The Erie Canal Towpath is arguable the most popular and well-known trail in Rochester. It connects many of Rochester's surrounding towns, including running through the center of the "Canal Towns" of Newark, Fairport, Pittsford, Spencerport, and Brockport.
The present day canal in the Rochester Area actually follows the old Barge Canal. The original Erie Canal actually connected into downtown Rochester along the former Broad Street aqueduct, roughly following along route 390. The barge canal instead connected to the Genesee River in the center of Genesee Valley park. The towpath was used by horses to pull barges of freight along the canal.