Ontario by Bike logo

Login   ontario by bike twitter link Ontario By Bike Facebook link instagram
A- A A+
  •  

The Story: Bluewater Granfondo

1 resized

It was December 2015, on a cold brisk morning, when a few cyclists gathered at a local cafe that the Bluewater International Granfondo (BIG) was born. The goals were simple. Within four years, BIG has had an impact far greater than anyone could have imagined.

Read More...

Rail Trails In Kawartha Lakes

IMG 8843 2 resize

The City of Kawartha Lakes, which incorporates Lindsay and the surrounding area, sits at the cross-roads of two major rail trails in Ontario. Travelling east to west across the entire region, the Great Trail, known locally as the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail intersects the Victoria Rail Trail, which runs north to south and offers plenty of trail riding for those looking to take bike trips in the heart of Ontario's cottage country.

Read More...

2019 Ontario By Bike Rides

OBBR Marketplace ENG w bleed 011619 1

Find out more about our Ontario By Bike Ride destinations and schedule for 2019! New destinations and old classics all with the same great value! These small group weekend tours are self-guided, fully supported and always sell out!

Just Bring Your Bike and Ride!

Read More...

2019 Cycling In Ontario Guide

Cycle Tourism Conference 2019

Cycle Tourism Conference 2019 Toronto Canada

Learn more about and view the presentations from our recent Cycle Tourism Conference held on March 1, 2019. 

Read More...

Celebrate by Bike

Ontario150 flash final1Choose to explore Ontario on one of these 15 world class, legacy cycling itineraries! Read More...

Sign Up for Newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the latest cycling routes, experiences and bicycle-friendly businesses!

We send out our e-newsletters once a month!

Ontario by Bike newsletter signup

 

Ride These Epic Routes

IMG 3657

Explore 3,000km+ of extraordinary cycling
along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Route.

Search

4 minutes reading time (857 words)

The Unexpected Ride Delights of Niagara South

The Unexpected Ride Delights of Niagara South
It had been awhile since I had gotten off the well beaten path and more popular cycling routes in Niagara that stretch between the Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. I was keen to head south to the quieter stretches I last had the chance to ride when we were still operating the Toronto Niagara Bike Train service with VIA Rail (now run with more summer frequency by GO Transit).

On a bright and sunny June Saturday we set off from Thorold, just south of St Catherines, 35 riders strong. Empowered by a warm and sweet send off from local Mayor and town Councillor (we have our connections!) we hit the paved Welland Canal Trail in front of the Lock 7 info centre. We began our 2 day tour of Niagara Circle Route South, following a canal tributary south past an interesting mix of wildflower fields and monolithic industrial structures of uncertain age and stages of abandonment.

Trail Strip
Crossing the canal at Port Robinson is always a treat. The small pontoon boat that shuttles cyclists and pedestrians across the canal for free had been busy already that morning despite the early hour. (The friendly operators reckoned we were their 60th customers of the day!) After following the Chippewa Creek east we had to do a few zig zags to reconnect through more built up areas. Missing a turn we rewarded ourselves with freezies, (the midday heat was on) and rode a ways on a far too busy road, finally popping out from Dufferin Islands Park and connecting to the Niagara River Recreation Trail. We were greeted by a delightful spray coming off nearby Niagara Falls, enough of a cool down to get us to our picnic lunch spot at Kingsbridge Park.

Happy to rejoin the off-road trail that we couldn’t get lost on, and loaded up with cold H2O, we pedaled south towards Fort Erie. With lots to look at and an easy flat paved surface to follow the 25km went by fast. Green parkland, historic battlefields, views across the river to the US and an astounding variety of riverside mansions, kept our heads turning and wheels spinning.

A sighting of the Peace Bridge connecting Fort Erie to Buffalo signaled the end of our day’s ride. A stop for cold refreshments at a biker bar and patio (motor and pedal welcomed alike) named Southsides, was just the place to take in all the river action and a little local ambiance before checking in to our hotel.

OBBRJ Group
With several accommodation choices in town, we opted for the Clarion Hotel, which had enough rooms for our larger group and certainly welcomed cyclists, with overnight bike storage and a cool pool for a refreshing dip. With a hunger setting in, and an assumption that taxis were in abundance, city style, we had to wait an extraordinary long time before a local car picked us up to deliver us to what we had heard was the best meal in town, The Old Bank Bistro. We were not disappointed however! The food was delicious and the generous portions were eagerly gobbled up after a 67km day. Wondering how we would get back to the hotel, our host and refreshingly friendly restaurant owner Sammy set us up with return rides in his and his chef’s personal vehicles, a favour and astonishingly friendly service level that will not be forgotten.

We got off to a great group start day 2, after a hearty cooked breakfast, and hit the Friendship Trail for what promised to be another perfect day. With no obligation to ride in a pack, we soon broke off into smaller groups, some electing to top off their caffeine fill at Flying Squirrel cafe in Crystal Beach, and have a gander at the popular beachside cottage area. Flying along the trail we pulled in just past Sherkston Shores, taking a 1km side route on Wyldewood Road, popping out onto a white sand stretch to enjoy a swim in the warm, yet refreshing Lake Erie waters. Lunch was not far away in Port Colborne, rounding out a 25km morning with tasty soup, sandwiches and sweet treats at Eataly Foods.

OBBRJ Eataly   OBBRJ Ships
The Welland Canal was busy, living up to its alt name, H2O Highway, with a parade of large cargo ships traveling towards Lake Ontario. We happily watched the spectacle and waited for lift bridges to allow them to pass, and then raced the speeding boats north, beating them to next locks. With similar scenery along the stretch south of Thorold, we were pleased to have a small wind on our backs as we whizzed through the heat of the day. After enjoying a brief ice cream stop in the town of Welland, we rode onwards to the end of the trip and back into Thorold, late Sunday afternoon.

Interested in riding this route and exploring Niagara South on your own or with your own group?
Consider joining us on an Ontario By Bike Ride and one of our small group tours. For annual ride dates and routes visit:
www.ontariobybike.ca/events/ontario-by-bike-tours

Related Posts

Follow Us

Ontario by Bike twitter link  Ontario by Bike Facebook linkinstagramyoutube

Contact Us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-866-701-2774
Office: 416-827-2774

Newsletter Signup

Over 14,000 cyclists receive it monthly! Fun, informative & inspiring: cycle touring news from across Ontario.

Ontario by Bike newsletter signup

View past e-newsletters here!

  • OntarioGovermentLogo trillium
  • TrilliumFoundationLogo
  • greenbelt logo web
  • Toronto1
  • Pedal
  • waterfrontregnerationtrust1

Copyright © 2016 ONTARIO BY BIKE. All rights reserved. Website Design by Akira Studio Ltd
Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Online Privacy Policy.