What is the Mohawk Towpath Byway?

…the road between Waterford/Cohoes and Schenectady that follows the historic route of the Erie Canal.  Traveling the route you uncover the “waterway west” and the role our communities played in the westward expansion and Industrial Revolution.

Whats a Byway?

Bike the Byway with the Mohawk Valley to the west.

Bike the Byway with the Mohawk Valley to the west.

…a public road having special scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, and/or natural qualities that have been recognized as such through legislation or some other official declaration.

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition is a not-for-profit with our 10 municipal members and a representative from Schenectady County.  The Coalition oversees the implementation of our corridor management plan.  Not only are we one of the network of roads in New York State’s system of scenic byways, but we are one of America’s Byways® a collection of 150 scenic byways across the U S that tell a unique part of the America’s history and culture.


  • Self Guided Byway Tour of features along the driving route well marked by way-finding signs.
  • A series of Interpretive Kiosks along the Byway corridor.
  • Recreational assets in each of the ten municipalities. 
  • A website and Google Voice 518-406-8610 contact phone number.
  • A cadre of enthusiastic volunteers.


  • Cell Phone operational platform


    Sharing the Byway stories at Canal Festival at Mabee Farm Historic Site.

  • Printing marketing and tourist oriented materials
  • Maintain way-finding signage
  • Sustain a vibrant and fresh web presence
  • Keeping volunteers engaged and rewarded.

What’s going on along the Byway? 

It seems like every weekend there is a local festival or event (see the calendar) or a work party.  There will be events through the fall and winter.  And then spring comes and we celebrate the opening of the Erie Canal for another season with Canal Days in Waterford Harbor.

What projects are you involved with?

One of our top priorities along the Byway is to raise community awareness.  We have such rich history within our communities.  We have some great recreational opportunities, natural history, cultural centers.

Another major project is our scenic conservation initiative.  This revolves around what we want the Byway to look like for our next generation.  Change is inevitable.  There are small changes that occur every day.  It is important that as these changes occur that we do not loose the character of our communities and our sense of place.

The Byway Is Run by Volunteers

How can we help?

Friends of the Byway clean up ready for the summer season.

Friends of the Byway clean up ready for fall events.

  • Roadside and canal cleanup by youth groups, neighborhood associations, fraternal organizations, and businesses.
  • Scout Projects to expand recreational opportunities
  • Improve assess to historic features
  • Hosting local events and festivals

What is the Vision?

We have this vision of being a tourist destination, regional, national and international.  With all the levels of history, unique recreational assets, cultural centers …we have so much to offer in this area that we take it for granted.  As more and more people become aware of what we have, the more we will want to maintain the character of our communities and our heritage. 


Even as federal and state funding are declining the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway remains a vibrant community of volunteers who have a strong sense of place esteem.  Can we show you around, and share a story or two?