This ride is now over
The detailed ride itinerary for this ride is available below for download. Enjoy great trail riding with a self-guided ride experience.
Niagara Circle Route South
When: Any time! It’s a self-guided itinerary!
Total Distance: 127km
The Ride: A two day weekend tour and primarily off-road ride along the Greater Niagara Circle Route. Discover the quieter side of Niagara and Niagara south, with this spectacular trail ride along the Niagara River Recreational Trail, the Friendship Trail and the Welland Canal Parkway Trail. Fully paved with only 24km of the 127km on roads, as well as flat easy riding conditions make for a wonderful weekday or weekendend getaway and cycling experience. Including an unique ferry jaunt over the Welland Canal, this looped route is well suited for all types of cyclists.
Experience Level and Ride Guide: Easy to moderate. Off-road paved trails system, level road crossings, with on-road riding limited to 24km of quiet country roads, connecting from the Welland Canal to the Niagara River Recreation Trail in Chippewa. Combined with limited elevation changes, the flat terrain makes this ride suitable for hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes. Enjoy a group ride or ride solo at your own pace using detailed maps and information provided.
View Route: RidewithGPS Link
Day 1: Thorold to Fort Erie – 69km
Starting in Thorold, just over 1.5 hours from downtown Toronto, and close to St Catharines, hop on nearby trail heading south to enjoy the first 10km following the Welland Canal. Enjoying a leisurely pace following what is also known as the H2O Highway. If you’re lucky you can ride alongside giant freighters connecting between Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario). At Port Robinson, a free and charming little ferry that services only cyclists and hikers, will transfer you to the east side of canal. Enjoy an easy countryside ride eastwards along quiet roads that follow the Welland River to where it turbulently tumbles into the Niagara River. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic at Kingsbridge Park with public washrooms and a covered gazebo. A short ride north along the Niagara River Recreational Trail will bring you into Niagara Falls with plenty of locations to get lunch at a cafe or restaurants. From Kingsbridge Park, ride south along the Niagara River Recreational Trail, a fantastic paved path that hugs the shores of the Niagara River. Enjoy every minute of this pleasant and peaceful ride to Fort Erie. The path winds under a busy border crossing and international bridge, with views across the river and Lake Erie to Buffalo, New York. Let a visit to the Old Fort turn back time, with an opportunity to learn more about this strategic location and National Heritage Site, before arriving at nearby hotel. Enjoy overnight accommodations at the certified bicycle friendly Clarion Hotel, with nearby dinner options or dining in house.
Suggested Start Location: Municipal Parking Lot – 110 Front Street North, Thorold, Ontario. Please contact municipality and arrange permission for overnight parking.
Day 2: Fort Erie to Thorold – 58km
Day 2 of this self-guided itinerary starts off with a lovely morning ride along a mellow 24km between Fort Erie and Port Colborne. This is called the ‘The Friendship Trail’ and is a lovely rail trail that follows the shores of Lake Erie. With trail side stop options at famed Erie beaches, including Crystal Beach and Sherkston, or quieter more secluded spots, cooling down with a dip in the lake is definitely an option. Pulling into Port Colborne for lunch, take time to explore the historic shopping district, promenade, and Lock 8 to find out more about the town’s rich maritime heritage. After lunch, the route will follow the Welland Canal north, through the town of Welland and ending back at Thorold after a great day’s ride and weekend getaway.
Additional Visitor Information:
Use below to find out more about ride area and plan an extra day or two to see more.
Getting To/From Start:
Transportation options also include GO Transit with trains on weekends in June running between Toronto and Burlington. Transfer to GO bus service to St Catharines Fairview Mall (limit 2 bikes per bus). Ride south to Thorold, approximately 9km. Consult GO Transit schedules and regional cycling map to plan route and for times.
Arriving Early / Staying Late:
Consider an overnight option in Thorold at certified bicycle friendly accommodations:
The Inn at Lock Seven or Robinsong Bed & Breakfast or Morning Star Bed & Breakfast
Or stay at other nearby Ontario By Bike Network accommodations in Niagara all listed HERE.
Photo Credits: Vicky Laurens, Martin Reis and Ontario By Bike
For More Information Contact:
Ontario By Bike
Phone: 416-827-2774 / 1-866-701-2774
Email: info (at) ontariobybike.ca
Also See Other Ontario By Bike Rides For 2018
Return to Main Ontario By Bike Rides Page
for detailed information visit www.ontariobybike.ca/rides