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Katy Kelly from Brown County Indiana on 6/29/2023 2:38:07 PM:
Canadian smoke is causing me to possibly rethink my planned trip in July along the Erie Canal trail in NY. I've always been curious about the Cowboy Trail. If I drive to one end does anyone know if there is anyway (other than riding back) to get back to my car?
And any opinions as to going east to west or vice versa?

Alex from Lincoln on 6/30/2023 8:03:56 AM:
I tend to recommend west to east as there is a higher probability for a tailwind. North Fork Outfitting runs a shuttle along the trail. Another option is to rent a U-Haul in Norfolk and drive it back to Valentine.

Katy Kelly from Brown County Indiana on 6/30/2023 12:36:48 PM:
Thanks Alex.

opedaler from NE Nebraska on 6/30/2023 4:26:47 PM:
Crap wife and I are just packing up to head to the Erie Canal. Smoke just about done us in on the Couer d'Alene trail a few years ago. I was hoping that would be the only time.

We plan on doing the Cowboy in August. I can speak for the east end of the Cowboy, and say the trail is in good shape there, and am hearing good things about the west but haven't ridden it. We're looking forward to riding it and when we do. we will ride from west to east. Along with what Alex mentioned there is also a gradual drop in elevation from the west to the east to the tune of about 1200' if memory serves.

If you ride it, I'd be very interested in an assessment here if you have the time.

Katy Kelly from Brown County Indiana on 7/3/2023 7:15:46 PM:
Hi opedaler

Thanks for the message!

I hope the smoke stays away from you. I'm in southern Indiana and we had some bad smoke days last week so, given the unpredictability of wind currents, and not wanting to either 1. stay glued to my air quality app or 2. spend time in coffee shops or libraries waiting for the smoke to clear I decided at the last minute to change rides - I've had my eye on the Cowboy Trail for some time.

As well as the opportunity to see some prairies, visit Carhenge, and kayak on the Niobrara River.

I will post my assessment later on.
I'd love to hear how your trip on the Erie goes. Are you riding Buffalo to Albany?


Curtis Reeves from Presque lsle on 7/17/2023 7:23:59 AM:
I'm going to take the trail I'm one day from east coast to Reno,Nv. Hope it's in good shape

opedaler from NE Nebraska on 7/20/2023 7:26:37 PM:
Katy Kelly,
The Erie Canal ride went very well for us, no smoke until the last day when rain also made its presence known. Several accidents with the group on slippery bridges ,a couple fairly serious, for others however. Also one individual overheated and passed away in his tent during the night. A lesson for everyone who rides in heat and humidity.....stay hydrated, and rest when needed.

Still looking forward to doing the Cowboy trail. We've done portions of it quite often, but never the whole thing at once. It's a bucket list thing for us. Alex has convinced me to make the switch to tubeless slime however. I've been a diehard no slime guy, and had liners, thorn resistant tubes, and hard case tires all lined up, but a previous rider from western Ne (Gordon) told me nice try but you need to go tubeless so I guess we'll try it and see. I'll report how it goes.

I hope you enjoy your ride and Nebraska hospitality. Ride safe.