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2016 Cycling In Ontario Guide

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Exploring the Niagara Region

Frogpond Farm Winery - 1385 Larkin Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake Frogpond Farm Winery - 1385 Larkin Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake Photo Credit: Catherine Habel

Niagara is becoming known for cycling almost as much for wine. An incredible selection of bicycle routes and trails make this a popular destination for cyclists. Whether joining a tour or striking it on your own, there are short or multi-day trips to suit all levels. Meander between wineries through farmland, travel along rivers and lakes, or take advantage of acres devoted to mountain biking featuring the Escarpment.

 

Attracting thousands of cyclists from early spring into late fall, the entire region is a popular place to cycle. Cycling is also the perfect way to get between all the attractions, and is certainly an attraction itself. In addition to many kilometeres of off-road paved trails, there is significant on-road infrastructure. signed bike routes, maps and smart phone apps all to help ensure that cyclists keep enjoying all Niagara has to offer.  

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  • Regional Road Routes

    • Three bikers StCat loresLibrary of Scenic Routes. Over 200 loop rides mapped out and available to download in the Niagara Region.
    • Grimsby/Lincoln Bike Tour (40km) - A pleasant, relaxed-paced road ride, the Grimsby/Lincoln Bike Tour offers a close-up look at town and country life along the shores of Lake Ontario. GPX files and route information online.
    • Pelham Route (34km) - Among fruit orchards and farm land, this lovely route provides opportunities for short nature walks and a roadside picnic along the Welland River. GPX files and route information online.
    • West Lincoln and Wainfleet Route (49km) – Ideally situated in the middle of Niagara Peninsula 20 minutes from the Queen Elizabeth Way, this ride offers a pleasant counter point to the more heavily travelled tourist areas. GPX files and route information online.

  • Regional Cycling Trails

    • Greater Niagara Circle Route logoGreater Niagara Circle Route - The trail system links over 140 km of recreational trails including the Welland Canals, Friendship, Waterfront and Niagara River Recreational Trails. Passing through urban centers, the Niagara Escarpment, waterfronts, rural and agricultural areas, the route offers the perfect opportunity for multi-day cycle-touring trips. 
    • Niagara River Recreational Trail - Cycle through Niagara Falls from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie on this 56 km paved path.
    • Welland Canals Parkway Trail - This 42 km mostly paved trail follows the Welland Canal, where over 3,000 ships pass each year. It is 3 m wide and mostly flat except around the Niagara Escarpment, where you can watch ships climb the locks.
    • Friendship Trail Photo Credit Vicky LaurensFriendship Trail - Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this 3 m wide paved path travels the 24 km between Fort Erie and Port Colborne along an old CN rail trail from Port Erie. Detours lead to the lakeshore and beaches, as well as commercial and recreational facilities, including Crystal Beach and Sherkston.
    • Millennium Recreational Trail - The Millennium Recreational Trail consists of several paved, multi-use trail sections; including The Lions Legacy Pathway Paisley Janvary-Pool Pathway and the Millennium Trail and is approximately 5 km in length. All are located along the western side of the Ontario Power Canal starting in the south at McLeod Road ending in the north at Whirlpool Road, which leads to the Niagara River Recreational Trail.
    • Lake Ontario & Lake Erie Waterfront Trail - The Waterfront Trail begins in Niagara-on-the-Lake at Butler's Park. On the way to Grimsby, the path is 49 km (with paved and unpaved sections) and travels past historic military forts, the Shaw Festival, dozens of shops, restaurants, and wineries. The Waterfront Trail continues 650 km to the Québec border, with 900km of signed trail. From Fort Erie the Lake Erie Waterfront Trail extends 620km west to Windsor and town of Lakeshore.
    • Greenbelt Route – More than 475 kilometres of signed cycling adventures await in the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s  Greenbelt. From Niagara to Northumberland, enjoy lush forests, winding rivers, welcoming communities, and family farms as you pedal through some of southern Ontario’s diverse and stunning landscapes.

  • Regional Mountain Biking Trails

    There are many mountain biking opportunities in the Niagara region. A number of trails are listed below.

    • Short_Hills_Mtn_bikingShort Hills Provincial Park - Located near St. Catharines, Short Hills is a 735 hectare day-use park. Three multi-use trails are open to cyclists: Swayze Falls, Very Berry, and the Black Walnut trail. These trails are quite hilly and recommend for mountain bikes only. The Short Hills Cycling Club helps design and maintain the shared-use single-track trails. Support the park by joining the Friends of Short Hills Park 
    • Upper Canada Heritage Trail - Mountain bikes are recommended for the 14 km rough gravel path along the Niagara Escarpment. The converted rail line passes farms, wineries and orchards towards the historic Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

  • Information Sources and Published Maps

     

      • Niagara Road Routes MapNiagara Region Road Map - Print & PDF Map. Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre. 2015. Bilingual map resource with suggested regional road routes and all trails marked, plus additional resources. 
      • Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre - A useful resource cyclists for planning routes and biking adventures across the Niagara region. Available online at or by visiting in person, with information centre located in Thorold.
      • Niagara Region Bicycling Map – Print map & iPhone app. Niagara Region. 2011. Multi-use trails, bike paths and back roads. Print copies are available at 15 tourist information centres and bike stores around the region.  
      • Niagara MapVins & Velo. Booklet - Bonjour Niagara. 2014. Published in French, information and route suggestions for cycling in Niagara. 
      • The Greater Niagara Circle Route - Niagara Region & Tourism Niagara. Map of Welland Canal Parkway Trail, Fort Erie Friendship Trail, Niagara River Recreation Trail, Waterfront Trail, and Trans Canada Trails. 
      • Niagara Greenbelt - Website. 2009-2012. Niagara Greenbelt Routes & Discovery Centres. On- and off-road routes through Niagara's Greenbelt. Audio and multi-media tours also available for download.  
      • Cycling Routes - Niagara Falls - PDF map featuring proposed cycling routes within the city that are deemed safest and utilize bike lanes, paved shoulders and trails.
      • Niagara Falls Trails Map - PDF map featuring trails located in and around Niagara Falls and highlights trails, bike lanes and paved shoulders.
      • Tour & Trail: The St. Catharine's Guide. City of St. Catharine's. 2010. This on-line map and guide book features bike routes through local wineries, farms, heritage sites, and local destinations. Also available in French
      • Bicycle Route Guide. Greater Buffalo-Niagara Area Regional Transportation Council. 2010. Interactive personalized maps, PDF downloads, and print copies. 
      • Cycle and Stay Niagara - Cycle and Stay Niagara is a group of 10 B&Bs/Inns that are situated in strategic settings around the over 140km Greater Niagara Circle Route. All B&B/Inns are knowledgeable have agreed to provide secure bicycle storage, nourishing breakfasts and other amenities. They also provide luggage transfer from one accommodation to the next.
      • Waterfront Trail & Greenway Mapbook. New compact edition. Mapmobility Corp. 2011. Digital and print.

    Click on the image to watch the new cycling video from the Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre

    Niagara Image for Video

    Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre from JLM on Vimeo.

  • Getting There & Transportation Options

    biketrain_logoConsider taking the Bike Train to Niagara. Operating during the summer season with convenient roll your bike on, and roll it off at stops including Toronto Union Station, St Catharines and Niagara Falls. For more information, view our transportation page, www.biketrain.ca and www.gotransit.com

    Port Robinson Ferry P1020855 lores PC MartinPort Robinson Ferry - This free ferry service for cyclists and pedestrians provides a convenient crossing point off the Welland Canal Trail, south of Thorold - north of Welland, to quiet rural roads connecting to the Niagara River Recreation Trail in Chippewa, just south of Niagara Falls. 

     

 

Thank you to our Niagara Funding Partners:

 

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& Niagara Workshop Event Partners: Niagara Region, Twenty Valley
Tourism Association
, Cave Springs Winery, Inn on the Twenty,Regional Niagara Bicycling Committee

 

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