Described by Winston Churchill as "the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world," the Niagara Parks Commission ... More
Niagara River Recreation Trail
Described by Winston Churchill as "the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world," the Niagara Parks Commission adminstered trail runs 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Historic Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie. Used by non-motorized traffic, the trail divides into four sections, each taking up to two hours by bike. The trail records the history of the region and was a popular route for both American and British troops during the War of 1812. Plaques and information markers outline the story so that you can follow along while admiring the views.
This is one of the most beautiful bike trails ever. It starts in Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side, and goes all the way to Niagara on the Lake / Fort George. It's 35 miles long (round-trip I believe) and it winds around the falls and the river. There are some hiking trails at the beginning (if you start in Niagara Falls, about 4-6 miles in) that I highly recommend checking out, but you should be physically fit (which I assume you are, if you're biking a 35 mile trail). It's a really steep descent (and climb back up) but once you reach the bottom, it's so gorgeous. No one is down there, and you're at the bottom of the river where Niagara Falls spills into. I will say, after that hike (it's not that long, just a little challenging), the prospect of biking another 30 miles wasn't very appealing but we did it anyway. The trail passes some random fruit stands and a bunch of wineries but if you stay on the actual trail, you don't really get to any restaurants until you're in Fort George/Niagara-on-the-Lake. That town has tons of little shops, restaurants and ice cream or coffee places.
The trail itself is pretty easy and I think it took us around 2-3 hours to finish at a leisurely pace (not counting all the times we stopped to stuff our face with fresh berries or hang out at a random playground). There aren't a lot of hills but there is one on the way back to Niagara Falls that is GRUELING - at least for me. I had to walk my bike halfway up it.
I HIGHLY recommend this if you're in Niagara Falls and want to get away from all the touristy stuff. We used Mac's Bikes as a rental company and they gave us maps and advice about restaurants, etc.
The entire 35 mile trail was completely interesting and beautiful, from Lake Erie and Fort Erie at the beginning, through the falls and then into the spectacular town of Niagara on the Lake. My only criticism is that it wasn't always clear where one should be biking (ie. the road, sidewalk or trail), but it will definetly be a trip to repeat.
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