In the Niagara Region there is no shortage of things to do and places to explore. Just a quick google search will show you that there are countless parks just waiting for you to explore. Take some time on the weekends or after work to unplug, recharge, and revel in the beautiful landscapes that Niagara has to offer. Don’t know where to start? Check out our list of the eight best parks that Niagara has to offer.
This collection of breathtaking greenspaces, thrilling attractions, and iconic landmarks is must-see for locals and tourists alike. Home to a beautiful rock garden, countless hanging baskets, breathtaking floral displays, and the unique hybrid tea rose garden, Queen Victoria Park has everything you need for a relaxing day. Take advantage of the perfectly manicured grounds and the numerous park benches and spend some time relaxing and soaking up the sun. Once you get hungry just wander along to the Queen Victoria Place Restaurant, located in the heart of Queen Victoria Park. Enjoy all that Niagara has to offer with the locally sourced menu, Niagara VQA wine list, and a diverse selection of craft beers. Do not forget to make time for the jaw-dropping fireworks display that has been captivating people for the last 25 years, with over 100 shows a year there are so many chances for you to take it in. Queen Victoria Park is also host to numerous renowned events throughout the year like, New Year’s Eve Celebrations, Winter Festival of Lights, and other community and cultural events.
Take a quick drive down the road from Queen Victoria Park and you will find the secluded and pristine landscapes of Dufferin Islands. The islands were formed during the early 1900’s during the construction of the Ontario Power Generation Station. Sprawling over 10 acres and connected by walking trails and footbridges, the Dufferin Islands offer an escape right in the heart of Niagara Falls. Before starting your journey, stop at the Table Rock Market for some easy and gourmet grab-and-go snacks to take along with you while you hunt for the perfect picnic spot. The Dufferin Islands is also the home to the annual Winter Festival of Lights, which runs from November to January, and turns Niagara Falls into a Winter Wonderland. Whether you drive through the light display or walk through there numerous beautiful and Instagram worthy photo opportunities for you.
Maybe nature walking trails is not really your style. Then look no further than the Botanical Gardens! Explore over 90 acres of award-winning landscapes. The Botanical Gardens have been a proud part of the Niagara Garden Trail since 1990 and makes it the perfect inspiration spot for gardeners, homeowners, and plant enthusiasts alike. Take advantage of the free admission by stopping by every few months to see the new seasonal blooms and overflowing gardens that line the walking trails throughout the arboretum. Among the seasonal displays you will find one of Canada’s finest tree collections, parterre, rose, herb, and vegetable gardens. During your time here you will also find 150 beautiful hanging baskets. Be sure to make time to take in the glorious rose garden, which holds over 2,400 roses, making it one of North America’s largest and most distinguished Victorian Rose Gardens.
Located on the outskirts of Niagara Falls you will find Heartland Forest. A totally unique nature experience stretched over 200 acres, boasting four kilometres of nature walking trails that are accessible, peaceful, and inclusive. All trails are easy and accessible, unless otherwise marked, the trails are wide and meticulously upkept so that strollers, and mobility devices will have no problems exploring all that Heartland Forest has to offer. Over the years the park has grown to what it is today, with 18 different and exciting highlights like Mario’s Mini Putt, and one of the largest treehouses in Canada. Throughout your journey you will pass through grasslands, wetlands, and the largest stand in the Carolinian Forest in the Niagara Peninsula. Admission to the grounds is free so take your time and come back often to experience all that nature has to offer.
In one of the oldest parts of St. Catharines you will find Burgoyne Woods, an expansive open space filled with several amenities and a 2.1-kilometre loop trail, the trails are primarily paved, making them perfect for walking, running, hiking, biking, and roller-skating. This picturesque escape from city life, located right in the city, is ideal for anyone who is looking to take a break from the day to day and get back to nature. Bring your furry friend to enjoy the off-leash dog park, just make sure to follow the posted rules. Plan a picnic with friends and family and utilize the pavilion to escape from the sun for a little while.
Established in 1985 and home to seven different trails spanning St. Catharines, Pelham, and Thorold, this 1,816-acre park has something for everyone. Take in the breathtaking Niagara Escarpment and the Carolinian Forest that are protected within the park. During your time here keep your eyes peeled for one of the most noticeable plants, the Trillium, which just happens to be the emblem of Ontario. Each trail within the park is ranked by difficulty, so make sure that you are double checking it is the right level for you. Patrons can enjoy many activities here such as hiking, fishing, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Don’t forget to fill up on drinking water, snacks, and anything else you might need during your adventure as there are no places to purchase them along the trails. You will get to experience some amazing lookout points, and there are bathrooms and benches scattered along the trails. Check in at Ontario Parks before you head out to for any information you may need.
Designed in 1887 by Frederick Law Olmstead, who helped design Central Park in New York City, Montebello Park has been a key part of St. Catharine’s history. You may recognize it now as the venue of the Born and Raised Concert Series that features amazing local talents and returns every summer, and the Grape and Wine Festival, which attracts over 100,000 guests over the course of the festival. Located at 64 Ontario St. Downtown St. Catharines, and home to a pavilion and the best rose collection in the city, Montebello Park is perfect for anyone who is looking for an easy way to enjoy the outdoors. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants Downtown and enjoy a lovely picnic in the park.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is no stranger to perfect and picturesque spots to visits, and their parks are no different. Anyone coming to the Niagara-on-the-Lake area must stop by Simcoe Park, right in the centre of old downtown. Take advantage of the numerous amenities like a wading pool, bandshell, picnic tables, and playground equipment. This Canada Day, make sure you catch the fireworks display, hosted right in Simcoe Park. Another must-see in Niagara-on-the-Lake is the historical Queenston Heights Park, nestled atop the Niagara Escarpment, this stunning park has captured the hearts of nature lovers and picnic goers for years. The two picnic pavilions, splash pad, tennis courts, band shell, snack bar, and playground are sure to keep both kids and adults entertained for hours. These beautifully maintained spaces are free for anyone to use, although amenities like soccer fields, ball diamonds, and gazebos can be reserved by calling the Town Administration. Check out their Park Locator for a full map and details for every park in the area. Sort by location, amenity, beach access, accessibility, and so much more.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and let Niagara and all of its outstanding parks, capture your heart, just like it has ours. If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to the Niagara Region, get in touch with one of our agents today and let's find you a new home.