If you are looking to experience some of the best hiking trails that Ontario has to offer, then the Niagara Region is the place for you. Home of the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, the Niagara Region is abundant in rivers, waterfalls, Carolinian Forests, ridges and trails that connect them all together and allow residents and visitors to enjoy the scenery. There are hundreds of km of trails in the area that are suitable for walking, hiking, jogging, biking, horseback riding and more! At Davids & DeLaaat, we want to help you find the beauty in the region that we are so proud to be a part of, so we have put together the following list of the top 5 hiking trails in The Niagara Region.
1. Short Hills Provincial Park
Pelham Rd, Thorold, ON L0S 1M0
Short Hills Provincial Park is the only provincial park found in the Niagara Region. It is located approximately 4km southwest of St. Catharines and about 5km north of Fonthill. This park was established in 1985 and has been classified as a non-operating park, meaning they do not have a dedicated staff, there are limited facilities and it is free for visitors. It was given its name as a result of the “short hills” that were created by the melting glaciers after the ice age.
Short Hills covers approximately 1,600 acres (6.6 square km) and has 7 trails that are available for visitors to explore. Visitors are welcome to explore Short Hills by foot, bicycle and horseback, however, each trail is designated as either shared use or hikers only.
- Swayze Falls (6.2km long, difficult, shared use)
- Black Walnut (4.3km long, difficult, shared use)
- Palaeozoic Path (0.8km long, easy, hikers & physically challenged)
- Scarlet Tanger (2.3km long, moderate to difficult, hikers only)
- Hemlock Valley (2.8km long, moderate, hikers only)
- Terrace Creek (4.6km long, difficult, hikers only)
- Very Berry Trail (2.6km long, moderate to difficult, shared use)
2. Balls Falls Conservation Area
3292 Sixth Ave, Lincoln, ON L0R 1S0
Balls Falls Conservation Area is located in Lincoln which is less than 15km west of St. Catharines and only 2.5km south of the small town of Vineland. This conservation area covers approximately 200 acres (0.81 square km) and is home to two beautiful waterfalls. The upper waterfall is considered a cascade waterfall and has a drop of about 11m, it is also considered a curtain waterfall as it is almost twice as wide as it is tall. The lower waterfall is considered a classic waterfall and its water plunges a whopping 27m, while its width spans about the same length, at 26m.
There are several trails at Balls Falls for visitors to choose from including:
- Forest Frolic Trail (850m long, easy to moderate)
- Switch Back Trail (725m long, easy)
- Village Trail to Lower Falls (1.3km long, easy)
- Cataract Trail to Upper Falls (1.7km long, easy to moderate)
3. Laura Secord Heritage Trail
1700 York Rd #1666, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
The Laura Secord Heritage Trail, also known as the Laura Secord Legacy Trail is located several kilometres north of Niagara Falls, however, it is technically a part of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The trail is 32 km long and pays tribute to the amazing journey that Laura Secord took during the War of 1812. She walked from the Secord Homestead in Queenston to the DeCew House in Thorold, in order to deliver a message to Lieutenant James FitzGibbon about the imminent attack by Americans. Today the trail is enjoyed by many and is even commemorated with an annual walk.
This trail has been broken down into 5 stages for local residents and visitors to enjoy:
- Stage 1: Laura Secord Homestead to Firemen’s Park (7.5km long)
- Stage 2: Firemen’s Park to Niagara College (6.5km long)
- Stage 3: Niagara College to Rodman Hall (9.0km long)
- Stage 4: Rodman Hall to Rotary Park (4.5km long)
- Stage 5: Rotary Park to DeCew House (4.5km long)
4. Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
3050 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON
The Niagara Glen hiking trails are some of the most scenic and well-loved trails in the Niagara Region. It was originally designated in 1992 as a nature reserve but is now a year-round hiking trail where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Niagara River, over 4km of Carolinian Forests, the Niagara Gorge and more! You can find this trail located just slightly north of the city of Niagara Falls, along the riverside. While you’re visiting be sure to check out the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, Niagara Glen Nature Centre or even the Butterfly Conservatory!
There are several different trails located within the Niagara Glen for both visitors and local residents to enjoy:
- River Trail (1.6km long)
- Terrace Trail (1.2km long)
- Cobblestone Trail (216m long)
- Trillium Trail (110m)
- Cliffside Trail (583m long)
- Woodland Trail (204m long)
- Eddy Trail (244m long)
- Whirlpool Trail (1.59km long)
- Bouldering Trail
5. Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area
10638 Quarry Rd, Port Colborne, ON L3K 5V4
The Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area is located just off the shore of Lake Erie, to the west of Port Colborne. The vast 442 acre (1.79 square kilometres) piece of land was formerly a quarry for limestone and clay, but it is now a unique environment where wildlife is thriving. Wainfleet is currently home to an extensive population of turtles, snakes, fish and over 50 different species of birds. Wainfleet Wetlands is a great area for local residents and visitors to find fossils that were formed in the Paleozoic Sea over 300 million years ago, however, be sure not to take any with you!
Although there are not many long and dedicated hiking trails at the Wainfleet Wetlands, there is plenty to see and do. Additionally, it is directly connected to the 13km long Gord Harry Trail.
Other Popular Trails in The Niagara Region
Woodend Conservation Area
1 Taylor Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Rockway Conservation Area
1742 St Paul St W, St. Catharines, ON L2R 6P7
74646 Regional Rd 45, Wellandport, ON L0R 2J0
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area
28 Quarry Rd, Grimsby, ON L3M 4E7
Heartland Forest Nature Experience
8215 Heartland Forest Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2H 0L5
Bruce Trail: Niagara Section
14184 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
The Greater Niagara Circle Route
System of Trails (over 140km) Including:
- Welland Canal Parkway Trail
- Fort Erie Friendship Trail
- Niagara River Recreational Trail
- Waterfront Trail
- Trans Canada Trail
These are just a few of the incredible trails that the Niagara Region has to offer for both visitors and residents. There are hundreds of more trails that are just waiting to be explored, so what are you waiting for?
Are You Looking To Buy A House In The Niagara Region? Contact Davids & DeLaat!
If you want the beautiful Niagara Region hiking trails to be in your backyard, contact Davids & DeLaat today! We are experts in the local Niagara real estate market and we work tirelessly to find our clients the homes they love. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced owner, we have the skills and experience to help you meet your real estate goals. Take a look at the available listings in the Niagara Region today to get started.