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SUBMITTED by New York State Canal Corporation, (9-July-2009)

More Than 500 Cyclists Registered for 400-Mile Trip From Buffalo to Albany

The New York State Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails NY today announced the beginning of the Eleventh Annual Cycling the Erie Canal, a 400-mile bicycling tour from Buffalo to Albany scheduled for July 12-19, 2009.

The eight-day recreational bicycling tour will help highlight the beauty, history, culture and recreational appeal of the Canal System and the Canalway Trail, a prime tourism destination in New York State.

More than 500 cyclists from 39 states are participating in this year's event, as well as international representatives from as far away as Germany.

Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation said, The Canalway Trail provides numerous recreational, tourism and economic development opportunities throughout New York State as demonstrated through the success of Cycling the Erie Canal. Each year, cyclists from all over the country and the world participate in this popular event to experience firsthand the unparalleled history and beauty of the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail. The Canal Corporation is pleased to once again partner with Parks & Trails NY to sponsor the Eleventh Annual Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour.

Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York, said, The Eleventh Annual Cycling the Erie Canal tour is a very exciting event, drawing hundreds of people of all ages. We have riders from 39 states and from several countries, as well as several hundred volunteers in communities along the route ready to welcome riders and help them discover what makes the Erie Canal and upstate New York unique.

The New York State Canal Corporation is sponsoring the event for the eleventh consecutive year. Roughly two-thirds of the 400-mile bicycle tour takes place on the completed portion of the Canalway Trail. When complete, the New York State Canalway Trail System will span more than 500 miles and connect numerous cities, towns, and villages along the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain Canals, making it one of the longest multi-use recreational trails in the country.

During the bike trek, Cycling the Erie Canal participants will have the opportunity to participate in guided tours of the Canal, historic sites, and museums, such as the Erie Canal Village, Fort Stanwix National Monument, and Old Erie Canal State Park.

The complete schedule for the 2009 Cycling the Erie Canal Tour is as follows (Arrival/departure times are approximate and are subject to change without notice):

Sunday, July 12 Buffalo to Medina

Overnight: Medina Middle School, Gwinn St., Medina

5:30am - 7:30am Breakfast at Nichols School
6:30am - 7:30am Registration at Nichols School
7:45am Brief kickoff ceremony
8:00 am Start of ride
8:30am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Amherst Erie Canal Museum
10:30am and 12:30pm Lockport Boat Tours
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop Middleport, Municipal Park
1:00pm - 6:00pm Swimming in Medina Middle School Pool
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner at Medina Middle School
7:00pm - 8:00pm Talk on canal history Tom Grasso, President, NYS Canal Society
7:00pm - 9:00pm Music at campsite

Monday, July 13 Medina to Pittsford

Overnight: Nazareth College 4245 East Ave., Pittsford

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at Medina Middle School
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Holly Canal Park
11:00am on Escorted bike rides to High Falls in downtown Rochester
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop, Rochester Genesee Valley Park swimming, canoes and kayaks available
2:00pm - 9:00pm Shuttle service to dorms and Schoen Place, Pittsford
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner at Nazareth College in Pittsford
7:00pm - 7:30pm Talk by Judy Ertel from the Susan B. Anthony House Museum at Nazareth College, Pittsford
7:30pm-9:00pm Music
8:00pm - 9:00pm Swimming at Nazareth College

Tuesday, July 14 Pittsford to Waterloo

Overnight: Mynderse Academy, Seneca Falls

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at Nazareth College with representative from the Mormon Church and the Village of Palmyra
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop Palmyra Village Park hosted by the Palmyra Kiwanis
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop Clyde Village Park - Town of Galan Historic Society open
3:00pm - 9:30pm Shuttle bus taking cyclists to Seneca Falls museums and dinner in Seneca Falls and Cayuga Lake State Park for swimming
4:30pm - 6:30pm - Wine & cheese reception at Peoples Park, Seneca Falls
5:00pm - 7:30pm Bike repair at campsite
7:00pm - 8:00pm Community Band Concert and Ice Cream Social  Peoples Park, Seneca Falls. Museums in Seneca Falls open late.

Wednesday, July 15 Seneca Falls - Syracuse

Overnight: Burnett Park, Syracuse

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at Mynderse Academy
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Port Byron Middle School
12:00pm - 5:00pm - Afternoon Rest Stop, Camillus, Sims Erie Canal Store/Museum
3:30pm - 4:45pm Reception Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnett Park, Syracuse, drawing for Terry Cycling saddles and repair kit must be present to win
2:00pm - 9:00pm Shuttle Service to Erie Canal Museum (until 8:00) and Armory Square
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner at Rosamond Gifford Zoo
7:00pm - 8:00pm Sam Clemence Talk on engineering the Erie Canal at the Zoo
7:00pm - 9:00pm Music by Chris Farrar at the Zoo

Thursday, July 16 Syracuse to Rome

Overnight: Fort Stanwix National Monument - James St, Rome

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnett Park
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Chittenango, Chittenango Landing Boat Museum Canastota free admission to the Canal Town Museum
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop, Verona Town Hall
2:00pm - 5:00pm Visit Erie Canal Village in Rome, tour the Rome Sports Hall of Fame, tour Ft. Stanwix National Monument, swim at YMCA
4:00pm - 9:00pm Shuttle buses to area restaurants and enjoy live music by Caribbean Steel Drum Sound at the campsite.
7:30pm Summer Stage: Once Upon A Mattress at the Capitol Theatre.

Friday, July 17 Rome to Canajoharie

Overnight: Canajoharie High School, 136 Scholastic Way, Canajoharie

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at Rome YMCA
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Town of Schuyler Town Hall
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop, Little Falls, Herkimer Home Historic Site
3:00pm - 9:00pm Shuttle bus to downtown Canajoharie
4:00pm - 6:00pm Swimming at the Canajoharie Middle School
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner at Canajoharie H.S.
7:00pm - 9:00pm Music George Ward, Erie Canal Music & more

Saturday, July 18 Canajoharie to Scotia

Overnight: Collins Park, Mohawk Ave./Schonowee Ave., Scotia

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast, Canajoharie High School
8:00am - 12:00pm Morning Rest Stop, Fultonville Town Hall
12:00pm - 5:00pm Afternoon Rest Stop, Mabee Farm Historic Site
Until 8:00pm Swimming available at the park
On your own - Walking Tours of historic Stockade Area
4:00pm - 5:00pm Reception at Collins Park
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner at Collins Park
7:00 pm - 8:00pm Program & Celebration
7:30pm - 9:00pm Music at Freedom Park area at Collins Park Johnny Robb & the Jailhouse Rockers

Sunday, July 19 Schenectady to Albany

6:00am - 8:00am Breakfast at Collins Park
8:00am - 11:00am Morning Rest Stop Peebles Island State Park
10:30am - afternoon Riders finishing at Corning Preserve, Albany

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

The Canal Corporation is a proud supporter of the 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, a year long celebration designed to commemorate 400 years of progress in the Empire State. For information regarding the Quadricentennial, please visit www.exploreny400.com.

Some Cycling the Erie Canal events are open to the public. For more information on Cycling the Erie Canal, contact Parks & Trails NY at 518-434-1583 or visit www.ptny.org.

For more information regarding events, recreation and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, please visit www.nyscanals.gov or call 1-800-4CANAL4.


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