It seems hard to believe, but there is such a thing as too much pie. And I learned that lesson on day 6 of our Buffalo-to-Albany bike ride along the Erie Canal.
This was the day we were aiming for the Pie Shed, curious about just how large the shed is and how many pies we’d find. But when we took a break in Little Falls and discovered a straw-rhubarb pie at the tiny local farmers market…well, that became lunch.
Did we need more pie? Probably not, but we headed to the Pie Shed anyway, close to 20 miles down the Erie Canal. We crossed the canal at Fort Plain and biked about 1.2 miles on Route 5, past a brewery and turning right into a parking lot just before the Ace Hardware store. If you pass the drive-in movie theater(!), you’ve gone too far. (Wonder if you can watch a movie from your bike.)
The shed … it’s small. Possibly smaller than one you bought at Lowe’s or Costco. The Mennonite/Amish woman who runs it says her father built it. And yes, there is a buggy behind the shed and a horse grazing nearby.
The pies fill part of one wall; full-size, mini and by the slice. Cherry, black raspberry, apple cinnamon and strawberry-rhubarb.
Also for sale are cookies and other baked goods as well as pickles and other canned items.
And it’s only open on Saturday. We were lucky with our timing.
We bought three mini pies but could barely eat the equivalent of one given all our pie-gorging perhaps two hours earlier.
So yes, it’s possible to have too much pie.
And that’s not all the baked goodies we consumed that day.
It was a little more than a mile from our hotel in Utica and opens at 8 am Wednesday through Sunday. My sister decided we needed to be there at 7:59 am. We actually arrived at 7:52, and since the “open” sign was turned on we walked in.
Thumbs up on the pain au chocolat, which was so airy. But there are croissants too (plain, almond, stuffed with savory combinations), scones (mostly with various fruit) and more. I’ll just say the foodies were happy.
As for the trail, this was the prettiest segment. Woods, cliff-like rocks, the Mohawk River… And mostly paved. So many people were enjoying it, from locals to other cyclists laden with panniers.
We heard about the recent upgrade from 3-foot wide path to 10 feet (ADA rules and National Parks helped make that happen) from Dave the trail ambassador. Our thanks, too, to Frank who offered the use of his floor pump when the pump at the fix-it station didn’t work. So many other enjoyable conversations along the way.
And this surprise Lafayette sighting. (I stop for Lafayette signs.) Who knew there is a trail for America’s favorite fighting Frenchman? But I don’t think he made it to my hometown, named in his honor.
Some practical stuff
This was our longest day at around 65 miles. In Amsterdam, most of the hotels are by the highway, not the river. (The exception is Amsterdam Castle.) Brace yourself for a steep climb.
Someone really should explore copying the Bunkhaus concept from Medina..