Originally, we were planning to hike The Long Trail in Vermont this coming summer. It’s the original (first) “through” hiking trail in the United States, running the length of Vermont along the spine of the Green Mountains. It was built in the 30’s, before switchbacks were common. Instead of switchbacks, they built ladders in some places! Now, we’re not going to admit that a fear of climbing ladders with a 30 pound backpack caused a change of heart, but it was a frequent topic of conversation any time the hike came up. (The link below will give you some great information about this awesome trail!) Eventually, we settled on walking the entire length of The Erie Canal, a dream of mine for many years.
The original Erie Canal is sometimes called “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” It is awash in a fascinating history and testament to the power of the imagination and enduring vision. It opened up the Great Lakes and Great Plains of the US to the rest of the world and allowed newcomers to America to move inland. It secured New York City’s place as the greatest industrial port of all time.
Read more here: http://www.eriecanal.org
We will carry our 60L backpacks and camp along the route. We have read that we can camp at a few of the locks and parks situated on the canal. There are campgrounds and of course, hotels, motels, and B and B’s when a bed and a hot shower tempt us out of our tent. We will try to average 15 – 20 miles per day and take a few “zero” days, where we can rest our feet and backs and play tourist. We will send a couple boxes of supplies ahead, but will mostly resupply on the trail.
We bought one-way tickets to Boston on the plane. We will take a Greyhound from Boston to Albany and start walking west…well north for about 11 miles to the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers where the Erie Canal begins its journey west. Once we get to Buffalo, we will board the Amtrak for a 3 – 4 day train ride back to Seattle and then Bellingham.
We will try to post everyday as we walk across New York! We have just followed Leah and Steve Martaindale’s trek on the Erie Canal going west to east. http://www.walktheeriecanal.com We so enjoyed reading their posts that we were inspired to try our hand at blogging, hoping somebody would enjoy reading our journal. We hope you can join us when we begin walking on July 5, 2016!
Ann and Aaron