ALBANY — In what has become as sure a sign of spring as any upstate, the New York State Canal Corporation will partner with Parks & Trails New York for the 14th annual Canal Clean Sweep, where volunteers will help beautify trails just before thousands of bikers, hikers and joggers return to the canal corridor with the warmer weather.
Most events will occur on Earth Day weekend, April 25-27, when groups will fan out along the system to pick up tons of trash, clear brush and do landscaping. There are expected to be more than 100 clean-up events along the 524-mile canal corridor, which includes the Erie, Oswego, Champlain and Cayuga-Seneca canals.
The Canal Clean Sweep comes as the state moves closer to completing the Empire State Trail, which at 750 miles will be the longest multi-use recreational trail network in the U.S. The Erie Canalway Trail will be part of that network, running from Albany to Buffalo.
The Erie Canalway Trail accommodates more than 1.5 million trips by pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers annually. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail is a dedicated off-road trail.
To find an existing event to volunteer at, go to the event finder map at https://www.ptny.org/events/canal-clean-sweep.