Black River Feeder Canal Trail

New York

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Black River Feeder Canal Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Oneida
Length: 10 miles
Trail end points: Park Dr in Erwin Park (Boonville) and Dutch Hill Rd (Forestport)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel, Sand
Trail category: Canal
ID: 8081156
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking

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Black River Feeder Canal Trail Description

This trail follows the Black River Canal Towpath that links Boonville to Foresport. Running from Erwin Park at Boonville to Alder Pond at Forestport, it is a quiet walk or bike trip through woods and fields along the old towpath.

The 77-mile canal was built between 1837 and 1855, connecting to the water of the Erie Canal. This provided the region with access to eastern and Midwestern markets and was essential to the region’s economic growth. This canal held and still holds the world record for 109 locks.

The Black River Feeder Canal Trail now connects to the Black River Environmental Improvement Area (BREIA) Trail System, Boonville Youth Athletic Association, and Headwaters Shopping Plaza. Across from the Erwin Park entry, travelers can visit the Boonville Black River Canal Musuem which preserves, houses, and displays artifacts from the canal era. Kayaking and swimming are also popular activities along the route and it serves as an educational field trip destination.

The canal is part of a much larger trail network called the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at Erwin Park.

From Rome, follow Route 46 north to Boonville. Turn right on Schuyler Street to Route 12. Turn right (south) and Erwin Park will be on your left next to Route 12. 

From Utica, follow Route 12 north to Boonville. Erwin Park will be on your right next to Route 12.


Black River Feeder Canal Trail Reviews

In the fall, the leaves reflection on the still waters is stunning. Is an easy flat ride, down and back in about 2.5 hours. On route 8 (heading North), turn left before the bridge and the parking area is adjacent to the waterfalls. In Boonville, there is ample parking at the park near the covered bridge.

We started from the park in Boonville rode to Forrestport. We had a picnic lunch overlooking the lake and rode back to the park. The only thing to mention is the gates across the trail. Where the trail crossed public roads gates have been installed to stop ATVs. We had to walk around about 4 or 5 gates. We were told that they would be open for snowmobiles this winter.

We started in Forestport and then stopped in Boonville for lunch. Got pizza at Capri Pizza, ate in the park, then headed back. It was a nice smooth, well maintained trail. We went on a very not day and there isn't a lot of shade so I would recommend going on a cooler day or in the fall. Definitely recommend!


It's a great long ride, just a little bumpy at the Forestport end. However, that is the more scenic section, a nice windy dirt road with lots of wildlife. I have seen deer, turkeys, ducks, kingfishers and there is bear scat as well.

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