With its gentle, sloping geography in proximity to the Escarpment and multitude of cliffs and waterfalls, Niagara is undoubtedly one of the best places in Southwestern Ontario to go hiking.
But with thousands of acres of parks and trails, where do you begin? Allow us to be your guide with this list of top places to hike in the region–from well-known, well-loved local treasures to secret gems.
Located within the Niagara Escarpment and Twelve Mile Creek valley, St. John’s Conservation Area is home to tall, lush forests, small hills and a beautiful long pond filled with turtles, frogs, and trout.
It contains four main colour coded trails of varying lengths and difficulty, which all loop and interconnect. If you’re looking for a leisurely hike that won’t take up too much of your day, jot this one down!
For more information on St. John’s Conservation Area click here.
What was once a nineteenth-century settlement has become home to some of the region’s best trails. Ball’s Falls Conservation Area is charming spot filled with history and natural allure.
The conservation area has two waterfalls, a museum and a historical village with buildings like the original Ball family home, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, and a black smith shop.
The are three short trails you can venture through: Forest Frolic Trail, Switch Back Trail, and the popular Cataract Trail. Each one is fairly easy, and you can move through all three in less than 2 hours.
To find out more about this local gem, click here!
Tucked away in the city of St. Catharines, Rockway Conservation Area is the perfect place for a peaceful hike.
Along the trail you’ll experience the splendour of the mature Basswood, Sugar Maple, Black Walnut and Sycamore trees. The 126-hectare area also provides access to the Bruce Trail and two breathtaking waterfalls.
To find out more about this hidden treasure, visit their website.
This next one is for all you adventure seekers!
Located deep in the Niagara Gorge, the Niagara Glen includes 4 kilometres of rugged paths that wind through one of Canada’s last pockets of Carolinian Forest, million-year-old rock formations, and wild flora and fauna.
There are 8 moderately difficult trails to choose from, with each one overlooking the turquoise waters of the Niagara River and swirling 4,200-year-old Niagara Whirlpool.
Click here for additional information on this hiking spot.
Our list of Niagara’s top hiking spots would be incomplete if we didn’t mention Canada’s oldest and longest marked trail– the Bruce Trail.
The trail stretches 900 km along the Niagara Escarpment (not including its 440 km of side trails), extending from Queenston Heights Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake to Tobermory. It actually runs through a number of conservation areas and parks mentioned on this list!
Whether you’re thinking about planning an afternoon hike or a multi-day trip, check out their website to plan your Bruce Trail trek in Niagara.
If Niagara Falls is the only waterfall you’ve seen in the region, you’ve been missing out… In fact, this trail alone has two picturesque waterfalls–Upper DeCew Falls, a large 22 metre plunge waterfall, and Lower DeCew Falls, a small 25-foot steep cascade waterfall.
In addition to its serene stretch of forest and sparkling waterfalls the site also features some historic elements. Near the Upper Falls you’ll find the Morningstar Mill–the only water-operated mill in the Niagara Region. During the summer months you can even go inside and take a tour of the mill for free.
While this spot may not be the most challenging hike on this list, it’s one of our personal favourites for its rich history and everlasting beauty. You can find out more about this spot here.
Our McGarr Realty team truly loves Niagara and all that it has to offer! We would be delighted to show you some of the best listings in St. Catharines on our MLS System, including ones near these natural wonders.
You can reach our St. Catharines realtors by phone at 905-687-9229, or our Niagara-on-the-Lake team at 905-468-9229, or you can send us a message on our contact page.