On the second day of my trip, I began to ride the canal trail. To get there, I headed back east just a bit to the Hudson, and rode north along a trail there that follows the river. In the more urban areas, the trail has a separate component just for bikes, painted green (click on any image to see a larger version):

Bike path painted mint green, with grass and trees on either side.

Before too long that merged with the walking path and was just bare pavement.

Before I got out of the city there was a nice pond on the other side of the trail from the river:

Small pond with grassy area in front, and trees and buildings in the background.

There were a number of places along the trail to view the river:

View of wide river with trees on the far side, and a bench, guardrail, and some grass on the near side.
View of grassy area with bench next to wide river, with trees on the far bank.

Eventually the trail took me away from the river and continued north alongside a street. After a little while of that, signs directed me on streets for a mile or two, until I got to the beginning of the Erie Canalway Trail. From that point on, I would see signs like this to guide me:

Sign post with green sign reading "Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail" in white lettering, as well as pink and white sign reading "Canalway Trail Erie".  There are trees and trail pavement in the background.
Signpost with blue and yellow sign reading "Empire State Trail", and a green sign reading "bike trail closed at dusk" in white lettering.  There are trees and grass in the background.

The trail began to take me northwest, though I soon had to leave the trail as a section of it was closed. I followed detour signs for several blocks, and then was able to get back on the trail. Before long I was able to get a view of the Mohawk River, which forms the modern canal for quite a ways west.

View from uphill of very wide river with trees and grass in the foreground and trees on the far side.  The nearer part of the river has green in it of plants or algae.

Here’s what the trail looked like by that view (looking back the way I had come):

Wooden bench surrounded by a small patch of dirt, with grass around that.  Paved trail surface is to the right of the bench, and there are many trees around the trail.

I continued on through the town of Colonie, sometimes being able to view the river and sometimes being a bit away from it. At one point the trail turned and went up a hill, leaving the course it looked like it had once followed right on the river edge. Here’s the view from the top of that hill, back east:

Looking downhill along paved trail, with wooden rail fences on wither side of pavement, as well as grass.  River and trees can be seen in the distance.

The trail had been going through fairly rural looking areas, but headed into some more suburban areas soon, and then deposited me on streets in downtown Schenectady. I stopped off in the city to get some lunch – a deli sandwich from a small convenience store.

I then followed the trail signs along another road and through a park, but missed where the trail continued from there because there was no canalway or state trail sign on the turn-off. I eventually figured out the correct way by looking at a map on my phone, and headed out of Schenectady.

Just outside the city, I came to a historical lock from the old Erie Canal. This was once lock 23:

Looking between parallel stone walls of a boat lock, with grass and weeds growing in the bottom, and wooden fences along the top of the walls.
Small yellow building with number 23 on it, in between fences and stone walls of lock channels.  Trees in background.
Close view of lock stone wall, with weeds above and below.

A bit further along there was a section of old canal that has water in it. This view is looking back east along it:

Stagnant canal section with algae on water, as well as greenery on both sides, and trees in background.  A bit of trail pavement is visible on the left edge.

Straight across:

View looking across algae covered water of reeds, bushes, and trees.

And looking to the west:

View along canal and trail with water to the left (and trees beyond it), trail pavement on right, with grass in between.

A little while later I passed another historic lock – number 25 – this one with some water in it:

Parallel stone walls of old canal lock with algae-covered water in the bottom, and trees and other greenery on the far side.  More open canal water can be seen in the distance.
Close-up of sign reading "Lock 25 Rotterdam Junction, New York", which also has several paragraphs of information about the old lock, as well as a map and old photographs.

In the late afternoon, after I’d passed the town of Amsterdam, I came to what I would call a river crossing, though the waterway is known as Schoharie Creek. There are 2 parallel bridges crossing it, one used by cars on Route 5S, and one just used by the canalway trail. Here’s the bridge for the trail, looking west and then back east:

Looking along bridge pavement with rusty iron superstructure, some water and trees visible to the left side.  Another similar bridge is visible to the right.  The sun is casting shadows of the girders on the pavement.
Looking along bridge pavement with rusty iron superstructure, some  trees visible to both sides.  A bit of another similar bridge is visible to the left.  The sun is casting shadows of the girders on the pavement.

Here is the so-called creek looking south, and then north:

View along river with trees on both sides, and a small tree-covered island in the middle-left.  A highway bridge is visible in the distance.
View of iron bridge over water, with one bridge support visible.

While I was taking these pictures, a couple of other cyclists stopped, and one of them told me that they are river stewards locally, and mentioned the history of these bridges. Apparently, the I-90 (New York Thruway) bridge, which can bee seen in the distance in that southern view photo, collapsed in the 1980’s, and so this pair of bridges served the detour traffic until the main expressway bridge could be rebuilt. Once the thruway was restored, the state highway only needed the one bridge, so the other stopped being used for car traffic, and eventually became part of the trail.

Another town I passed through late in the day was Canajoharie, where the trail route passes over a wide bridge that looks like an old railroad trestle (which it probably once was).

Pavement passing between 2 iron guard walls of an old railroad bridge, with wooden posts on either end of the bridge to keep cars out (as well as a sign reading "No motor vehicles."  There are various trees and buildings in the background, a "road work ahead" sign off to one side, and a crosswalk in the foreground.

As the sun was getting low in the sky, the route ceased to be a separate trail for a while, and went along a quiet riverside road. Along that road, I stopped short at one point, because there was a peacock sitting by the side of the road:

Bright blue and green peacock, sitting on the grass by the edge of pavement, facing left, with its very long tail feathers lying behind it, pointed toward the right.  In the background are a wooden fence, parking lot, more grass, a boat, and water.
Close-up of blue and green peacock sitting on grass by edge of pavement.  The front of the bird is facing left, but it has turned its head the other way.  Tail feathers are lying on the ground, stretched out to the right.

I later tried searching for information on whether such birds run wild in NY State, but could not find any info on that. Maybe the peacock is kept by someone who lives there?

Soon after that I picked up off-road trail again, which took me by the Mindenville Canal, a section where there is a separate canal from the Mohawk River itself for a little while. Here is Erie Canal Lock 16 on that section:

Canal lock seen from outside with gates closed.  There is grass in the foreground and trees in the background.
Looking across canal near lock, there is grass in foreground and across the water, with trees beyond.The far side of the canal has a yellow railing on top of the concrete wall.

From here the trail surface switched from pavement to stone dust, and was like that almost the rest of the way to the town of Little Falls. There was some more pavement as I got near the town, though the trail was then closed, and I had to head into town on roads. I got to the hotel I’d booked there just before 9:00pm, showered, and then got a pizza for a late dinner. Total mileage covered that day was just over 94.

Bike odometer showing mileage of ninety-four point two nine.