Color the Canal

The Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and CREATE Community Studios are collaborating this year on or our fifth annual Color the Canal, a Schenectady County celebration of the local section of the historic Erie Canalway Trail (now part of the statewide Empire State Trail). In July and August, community-created signs will be posted along the trail. We're also adding a special component this year, Flight Paths, with community-painted birdhouses! Check out the photos below to see how projects from past years went.

In 2019, its first year, Color the Canal provided visual and sculptural art to welcome more than 650 cyclists who pedal the trail from Buffalo to Albany each July during the Cycle the Erie Canal (CEC) ride, as well as the many Capital Region residents who use the trail every day. COVID-19 couldn't stop us from continuing the effort in 2020 and 2021. Every year, trail users are greeted by pieces of art made by local individuals, businesses and community groups.

In addition to using more pieces of temporary art to share community members' messages of hope, gratitude, strength and inspiration during the pandemic, we have also created more permanent pieces -- a mural on an outdoor shelter at Blatnick Park in Niskayuna in 2020 and a bigger mural on the back of a building near Nott Street in Schenectady in 2021. This year, we'll be adding birdhouses along sections of the trail.

Want to help? 

Contact Gillian Scott (518-372-8478 or for more information on sponsorships. Contact CREATE Community Studio (518-348-9290 or to donate sign-making materials (such as used political lawn signs) or to sign up to make a sign of your own for next year's community art event. We are grateful for your support!

Thanks to our sponsors

This project is made possible with funds from Schenectady County and the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Arts Center of the Capital Region.