Improvement work costing £115,000 is beginning on the Oxford Canal towpath in Jericho.
The 750-metre (2,460 ft) stretch between Walton Well Road Bridge and Isis Lock is being resurfaced, and new passing places created.
Oxfordshire County Council is contributing £100,000 towards the project, which is expected to take about eight weeks to complete.
British Waterways said the development would make a "huge difference".
The towpath will remain open during much of the works, but will have to be closed when the new towpath top layer is laid.
James Clifton, British Waterways' regeneration manager said: "This area is extremely popular with walkers and cyclists and over the years the towpath has become worn from constant wear and tear.
"The money from Oxfordshire County Council will make a huge difference, helping us create a more attractive and safer space for walkers and cyclists to share."