail.”

The Canalway Challenge is funded with support from the National Park Service, the NYS Canal Corporation, and Market New York through I LOVE NY/New York State Division of Tourism as a part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

Participants should follow all New York State Department of Health guidelines for COVID-19 safety while on the Canalway Trail and while visiting state parks, historic sites, and communities.

This year’s Challenge runs through the end of October. Sign up at

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.

Photo: The 2021 Canalway Challenge is on! New Yorkers are invited to sign up, choose a mileage goal, and explore the great outdoors along New York’s canals. The program is free and runs through October.


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