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Suggestions for Burlington to Niagara Region?

Old 08-25-14, 05:44 PM
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Suggestions for Burlington to Niagara Region?

Hi,

We are planning a 3 day (2 night) weekend trip from Burlington, Ontario into the Niagara region in early September.

The first day we'll be departing from Burlington and heading east along the waterfront trail, and on the last day we'll have to somehow end up back in Burlington. Unfortunately the Bike train to Niagara falls will be over by time we begin our trip, so it's more time we'll have to spend going between Niagara and Burlington.

We are not too familiar with the region, does anyone have suggestions on possible stops and destinations we should stop and see? We know want to spend at least the better part of a day (and likely one night) in Niagara on the Lake, so are mostly looking for cool things to check around NOTL, or en route to or from Burlington. We'd place a premium on scenic rides or neat nature-y things as opposed to tourist spots or local attractions.

Our group are not all hardcore cyclists, so we'd be open to taking lots of breaks, and likely wouldn't cover more than 60-70km in a day (we'd probably have at least one "light" day).
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Old 08-25-14, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hoyc
Hi,

We are planning a 3 day (2 night) weekend trip from Burlington, Ontario into the Niagara region in early September.

The first day we'll be departing from Burlington and heading east along the waterfront trail, and on the last day we'll have to somehow end up back in Burlington. Unfortunately the Bike train to Niagara falls will be over by time we begin our trip, so it's more time we'll have to spend going between Niagara and Burlington.

We are not too familiar with the region, does anyone have suggestions on possible stops and destinations we should stop and see? We know want to spend at least the better part of a day (and likely one night) in Niagara on the Lake, so are mostly looking for cool things to check around NOTL, or en route to or from Burlington. We'd place a premium on scenic rides or neat nature-y things as opposed to tourist spots or local attractions.

Our group are not all hardcore cyclists, so we'd be open to taking lots of breaks, and likely wouldn't cover more than 60-70km in a day (we'd probably have at least one "light" day).
Since you are going to Niagara on the Lake anyway, the Welland Canal is probably worth seeing especially if there are any large ships going through. There is a park along the canal and a nice place for lunch or just a break. There is a lock just 3-5km south of the path. If you have never seen a large lock before it is worth the ride. Bonus if there is a ship inside.

Burlington itself is very nice and worth at least an hour or two. The waterfront is very pleasant. The lift bridge just outside of town is very interesting. Just a note, the path from Burlington to the "Hamilton" side has you go up some stairs. There is a track for your bike but the stairs are very steep and long. You might investigate if you can approach the sidewalk from the roadway instead of following the trail. The roadway certainly is safe enough by bike but the sidewalk offers some photo opts.

Outside of the lake front itself, I don't know that there is anything else, all that scenic between Burlington and St. Catherines. Much of the trail in St. Catherines is pretty much street but a lot is on the lake front with excellent views of the lake. A number of great spots for picnics.

Give yourself sometime in St. Catherines. The trail is very circuitous and the signs easy to miss. It really gets bad on the far side of town where the trail enters a park. If you have access to ride with GPS, I will try and upload my track for this section if you need it.


The highlight of the trip will be the river gorge from NOL up to the falls. I have not gone up river beyond the falls on the Canadian side but the US side above the falls is awesome. I think better than the falls themselves because you are right up close to the power of the river and there very well could not be another person around. Sure beats the crowds around the falls.

Last edited by spinnaker; 08-25-14 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:47 PM
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Is there a way to bike along the lake after Burlington? From what I understand you can take N. Service Road, which is mostly residential subdivisions. I've also heard of people taking Barton across...Thoughts? I wouldn't mind a detour if it was a nicer bike-ride...
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Old 08-25-14, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hoyc
Is there a way to bike along the lake after Burlington? From what I understand you can take N. Service Road, which is mostly residential subdivisions. I've also heard of people taking Barton across...Thoughts? I wouldn't mind a detour if it was a nicer bike-ride...
Yeah you're welcome.


Google is your friend.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/43.3...a5935e!1m0!3e1

Pretty much inland much of the way.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:37 PM
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I would get off the Waterfront Trail at some point after Stoney Creek, and head south up the Escarpment, and wind your way east along Ridge Road, Mud Road, and/or Fly Road, all of which are good biking routes.

Know that you will be going uphill for a couple of miles when you go south. The hills are steep, but doable.

If you are into wineries, you will pass dozens between Grimsby and NOTL. Most welcome visitors. Also look for restaurants attached to wineries. One of my favourites has an outdoor patio: that's Ridgepoint Winery on Cherry Ave.
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Old 09-01-14, 05:12 AM
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Anything but the North Service Road. Quite a boring ride in my memory.
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Old 09-01-14, 10:28 AM
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I've never biked the Niagara Region (it's on my bucket list), but I've spent considerable time in the area over the years.

There are interesting historical sites along the Niagara Frontier, between NOTL and the Falls. Consider visiting the Laura Secord Homestead ( The Laura Secord Homestead ) and the Mackenzie Printery ( Mackenzie Printery ) in Queenston.

Although I haven't visited it in years, I recollect that Ft. George in NOTL was pretty interesting ( Parks Canada - Fort George National Historic Site - Fort George National Historic Site ). Check the individual sites for their hours, since you are travelling after Labour Day.

The bicentennial of the War of 1812 played big in Canada so you should take advantage of the history that has been preserved.

As far as routing, these links might help:

Trails & Cycling | City of Niagara Falls, Canada

Bicycling Map - Niagara Region, Ontario

Exploring the Niagara Region

Cycling

Mac's Bikes ? Bike Rentals and Tours Niagara Falls ? Bike Routes

As already pointed out, the Welland Canal is worth seeing. You can track what ships may be in the canal by checking here: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/
As I write this, there is a laker in the Canal, along with a Canadian Coast Guard ship, and a couple of tugs and pleasure craft.

Hope this helps. Enjoy! I wish I was with you.

Last edited by Altair 4; 09-01-14 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-03-14, 07:02 PM
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You can do a circle loop of about 140 from NOTL up the Niagara River and down the Welland Canal, almost all on paths, but with you having really only one day I would not recommend it. You would have to stay around Fort Erie which is okay, but not much to do.

I would suggest staying both nights in NOTL, and as others suggested ride up the Niagara river, and go a little past the falls to say Chippewa. The path is quite nice beyond that but might be getting a little far for you. I actually prefer the path between Niagara Falls and Fort Erie as you can see the river most of the time, and it is less crowded.

Between NOTL and the Falls there are some great dramatic views, but a lot of the time you will be in trees. But it is still highly recommended.

As you get closer to the Falls, maybe halfway or a bit more, you will climb the only real hill, and it is gradual. About half way up you will come to a small circular parking lot with a statue up the hill. Take a walk across the road and look at the gorge. It may be difficult to see without someone pointing it out, but if you look over to the cliff on the US side you can see where the falls originally were located. Look for rocks of a different colour. But the amazing thing is that the falls were here for a long time, and then about 10000 years ago (I believe, not sure if I remember right), one day the water finally broke through the hard rocks and the falls eroded the land all the way up to basically the current location. From the show I saw this happened over about 3 days! Probably around 5 km in three days.

NOTL, and the falls are very touristy, but still both worth seeing.

I agree with Acantor about riding on the ridge, but really there is nothing wrong with the north service road. Much of it now has a bike lane. It can be noisy with the traffic on the adjacent highway. If you want to get to the top of the escarpment through Hamilton there is a rail trail which is quite gradual and can lead you to Ridge road. There is a route on ride with gps called something like Ham Escarp Jordan that takes you up the escarpment trail and on to Ridge Rd, but continue on to NOTL when you get to Jordan.

Last edited by tastest; 09-03-14 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 09-23-14, 12:46 PM
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We visited the Niagara Region over this past weekend and enjoyed several of the historical sites that I mentioned in my prior post. Fort George had a terrific boy scout jamboree visiting, lots of kids dressed in red coats. We really enjoyed seeing the displays explaining the fort's significance and the outcome of the War of 1812. I hope the OP posts up his post-ride report. I didn't have space for my bike this trip, or time to do a ride, but the area sure looks like a great place to ride. There were lots of people riding along the Niagara Parkway and visiting the local wineries, too. Temperatures were great, but the wind was absolutely ferocious, with gusts into the 30 mph range.
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