Niagara Wines and Waterfront Trails

Niagara Wines and Waterfront Trails

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle along the shore of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
  • Taste world-class wines of Niagara-on-the-lake
  • Visit Historical Fort Erie and Fort George
  • Watch large ships navigate historic Welland Canal and the old lock system
  • Explore the most scenic sections of the Waterfront Trail and the Friendship Trail
  • Get up close to thundering Niagara Falls

Trip Summary

The Niagara Peninsula is nestled between two of the Great Lakes and the Niagara River and offers unique cycling opportunities along their shores. The renowned Waterfront Trail and the Friendship Trail are two of the off road trails you will experience, including an exploration of the historic Welland Canals which connect the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway. But our ride also takes you along picturesque country roads with fruit plantations and vineyards. With its distinct microclimate and fertile soils, it's not surprising that the Niagara Peninsula is the largest area of viticulture in Canada. On your cycling adventure, you will have the opportunity to visit award-winning wineries and taste a variety of icewines. In addition to the lovely scenery and gastronomic delights, you will cycle through history with opportunities to visit Fort George and Fort Erie which is the location of Canada's bloodiest battle. A visit to this region would not be complete without visiting the most famous waterfall in North America; Niagara Falls.

Suitability

The route is primarily smooth, paved, and mostly flat with a few steep (but very short) hills near the escarpment. Some sections of trail are on rolled stone dust and dirt and, in wet weather, parts of the trail may be muddy. Most cyclists of average ability should be able to complete the route easily especially as the cycling days do not exceed 60 kilometers in distance (with other days between 30-40km).

Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!). Cyclists will be expected to know how to fix a flat tire and make basic adjustments to their bicycles using the included repair kit. Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7-day service hotline in the event of any problems.

Itinerary

Make your way to your accommodation in busy Niagara Falls. The falls themselves are composed of three falls; Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. The Niagara Falls are recognized as a natural wonder and, while they are not the tallest in Canada, it is the combination of both the volume and height that makes them so impressive. The falls have attracted daredevils from all over the world and many stunts have been tried over Niagara Falls including descending the falls in a barrel and tightrope walking across the falls. Enjoy a good night's rest in your quiet Bed & Breakfast a short distance from the city centre.

Meals:  Nil

Your fully-equipped rental bikes will be delivered to you after breakfast this morning. After adjustments and a quick briefing, you're off on the fantastic trail system around the Niagara Peninsula. This first morning of cycling takes you along the shores of Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes. If your trip takes place early in the season, you may still see some ice cover on the lake. We invite you to take a break at Old Fort Erie where Canada's bloodiest Battlefield took place in 1812. Depending on the time of year, you may experience the sights and sounds of the fort under siege or witness musket demonstrations. This afternoon, continue on the Friendship Trail for 16 kilometres, all the way to Port Colborne. Much of the trail is located on an abandoned rail line and if time permits you will be able to take a swim at Crystal Beach.

Meals:  B

A short day of cycling today with plenty of time to explore the Welland Canal, which forms a key section of the St. Lawrence Seaway by connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. A series of locks lines the way, where you can watch both cargo and passenger ships be raised and lowered. When the ships are "climbing the escarpment" in the "Flight Locks" (Locks 4, 5, 6 in Thorold), they are being raised 42.5 metres! Arrive at your accommodation near the canal, on the quiet outskirts of St Catharines.

Meals:  B

This morning after a hearty breakfast, you will be heading north along an old canal system until you reach Lake Ontario. From here, you will mostly follow The Waterfront Trail, a system which connects 68 communities and more than 405 parks over 1400km. The route is a mixture of residential and rural roads and on cycle paths with surfaces of hard-packed crushed stone dust, and passes through Port Dalhousie’s harbour where you can take a ride on the famous Lakeside original Park Carousel. The carousel was carved between 1898 and 1905 and is proudly operated and maintained by the Friends of the Carousel, it is one of nine antique hand carved carousel left in Canada and you can still ride it for a nickel! After passing through the harbour, you will join the pathway, which offers breathtaking views overlooking the harbour. A few kilometers before you get into Niagara-on-the-lake which will be home for the next two nights, you will come across a few wineries including the Konzelmann Estate, Hinterbrook Estate Winery and Strewn Winery. Hinterbrook Estate also has Oliv Tapas Bar where you can sample olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Meals:  B

Today will surely be a memorable culinary experience! Our route will take you to the best estates and to some of the best restaurants on the Niagara Peninsula.

Meals:  B

As you exit Niagara-on-the-lake you will have the opportunity to visit four wineries including internationally-known Inniskillin and the unique House of Ice wines, where the winemakers will share secret recipes and make you taste her exclusive slushies. You then continue on the Niagara River Recreation Trail following the Niagara River which acts as the connecting channel between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. On your ride today, enjoy a short climb on the Niagara Escarpment, through a lovely paved path in the lush forest. The Niagara escarpment enjoys a unique micro climate which, combined with fertile soils, forms Ontario’s prime fruit growing area. The ride is short today, allowing some extra time to enjoy the numerous activities and tourist attractions of Niagara Falls.

Meals:  B

Services end after breakfast.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights in B&Bs, generally with private facilities in double occupancy
  • Information pack including route notes maps (1 set per room)
  • GPX tracks and voice navigation technology for GPS devices or smartphones
  • Luggage transfers (1 piece per person)
  • 21-speed hybrid bicycle rental, including 2 panniers, bike lock, basic repair kit, and bicycle insurance
  • Emergency hotline
  • C$50 per person donation to the Trans Canada Trail

What's Not Included

  • Wine tasting fees
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees and optional activities
  • International Flight
  • Travel Insurance
  • Applicable taxes

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:7 Days
Province/Territory:Ontario
Starting Point:Niagara Falls
Activities:Self Guided Cycling
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:NWT
Prices From:USD$1090
Single Supplement:USD$360 
Solo Traveller:USD$460 
* All prices subject to applicable taxes