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Naturally in Niagara

Niagara – A Cyclist’s Paradise

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful or accessible place to ride your bike than Niagara.

Not only can you ride for 40 km along the Welland Canal Trail, enjoying the ships passing as you pedal, but the more ambitious among us can head for the the Greater Niagara Circle Route, a multi-purpose trail system that spans 150 kms and connects in turn to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail and ultimately, to the 17,000 km long Trans-Canada Trail.  The Trans-Canada stretches as far east as St. John, Newfoundland, as far west as Victoria, British Columbia and as far north as Tuktoyaktuk in the North West Territories on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.

There is nothing to stop you from starting in Niagara and biking all over Canada!

Don’t, however, rush through your time here.  Where else, after all, can you ride your bicycle from winery to winery, through the vineyards that dot the peninsula? And where else can you stop along the way and savour fresh fruit from the friendly farmers operating roadside stands.  It’s a cyclist’s idea of heaven!

One of the Niagara pathways that has received special attention and recognition over the years is the Erie Beach Trail, a winner in more ways than one.  In 2008, the Erie Beach Trail received a prestigious Niagara Community Design Award for Urban Design.  What makes this area particularly outstanding is that although it is officially maintained by the Town of Fort Erie, it’s also lovingly cared for by local volunteers through the Adopt-A-Trail program.

Cyclists coming from Toronto this summer will be happy to hear that the Greenbelt Express Bike Train Route will once again be in operation.  Although the 2012 schedule has yet to be posted, there will be service from Union Station to the stations in both St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. Bikes can be brought aboard in Toronto for the trip to Niagara and back – or riders can choose to use pedal power one way!

Thanks to Louise Blais, Andre Blais and Darius Szpilewski of White Oaks and also Adam Westveer for partaking in this video!

The Author

Liz Fleming, Managing Editor of NaturallyinNiagara.ca, is an award-winning journalist who writes a weekly travel gear column for The Toronto Star as well as regular travel features for The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine and CAA Travel. She’s currently a featured commentator on the Astral Media radio stations in southern Ontario, providing daily travel ‘minutes’ and is the editor of WO, the White Oaks Magazine.

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