Building a Bike-Friendly Community

Maps and Trails

Proposed Syracuse Bicycle Grid
As you may know, one of our goals is to create ways to get across the city safely on a bicycle from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. Small neighborhood roads need not be signed, but larger roads and strategically placed routes benefit from bike lanes and marked routes. The hope is that they will encourage cyclists to use those routes more often and also make it obvious that motorists can expect to see more cyclists in those locations. Here’s a link to a Google map of the Bicycle Grid we have proposed to the City of Syracuse.

Maps of New York State Bike Routes 5, 9, and 17
Start with this link to Bike Route 5. Links to the others are on that page. Paper versions may be obtained by calling 518-457-8307.

Share the Road Brochure online version. (The paper version is out of stock and will not be reprinted until sometime after the next commissioner is installed.)

The NY State Canalway Trail has an online map. To get a paper map, or for more canal information, call 800-4canal4.

Old Erie Canal State Historic Park – a 35 mile linear trail along the towpath from DeWitt to Rome. Maps are generally available on the lean-to adjacent to the trail at the Manlius Center Rd. crossing (at Rt. 290). Here’s a google map of the location. You can also call the Park headquarters at 315-687-0079 or pick one up at the Regional Office located at Clark Reservation (315-492-1756). You can’t really get lost, but it’s nice to know the crossroads and mileages.

The “Official” Cycling the Erie Canal Guidebook is available for purchase online ($16.95) from Parks and Trails New York

Various Rail-Trail guidebooks are published by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. In addition to detailed mileage descriptions, the guidebook for NY state has very interesting historical descriptions of the railroads that used to run where the trailbeds lie, as well as historical remnamts, and other natural and manmade points of interest.

Find a Rail-Trail online at The descriptions and maps are not nearly as good as the books, but worth checking out if you’re headed to an unfamiliar part of the country and want to check out trail-riding opportunities.

The Onondaga Cycling Club’s Maps Page is a great way to find some wonderful local road rides. The contour of the rides (i.e., hilly/flat/rolling, etc.) are described, there are complete printable pdf maps and cue sheets. If you like to ride the roads with others, and maybe even if you don’t, join the club while you’re at it. It’s quite inexpensive.

GPS Route Planner If you’re into navigation by global positioning system, try out this site created by British roadie Martyn Davis. He developed a free web service that allows the plotting of routes anywhere in the world using Google maps fed into a GPS device. Even if this technology is beyond you, it’s fun to see your cycling roads (or those you might be visiting) represented by Google maps and satellite photos. When you get to the site, zoom out, center the map over your general area, then start zooming in. Once you’ve located your home turf, select the “Tools” button and click “Save” to make it your default start point.

Other guidebooks are available in online and local bookstores.

If you have suggestions for additional links, please send an email to Steve Reiter (see Contact Us) or sign in and leave a comment on this post.

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