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  1. #1
    Junior Member Casualcyclist's Avatar
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    Niagara Greater Circle Route

    Anybody here ride this route, or any parts of it?

    http://www.regional.niagara.on.ca/go...r/default.aspx

    I am just starting out and am really enjoying the Friendship Trail portion of it.

  2. #2
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    Did this in three days in 2008-- started Fort Erie to Niagara on the Lake , then to Welland and last to Fort Erie. About 4 hours per day cycling with lots of chance to stop, picnic, visit wineries and take pictures.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/briansu...200013/detail/

  3. #3
    Member Windrush's Avatar
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    Have done half in one day, 80 km. Started at lock 7 in Thorold, head to Port Robinson on the canal where there is a free bike ferry. Over to Chippawa and along the Niagara Recreation to Niagara on Lake, this is easy going and very scenic. You are on road through Nigara Falls itself. Section from Niagara on Lake is partly paved shoulder, partly on road and I always find windy, Bike path along the Welland Canal is paved, scenic and a great ride with a few short climbs. Makes for a good day.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Casualcyclist's Avatar
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    I'm impressed, I'm sure not to that point; I could do the whole thing in one day...............................................................if they let me take my Yamaha FJR1300 on it

    Seriously, I have been very impressed with the small sections I have been one, so far. I find it very enjoyable and has really served to draw me into cycling.

    I am working up to be able to go farther since I realize conditioning and not over extending oneself is important when you're 57 and out of shape

    Can't wait for some decent weather to take more of my many vaction days, remaining for this year, and get back out there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member davincirider's Avatar
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    That's the route Habitat used for their Cycle the Circle. The first century I did since high school! The first year I did it soooo wrong. An old steel Torpado that didn't fit me, no real training and not enough fluids. We left from the locks in St. Catharines and headed south along the Canal until turning east along the Friendship Trail, which is real nice. It seemed freshly paved at the time, nice and smooth but broken up by the rural roads but the cottages along Lake Erie made me a little wistful.
    I remember thinking about 40 miles into the ride, "Hell a century isn't all that bad! What's all the fuss about?"
    We turned north at the fort into 60km/hr wind gusts, no cover and no real decents to look forward to. I held on as long as i could but got dropped somewhere between the Falls and NOTL.
    By the time i turned west again I was barely holding 10-15km/hr. I blacked out on one of the bridges crossing the canal and came too scraping my leg on the jersey barrier that keeps the bike lanes from the motorized lanes.
    I still have the scars.
    When I finally dragged myself into the finish area, most of the organizers had packed up. I had been out on the course for 8 hours 20 minutes and was dragged out for weeks.
    For better or worse it took a month to get back on the bike.

    I did the route the next year, trained, prepared and on my mtn bike (with slicks) which fit better. I was surprised at how the km's clicked away and finished at 6 hours 13 minutes.

    My wife gave me a new Davinci Chicane for Christmas last year and I'm looking forward to doing this route this summer! The Toronto to Niagara Falls ride in '09 was a blast too on that bike.
    Time's fun when you're having flies. - Kermit T Frog

  6. #6
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Wow!! I am somewhat new to the area, in fact my bikes are not even here yet, having been left at a friend's house in New Jersey. I didn't have the room to transport them with me when I came up in December. I would love to ride this trail. What is the best way to start if one is coming from Burlington?

    Cheers,

    Brian J.
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  7. #7
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Saw the trail for the first time (by car, unfortunately) while driving alongside of it last summer during a visit with my Mom to NOTL. Thought maybe I'd check it out this summer. Now I'm sure I will.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  8. #8
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    I have seen that portion of the trail too (also, unfortunately, by car). It does look like fun.
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  9. #9
    Senior Member davincirider's Avatar
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    It is fun! The circle may be done in bite sized portions or if you're feeling vigorous, as a whole. Even the Parkway along the Niagara Gorge is fun in either direction. The trails are well maintained, paved and marked. There are plenty of scenic moments and stopping points. The Floral Clock, Butterfly Conservatory, Gondola over the river, Niagara on the Lake or the Flatrock Lookout over the Canadian Falls are easily accesible.
    There's a GO Transit line from T.O. to the Falls that you can carry a bike on, ride where you want and take the train home.


    I'm planning April to be my first century, and that's the one. May and June, I'm looking for the Halton Hilly Hundred! Some of those climbs look sick!
    Time's fun when you're having flies. - Kermit T Frog

  10. #10
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    I've done only portions of the route, and it is splendid, especially in the fall... and spring... and summer too.


    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161 View Post
    Wow!! I am somewhat new to the area, in fact my bikes are not even here yet, having been left at a friend's house in New Jersey. I didn't have the room to transport them with me when I came up in December. I would love to ride this trail. What is the best way to start if one is coming from Burlington?
    Brian, I don't know if you want to bike to Greater Niagara Circle Route from Burlington, but if you do, you can take the Waterfront Trail, http://www.waterfronttrail.org/trail-s-1.html , all the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Waterfront Trail is not really a trail, it is mostly a road route, you can see that from the maps on the link.
    And, IMO, a nicer route is at the top of the escapement, following the Ridge Road / Fly Road towards St. Catharines where you can reach the Greater Niagara Circle Route at the Welland Canal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I did Niagara-On-The-Lake to Queenston Heights and back in the fall. It was a very nice ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by davincirider View Post
    There are plenty of scenic moments and stopping points. The Floral Clock, Butterfly Conservatory, Gondola over the river, Niagara on the Lake or the Flatrock Lookout over the Canadian Falls are easily accesible.
    And don't forget Brock Monument! Climb up the Escarpment in Queenston Heights was long, but not terribly steep. Certainly gave a sense of accomplisment to get to the top. Also, best of luck with the centuries.

  12. #12
    Senior Member davincirider's Avatar
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    We're beginning to sound like Tourism Niagara. I agree that the best route is from the top of the escarpment. Generally safer too.
    Time's fun when you're having flies. - Kermit T Frog

  13. #13
    I don't wanna be a Newbie
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    I did the route over 3 days a couple of years ago. It's an absolutely great ride. I started in St Catharine's, stayed the first night in Niagara, the second night in Niagara-on-the-Lake, then back to St Catharines. I called it the history tour. I stopped and checked out all the places that pertained to the war of 1812...and a couple of winery tours just for the fun of it. It really is a nice ride around the loop. I loved the Friendship Trail part of it. I had never ridden on that before.

  14. #14
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    I did a three day tour around Niagara last year... the highlight was biking just south of Short Hills park. Gorgeous gravel roads and overhanging trees.

  15. #15
    Canadian eh?
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    I hope to do the "Niagara Run", as I call it, this summer!

  16. #16
    Senior Member davincirider's Avatar
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    There's almost always a stiff breeze along the Gorge just for more fun.

    On Good Friday the temperature difference at the Falls was very noticeable, even snow on the US side!
    Time's fun when you're having flies. - Kermit T Frog

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