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Old 06-17-13, 12:17 PM   #1
Sterling58
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2 Days - Toronto to Rochester - need Route advice

Setting out next week with a friend on road bikes. A car will meet us at the end of the day at hotel at Niagara On the Lake. We want to stay close to the Lake. Toronto to Burlington Bike Bath is easy (done it before). Then it seems we have to follow the N. Service Rd. for quite a ways. Is it safe on a weekday in the early afternoon? Is there a safer/calmer alternative that doesn't take us too far out of the way?

The second day, we'll ride up the Niagara River Trail and cross at the Rainbow Bridge. Then we want to go straight back to the Lake along the Niagara River on the American side. Is their a trail (similar to the beautiful one on the Canadian side)? If not, is Main St/Lewiston Rd. to River Rd. the safest/best way to get back to Lake Ontario?

At the Lake, River Rd. seems to turn into Lake Rd. (which sounds promising). Is this safe for cycling? Bike lanes?

It appears that around Golden Hill State Park, Lake Rd. turns into Roosevelt Hwy. It looks like a quiet, country road on Google Maps. Is it okay to ride on?

Further east is the Lake Ontario State Parkway that could take us most of the rest of the way to Rochester. Is it safe for bikes? Is there a better alternative.

We're actually going to a hotel in Brockport, which is west of Rochester and if traffic gets too hectic, we can make a call and get picked up by our companions in the car.

Thanks for reading. Any advice will be appreciated.
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Old 06-19-13, 03:59 PM   #2
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North Service Rd is fine and not too busy, but it's is very noisy - not a very nice ride, but not dangerous.
The trail along Niagara Parkway is very nice, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
As for crossing the bridge, I haven't done it myself but saw on this forum a comment that the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie is less busy and easier on the bike.
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Old 06-20-13, 06:13 AM   #3
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North Service Rd is fine and not too busy, but it's is very noisy - not a very nice ride, but not dangerous.
The trail along Niagara Parkway is very nice, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
As for crossing the bridge, I haven't done it myself but saw on this forum a comment that the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie is less busy and easier on the bike.
The Peace bridge is well out of the way. The Rainbow bridge is the one right downtown Niagara, and the best choice for this route.
I saw bikes crossing the Queenston Lewiston bridge last summer, but I would not recommend that one. Still don't know how they managed to get on the bridge.
As Lucille said, the service road is fine. I've ridden it with no problem. You'll want to turn north when you hit St.Kit's and head through Port Weller.
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Old 06-20-13, 06:42 PM   #4
Sterling58
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The Peace bridge is well out of the way. The Rainbow bridge is the one right downtown Niagara, and the best choice for this route.
I saw bikes crossing the Queenston Lewiston bridge last summer, but I would not recommend that one. Still don't know how they managed to get on the bridge.
As Lucille said, the service road is fine. I've ridden it with no problem. You'll want to turn north when you hit St.Kit's and head through Port Weller.
Thank you Dan and Lucille for your replies. I feel better knowing the N. Service Road isn't dangerous. I was imagining dump trucks and tractor-trailers rumbling past us on skinny little shoulders. There is a stretch of the Waterfront Trail in Whitby that is terrifying on weekdays (because of the trucks), and no problem on weekends.

I think we're going to cross at the Rainbow Bridge and not go back to the Lake. Instead, it seems the popular route is to follow the Erie Canal on State Bicycle Route 5 all the way to Rochester. It should be fun (hope it doesn't rain).

Thanks again.
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Old 06-20-13, 08:19 PM   #5
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Thank you Dan and Lucille for your replies. I feel better knowing the N. Service Road isn't dangerous. I was imagining dump trucks and tractor-trailers rumbling past us on skinny little shoulders. There is a stretch of the Waterfront Trail in Whitby that is terrifying on weekdays (because of the trucks), and no problem on weekends.

I think we're going to cross at the Rainbow Bridge and not go back to the Lake. Instead, it seems the popular route is to follow the Erie Canal on State Bicycle Route 5 all the way to Rochester. It should be fun (hope it doesn't rain).

Thanks again.
NY routes are mostly very bike friendly with wide paved shoulders. I've ridden parts of route 5 farther out from Niagara Falls and it was fine.
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Old 06-24-13, 08:15 PM   #6
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Yup.. There is a bike lane along the north service road. Keep your eye out for waterfront tail signs. There are some detours off of the service rd at a few points. If the bike lane ends, you know you've missed a turn off.

Last week, a secrion of the road between fifty road and Casablanca was closed so the only way around was on the service road where there is no paved shoulder. Not ideal but its only about a 500 meter stretch and very few cars or trucks on that section. Hopefully you wont have to deal with that when you do your ride.
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