Settled in 1789 by John Swift, this area was originally called Swift�s Landing. Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church here in 1830. Visitors by the thousands now converge on Palmyra each July for the Mormon�s Hill Cumorah Pageant, the largest outdoor religious extravaganza in the United States.
The current Erie Canal flows through Palmyra�s historic Aqueduct Park, named for the remains of the Palmyra Aqueduct, built in 1857 on the original Erie Canal to carry water over Ganargua Creek (also called Mud Creek). The home of Lock 29, Aqueduct Park offers campsites, picnic tables, swing sets, a small boat launch, restrooms, and parking. The park is open from 9 AM to 9 PM. Lock 29 is one of 6 locks in Wayne County, the most of any county in the state.
Also in Aqueduct Park, is the 144-year-old Aldrich Change Bridge. A change bridge allowed mules towing barges and packet boats along the canal to reverse directions without having to be unharnessed and transported across the canal. The 74-foot-long, 14-foot-wide bridge was built by Squire Whipple in 1858. It was an ingenious piece of engineering, especially for the time. Originally it sat over the canal in Rochester. In 1880 it was relocated to the enlarged canal near the border between Macedon and Palmyra. It collapsed into Mud Creek in 1996 during an ice storm, but it was hauled out and restored by volunteers over a 6-year period. It is the oldest dated surviving composite cast iron bridge in NY State, and the only surviving canal change bridge. It now sits across the former canal bed which is filled in with soil and grass, a tribute to the original engineers and the volunteers who rescued this relic of our history.
From Aqueduct Park, the trail continues east as a dirt path for 0.7 mile to Church Street/Maple Road in Palmyra. There is no parking available at this terminus. To the west it runs for 85 miles. That�s the direction we�ll head.
B&B: The Gables of Palmyra, 223 W. Main Street, (315) 597-5977
Liberty House B&B, 131 W. Main Street, (315) 597-0011
� From Aqueduct Park, head west on the packed stone dust path near the entrance to the park.
� Immediately ride over the Palmyra Aqueduct which was built in1857.
� Head uphill to cross Walworth Road.
� At 2.1 miles, McDonald�s and West Wayne Restaurant are across Route 31 to your left.
On the way to Macedon you�ll pass a side trail to Lock 60 Historic Site. Lock 60, a dual lock built in 1841 on the enlarged Erie Canal, was renovated by a volunteer group called the Lock 60 Locktenders. (See pages 92-95 for a description of the historic canal remnants and trails in the Macedon area.)
Macedon is home to the second working lock you�ll encounter on this journey, Lock 30. At Lock 30 Canal Park on the south side of the canal, you�ll find a campsite for hikers, bicyclists, and boaters with room for 4 tents, potable water, picnic tables, grills, and a restroom.
The nearby railroad tracks are from the old New York Central Railroad. Just after Macedon, the canal widens in several places where the current canal was dug alongside the old one.
� Head uphill as you approach O�Neil Road.
� Turn right and follow the sidewalk across the bridge, then take an immediate left to pick up the towpath. (The trail to Lock 60 is on your right.)
� Ride under pipes which carry materials from the Exon Plastics factory to railroad cars.
� Ride under Route 350 to Lock 30. There�s parking on both sides of the canal at Lock 30.
� Cross Canandaigua Road. You�ve ridden 4.2 miles.
� The canal widens where the old and new canals merged.
� Cross Wayneport Road. There is a small parking lot here.
� At 8.6 miles ride under the newly rebuilt Lyndon Road bridge. (There is no access to Lyndon Road from the trail.) Shortly, the path becomes paved.
� For a short section, the path is shared with cars.
It�s no exaggeration to say that Fairport owes its existence to the Erie Canal. Much of the area that is now Fairport was once a large swamp. Workers drained it while digging the canal, leaving fertile land instead of swampy ground. Farming prospered, and other businesses quickly sprouted along the canal to carry the harvest to Rochester and New York City.
Fairport boasts the only slanted liftbridge along the Erie Canal. The bridge-tender�s tower now houses modern computer equipment to control the bridge�s movements.
Fairport has restaurants, pizza, ice cream and coffee shops.
Bike Shop: RV&E Bike & Skate, 40 N. Main Street, (585) 388-1350 (rentals available)
Ice Cream: Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shop in the Box Factory building, 6 North Main Street, (585) 377-6250
Tours: Colonial Belle Canal Tour and Dinner Boat, 400 Packett�s Landing, (585) 223-9470
B&B: Twenty Woodlawn B&B, 20 Woodlawn Avenue (585) 377-8224
� At 10.1 miles a cement bridge abutment (from the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Railway) with colorful graffiti across the canal signals the terminus of the Perinton Hike-Bikeway Trail (Trail #18). There are plans to connect these two trails with a pedestrian bridge.
� Continue straight and ride under the Turk Hill Road bridge.
� Pass several gravel trails to the right that lead into Thomas Creek Wetlands with boardwalks and observation platforms overlooking the wetland. (See page 122 for a map.)
� Ride under Parker Street.
� On the right, just before the liftbridge is the Box Factory, which contains Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shop and Lift Bridge Caf�. Parking is available here. Fairport village also has several other restaurants, as well as donut, pizza and coffee shops.
� Ride under the sloping liftbridge on Main Street. Walk your bike up a short flight of stairs. You�ve come 11 miles.
� Ride through the edge of the village lot behind Riki�s Restaurant on Main Street. Parking is available here.
� Pass Canalside Rentals (renting canoes, kayaks, and bikes, 585-377-5980).
� Pass the the old American Can Company building with its name spelled out in brick on the tall smokestack. It started life as the Sanitary Can Company in 1881.
� Ride through Perinton Park. It offers parking, picnic facilities, restrooms and swings facing the canal.
� Ride under Fairport Road (Route 31F). You�ve come 12.0 miles.
� At 12.2 miles the pavement stops, and the trail reverts to packed stone dust.
� On the far side of the canal is a wide-water area, locally known as the oxbow, formed when the canal was enlarged, cutting off a loop from Clinton�s Ditch. The island in front of the oxbow is the artificial result of many years of dredging.
� Ride under Ayrault Road.
� Ride under Pittsford-Palmyra Road (Route 31).
� At 14.5 miles pass guard gate #10.
� Ride under Interstate 490.
In the early 1820s, before the Great Embankment was completed, Hartwell�s Basin was the western terminus of the canal. After the full canal opened, William Bushnell operated a fleet of canal boats from the area, and the name was eventually changed to Bushnells Basin. In its heyday, the port at Bushnells Basin was a major shipper of agricultural products and a stop for the Rochester and Eastern Trolley line on its route between Rochester and Canandaigua. Richardson�s Canal Inn (now an exclusive restaurant) started life as a hotel on the canal and trolley line.
The 70-foot-high Great Embankment was built to span the Irondequoit Valley. Irondequoit Creek now runs through a tunnel under the canal. Two metal guard gates stand at either end of the embankment. (For more detail see pages 135-136.)
Ice Cream: Abbott�s Frozen Custard, 624 Pittsford-Victor Road, Bushnells Basin (585) 385-1366
B&B: Oliver Loud�s Country Inn, 1474 Marsh Road, Pittsford, (585) 248-5200)
�Traverse the Great Embankment with its cement walls rising 70 feet above the Irondequoit Valley below.
�Across the canal are Richardson�s Canal House and Oliver Loud�s Country Inn. They were a hotel, tavern, and stagecoach stop dating back to the early 1800s. Today they serve as a restaurant and bed and breakfast, respectively.
�Pass concrete abutments that used to carry the Rochester and Eastern Inter-Urban Trolley from Cayuga Lake to Canandaigua and Rochester.
�Ride under Marsh Road bridge at 15.1 miles. Across the Marsh Road bridge and to the right is Abbott�s Frozen Custard and Pontillo�s Pizza.
� Pass a trail to the right, leading to a parking lot behind Burgundy Basin Inn off Marsh Road.
� Pass Great Embankment Park with a dock, boat launch, and parking.
� Pass a guard gate at 16.8 miles.
� Ride under the Mitchell Road bridge.
� Ride under State Street (Route 31) bridge. The path again becomes paved. Across the canal is Oak Oarchard Canoes (canoe rental, 585-682-4849).
� Schoen Place is on your right with restaurants, ice cream shops, and a bicycle shop. Village parking is available next to the Coal Tower Restaurant on Schoen Place. Please walk your bike through this congested section.
Pittsford was a thriving village well before the Erie Canal arrived. The big spring (water source) was used by the Iroquois Indians as a stopover point on their trade route through the area. The canal, even today, draws its water from the spring. Pittsford is home to Lock 32.
Originally called Northfield, this town claimed Monroe County�s first school, first library, first lawyer, and first physician. The name was changed to Pittsford in 1814.
A grain mill, which still operates on Schoen Place along the canal, attracted a wide variety of ducks. They have interbred to form some unusual combinations and now stay on the canal year round. It�s tempting to feed the ducks, but please avoid the temptation. Feeding encourages large numbers of them to stay in close proximity. As a result of this unnatural congregation, a plague is spreading through their ranks.
Bike Shop: Towpath Bike Shop, 7 Schoen Place, (585) 381-2808 (rentals available)
Ice Cream: Bill Wahl�s Ice Cream & Yogurt, 45 Schoen Place, (585) 248-2080
Brad & Dad�s Homemade Ice Cream, Schoen Place
Tours: Sam Patch Tour Boat, 12 Cornhill Terrace (stops at Schoen Place), (585) 262-5661
Distances Between Parking Areas:
Aqueduct Park, Palmyra to O�Neil Road 2.1 miles
O�Neil Road to Lock 30, Macedon 1.0 mile
Lock 30, Macedon to Wayneport Road 3.3 miles
Wayneport Road to Main Street, Fairport 4.7 miles
Main Street, Fairport to Perinton Park 0.8 mile
Perinton Park to Marsh Road 3.3 miles
Marsh Road to Schoen Place 2.8 miles
Date Enjoyed: ___________