This message is from Jean Mackay, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor’s Director of Communications and Outreach, October 16, 2020:
THANK YOU for your continued support and enthusiasm for the Canalway Challenge during this highly irregular year. Whether you’ve posted to social media, put out rack cards, hung banners, worked to beautify the trail, or welcomed visitors in 2020, we value your support! Thanks to our combined efforts, we just surpassed last year’s miles completed and number of challenges created. Since the Canalway Challenge began in 2019, individuals, teams, and organizations have undertaken more than 2,600 challenges and completed a whopping 358,900 miles walking, running, cycling and paddling.
It has been remarkable to read how the challenge has helped people improve their mental and physical health, combat cabin-fever and have a goal to work towards. Here are a few inspiring words from participants…
“In the year of COVID-19, what a joy it is to get out on our bicycles and share new adventures together. The Erie Canal is a treasure that everyone should take the opportunity to explore.” – Janet, 90 Miler
“Visited areas while cycling that I have never been to and likely would not have, had it not been for the Challenge! Trying to bike different sections along the whole length of the Canal. This has made me very excited about cycling and helping me to lead a healthy lifestyle.” – Karen, 90 Miler
“This year I learned a lot about myself on the trail. My longest consecutive walk was 14 miles, and before that day, I don’t think I’d have ever really thought it possible to make it so far.” – Brendan, 180 Miler
I have two total knee replacements as well as two hip replacements. When I read about this challenge, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to exercise, spend quality time with the husband, and get to experience all of the beauty that CNY offers us during the autumn. I’m so glad that we did this!!! Thank you! – Kathy, 90 Miler
We loved getting out there and seeing parts of the canal we never have. The challenge was a great motivator. It really made us appreciate the beauty and history around us.
– Nori / G-B Family Challenge, 90 Miler
Although the Canal System is closed for the season, people are continuing to trace history and track miles to finish their challenges by the end of October. We’re making one final push to get challengers to finish their miles so that we can count them in our 2020 stats. We’ll also continue to encourage people to complete miles biking and walking into November and roll their miles into next year if they run out of time.
Director of Communications and Outreach
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
P.O. Box 219 • Waterford, NY 12188
(m) 518-925-6721 • (o) 518-237-7000, ext. 222