Exploring the Niagara Region

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Two Women Cycling Winery PC Ontario Tourism

Photo credit: Destination Ontario

Niagara is becoming known for cycling almost as much for wine. An incredible selection of bicycle routes and trails make this a popular destination for cyclists. Whether joining a tour or striking it on your own, there are short or multi-day trips to suit all levels. Meander between wineries through farmland, travel along rivers and lakes, or take advantage of acres devoted to mountain biking featuring the Escarpment.

Attracting thousands of cyclists from early spring into late fall, the entire region is a popular place to cycle. Cycling is also the perfect way to get between all the attractions, and is certainly an attraction itself. In addition to many kilometeres of off-road paved trails, there is significant on-road infrastructure. signed bike routes, maps and smart phone apps all to help ensure that cyclists keep enjoying all Niagara has to offer.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep
  • Library of Scenic Routes. Over 200 loop rides mapped out in the Niagara Region on Navigator GIS mapping platform.
    • To view full cycle route library, in addition to six routes shown on default view, click on “Layer List” in top right corner, scroll down, expand dropdown under “Cycle Routes”, and click the second box on the dropdown menu reading “Cycle Routes”.
    • To view individual route maps and directions/cue sheets for each route, click HERE
  • Grimsby/Lincoln Bike Tour (40km) – A pleasant, relaxed-paced road ride, the Grimsby/Lincoln Bike Tour offers a close-up look at town and country life along the shores of Lake Ontario. Route information and digital map available at link.
  • Pelham Route (34km) – Among fruit orchards and farm land, this lovely route provides opportunities for short nature walks and a roadside picnic along the Welland River. Route information and digital map available at link.
  • West Lincoln and Wainfleet Route (49km) – Ideally situated in the middle of Niagara Peninsula 20 minutes from the Queen Elizabeth Way, this ride offers a pleasant counter point to the more heavily travelled tourist areas. Route information and digital map available at link
  • Greater Niagara Circle Route – The trail system links over 140 km of recreational trails including the Welland Canals, Friendship, Waterfront and Niagara River Recreational Trails. Passing through urban centers, the Niagara Escarpment, waterfronts, rural and agricultural areas, the route offers the perfect opportunity for multi-day cycle-touring trips.
  • Niagara River Recreational Trail – Cycle through Niagara Falls from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie on this 56 km paved path.
  • Welland Canals Parkway Trail – This 42 km mostly paved trail follows the Welland Canal, where over 3,000 ships pass each year. It is 3 m wide and mostly flat except around the Niagara Escarpment, where you can watch ships climb the locks.
  • Friendship Trail – Part of the Trans Canada Trail, this 3 m wide paved path travels the 24 km between Fort Erie and Port Colborne along an old CN rail trail from Port Erie. Detours lead to the lakeshore and beaches, as well as commercial and recreational facilities, including Crystal Beach and Sherkston.
  • Millennium Recreational Trail – The Millennium Recreational Trail consists of several paved, multi-use trail sections; including The Lions Legacy Pathway Paisley Janvary-Pool Pathway and the Millennium Trail and is approximately 5 km in length. All are located along the western side of the Ontario Power Canal starting in the south at McLeod Road ending in the north at Whirlpool Road, which leads to the Niagara River Recreational Trail.

There are many mountain biking opportunities in the Niagara region. A number of trails are listed below.

  • Short Hills Cycling ClubShort Hills Provincial Park – Located near St. Catharines, Short Hills is a 735 hectare day-use park. Three multi-use trails are open to cyclists: Swayze Falls, Very Berry, and the Black Walnut trail. These trails are quite hilly and recommend for mountain bikes only. The Short Hills Cycling Club helps design and maintain the shared-use single-track trails. Support the park by joining the Friends of Short Hills Park 
  • Upper Canada Heritage Trail – Mountain bikes are recommended for the 14 km rough gravel path along the Niagara Escarpment. The converted rail line passes farms, wineries and orchards towards the historic Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3600km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting over 151 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. The fully signed Trail uses the safest infrastructure possible, a mix of both on-road and off-road facilities, and is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads. It can be enjoyed for as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long distance cycling adventure.

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail begins in Niagara-on-the-Lake at Butler’s Park. On the way to Grimsby. The path is 49 km (with paved and unpaved sections) and travels past historic military forts, the Shaw Festival, dozens of shops, restaurants, and wineries.

For information and to access downloadable maps visit www.WaterfrontTrail.org

Greenbelt Route – More than 475 kilometres of signed cycling adventures await in the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s Greenbelt. From Niagara to Northumberland, enjoy lush forests, winding rivers, welcoming communities, and family farms as you pedal through some of southern Ontario’s diverse and stunning landscapes.

The Greenbelt Route travels through the Niagara Region between the communities of Queenston and Grimsby.

  • Plan your trip by accessing downloadable and printable paper maps or visit www.greenbelt/cycling
  • Day Trip Itinerary in Niagara – Fruitland Ramble (23km)
  • Great Lakes to Greenbelt – Showcasing Ontario’s best trails and two signature cycling routes–the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and The Greenbelt Route. Three loops are available in the Niagara Region, ranging from 30km to 49km.
    • Wine Country Roundabout (49km) – Explore the heart of Niagara’s Wine Country, where you’ll find tons of heritage, scenery, and a taste of the delightful spirit of a land certain to leave you thirsty for more.
    • Short-Dalhousie Shake-up – (38km) – Tour from Short Hills Provincial Park to Port Dalhousie with 6km of “down” and a gentler return along the banks of Twelve Mile Creek.
    • Garden City Glide – (30km) – Enjoy a glide around the Garden City from the beaches of Port Weller and Port Dalhousie to St. Catharines and the Welland Canal.
      • Niagra Region Cycling MapNiagara Region Cycling Map – Print & PDF Map. Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre. 2021. Bilingual map resource with suggested regional road routes and all trails marked, plus additional resources.
      • Niagara-on-the-Lake Bike Map – PDF Map. Available online only showing routes in town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for visitors and residents. Produced by the Community Safety Committee 2021.
      • Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre – A useful resource cyclists for planning routes and biking adventures across the Niagara region. Available online at or by visiting in person, with information centre located in Thorold.
      • Niagara Region Bicycling Map – Print map & iPhone app. Niagara Region. 2011. Multi-use trails, bike paths and back roads. Print copies are available at 15 tourist information centres and bike stores around the region.
      • The Greater Niagara Circle Route – Niagara Region & Tourism Niagara. Map of Welland Canal Parkway Trail, Fort Erie Friendship Trail, Niagara River Recreation Trail, Waterfront Trail, and Trans Canada Trails.
      • Niagara Greenbelt – Website. 2009-2012. Niagara Greenbelt Routes & Discovery Centres. On- and off-road routes through Niagara’s Greenbelt. Audio and multi-media tours also available for download.
      • Niagara Map CoverCycling Routes – Niagara Falls – PDF map featuring proposed cycling routes within the city that are deemed safest and utilize bike lanes, paved shoulders and trails.
      • Niagara Falls Trails Map – PDF map featuring trails located in and around Niagara Falls and highlights trails, bike lanes and paved shoulders.
      • Tour & Trail: The St. Catharine’s Guide. City of St. Catharine’s. 2010. This on-line map and guide book features bike routes through local wineries, farms, heritage sites, and local destinations. Also available inFrench.
      • Online Bicycle Route Guide (Buffalo/Niagara). Greater Buffalo-Niagara Area Regional Transportation Council. 2010. Interactive map, PDF downloads, and print copies.
      • Cycle and Stay Niagara – Cycle and Stay Niagara is a group of 10 B&Bs/Inns that are situated in strategic settings around the over 140km Greater Niagara Circle Route. All B&B/Inns are knowledgeable have agreed to provide secure bicycle storage, nourishing breakfasts and other amenities. They also provide luggage transfer from one accommodation to the next.
      • Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Mapbook. New compact edition. 2016.

Click on the image to watch the new cycling video from the Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre

Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre from JLM on Vimeo.

bike trainConsider taking the Bike Train to Niagara. Operating during the summer season with convenient roll your bike on, and roll it off at stops including Toronto Union Station, St Catharines and Niagara Falls. For more information, view our transportation page, www.biketrain.ca and www.gotransit.com

Port Robinson Ferry – This free ferry service for cyclists and pedestrians provides a convenient crossing point off the Welland Canal Trail, south of Thorold – north of Welland, to quiet rural roads connecting to the Niagara River Recreation Trail in Chippewa, just south of Niagara Falls.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Park N’ Pedal Program – Safely park your vehicle in a designated Park ‘N’ Pedal space at any host location. The hosts are mainly Niagara Parks Commission Parking Lots and wineries located close to a bicycle route, trail or paved bicycle friendly roadway, providing a variety of hospitality services and facilities to accommodate cyclists needs before and after a ride.

Niagara Parks Travel Package – Take the summer GO Train to Niagara Falls, and combine travel with a two-day pass on WEGO, the hop-on, hop-off bus service that travels throughout the city of Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks. WEGO has bike racks on front of all buses. Option to add on the Niagara-on-the-Lake bus shuttle and the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass.

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