Erie Canal Trail

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use path which extends 360 miles across upstate New York following the original manmade waterway. But there are still large gaps in the trail that advocacy groups want completed.

There are about 288 miles of trail open to the public, but that leaves about 72 miles that still to need to be completed to connect the project. Greg Francese of Parks & Trails New York said there is money to complete 20 unfinished miles of the gap, but funding is needed for the remainder. He estimates that would  cost about $40 million.

Doug Kerr / via Flickr

Many New Yorkers who live along the Erie Canal are rediscovering the waterway via long-distance bicycle trips.

The recreational trail along the canal is becoming a well-used resource by people living in towns that were built by the canal. And they’re spending money too.

A survey by Parks and Trails New York finds a million and a half people take to the Erie Canal Trail every year. A large majority, nearly 90 percent, of those are bikers.