Niagara Region-Lake Erie
Niagara-on-the-Lake • Niagara Falls • Fort Erie • Port Colborne • Wainfleet
Starting in Niagara on the Lake (read profile), the Waterfront Trail heads south along the 56 km Niagara River Recreation Trail--a wonderful, scenic walking or cycling experience.
Managed by the Niagara Parks Commission, this trail links Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie with an almost completely off-road path that follows the majestic Niagara River. Along the route you will find loads of cultural, historic and natural attractions as well as hundreds of events and festivals. There are restaurants, shops and wineries--and of course, the stunning world wonder, the Niagara Falls. The Niagara Parks Commission was established in 1885 to protect, create and manage parkland (3,274 acres now) along the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The Trail was constructed in 1986.
The Niagara River Recreation Trail is family-friendly. The only break in the dedicated path occurs in Niagara Falls, where experienced cyclists will use a short section of the Niagara Parkway with caution. Inexperienced or young cyclists can walk bikes on the sidewalk. Given the scenery, this is not a terrible hardship.
At Old Fort Erie, you'll begin travelling along Lake Erie. From Fort Erie to Port Colborne the Waterfront Trail is completely off-road where it is cosigned as the Friendship Trail. The Friendship Trail follows an old rail bed which means it is flat, mostly straight, and easy to follow. Heading west from Fort Erie, you may want to take a short detour to enjoy Crystal Beach's white sandy beach and patios. In Port Colborne you'll find restaurants and shops to explore. HH Knoll Lakeview Park is the city's major waterfront park.
In Port Colborne you'll find a trail junction where you can head north along the western edge of the Greater Niagara Circle Route along the Welland Canal Trail, an off-road path that follows the Welland Canal. This path links up with the Lake Ontario section of Waterfront Trail in Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines. It is part of the popular regional cycling experience--the Greater Niagara Circle Route. Running 170 km, the Greater Niagara Circle Route follows Lake Ontario, the Niagara River Recreation Trail, Lake Erie and the Welland Canal. A great weekend- getaway.
From Port Colborne, the Waterfront Trail follows rural roads that hug the shoreline in Wainfleet where there are three beach access points for those looking for a dip in the Lake and some excellent eateries along the route (east of Brawn) for those needing a meal. People interesed in camping should consider the Long Beach Conservation Area. While in the area, check out the Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area. It was a quarry until the 1960s though it would be hard to believe that today. Years of restoration work led by the Conservation Authority have naturalized the area creating a thriving eco-system that attracts birds and wildlife. Fossil enthusiaists will love this area. Hikers and walkers will enjoy trails in the Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area (check out the Quarry Trail) and Morgan's Point Conservation Area, where the boardwalk and trail take through dunes and old growth forest.
Main Access Points (with parking)
- Fort George National Historic Site, 50 Queen's Parade Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
- McFarland Park, 15927 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
- Queenston Heights Park, 14184 Niagara Parkway, Queenston ON
- Peace Bridge, Fort Erie
- Old Fort Erie-- 350 Lakeshore Road, Fort Erie ON
- HH Knoll Lakeview Park, Port Colborne--Elm Street and Sugarloaf Street.
- Long Beach Conservation Area -- 12965 Lakeshore Rd. Wainfleet
Resources, Local Maps and Connecting Trails
Tourism Niagara Maps
Tourism Niagara’s Cycling Route maps. Developed in collaboration with the Regional Niagara Cycling Committee, the Cycling in Niagara Map offers six different day trips in the region. It is available in English and French.
Niagara Region Maps
The regional cycling map provides a comprehensive guide to cycling in Niagara. Both the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie sections of Waterfront Trail are clearly marked, as well as the connections on the Niagara River Recreation Trail and the Welland Canal Trail.
The Niagara Cycling Map is also available for download on an interactive PDF map and as an App. The Niagara Cycle Tourism site has maps and itineraries for download.
The Niagara Parks Commission Interactive Map
A comprehensive map showing attractions and amenities along the 56 km Niagara River Recreational Trail (signed as both Trans Canada Trail and Waterfront Trail as well.)
Self-Guided Bike Trips
The Region and its partners have developed an Online Library of Scenic Bike Routes, featuring hundreds of pre-selected routes, each one containing a map and turn-by-turn directions in PDF printable format. The maps are now available in an App. Check out these amazing resources at: www.niagararegion.ca/exploring/cycle/bikemap.aspx
Niagara River Recreation Trail intersects with the Waterfront Trail at Fort George
- Greater Niagara Circle Route (www.regional.niagara.on.ca)
Gordon Harry Conservation Trail--13 km rail trail connects directly to the Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area, and passes near Long Beach, Morgan’s Point and Wainfleet Bog Conservation Areas. Parking is available at the Station Road and Quarry Road entrances. This is also part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
- Niagara Cycle Tourism Centre
- Niagara Parks Commission
- Town of Fort Erie
- Town of Port Colborne
- Township of Wainfleet
- Regional Tourism Organization
- Tourism Niagara:
offers comprehensive information on attractions and accommodations for visitors.
- Regional Niagara Bicycling Committee:
for information about cycling throughout Niagara, including easy to use pre-designed loop rides.
How to Get there and Public Transit Information
Greyhound busses are not equipped with bicycle racks.