Exploring the Outdoors

IN NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

The following directories and resources can help enhance your stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Parks

Our many beautifully maintained parks are available to the public at no charge. Some facilities within the parks (gazebo in Queen’s Royal Park, sport fields, etc) can also be reserved by calling the Parks & Recreation office at 905‑468‑3266.

The most popular parks close to downtown are as follow:

Queen’s Royal Park (waterfront, gazebo, view of US Fort Niagara)

Simcoe Park (centrally located, wading pool, band shell, picnic tables, washrooms and playground equipment)

Veterans Memorial Park (outdoor public pool, sport facilities)

Ryerson Park (waterfront, small beach, view of Toronto Skyline)

You can click here for a map of the Niagara-on-the-Lake parks, and here for a complete list.

Niagara River Parkway

The Niagara River Parkway starts at the convergence of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then travels 55 kilometers to its southern point at Lake Erie. In 1943, Sir Winston Churchill described the Niagara River Parkway as the ‘’prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world’’. Today, the Niagara River Parkway still offers unsurpassed views of the Niagara River, along with a bike trail that runs along its entire length.

Follow this link for an interactive map of the Niagara River Parkway. Enjoy the ride!

Botanical Gardens

Niagara Parks’ Botanical Gardens is located on the scenic Niagara River Parkway and the Great Gorge, just a 15-minute drive south of Historic downtown Niagara–on-the-Lake.

This beautiful garden setting is home to the Butterfly Conservatory and serves as the unique outdoor classroom for students attending the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Throughout the blooming season, enjoy perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, formal parterre garden, shade, herb and vegetable plantings, as well as our world-famous rose garden featuring over 2,400 roses.

Access to the garden itself is free but there is a fee for parking and to enter the Butterfly Conservatory.

Follow this link for more information.

Cycling in Niagara

Niagara’s cycling scene offers everything from spectacular views to quaint and tranquil wine country roads. Whatever your cycling ambitions, you are sure to find your perfect adventure in Niagara-on-the-Lake!

Click here to access Niagara Cycling Tourism Center website

Bring your own bicycles or rent some in one of our Niagara-on-the-Lake bike rentals: Zoom Bike rental, Grape Escape

Hiking in Niagara

The Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada, and it starts right here in Niagara. Every year, more than 400,000 visits are made to the Trail as people walk, snowshoe, watch wildlife, take photographs and admire the glorious scenery of the Escarpment.

At 840 kilometers in length, and with over 440 kilometers of side trails, the Bruce Trail was instrumental in the Escarpment being named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1990 – one of only twelve such reserves in all of Canada. Its southern portion is located in between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls in Queenston Heights Park.

Follow this link for more information about the trail, app and downloadable maps.

The Niagara Glen
The Niagara Glen is part of Niagara Parks and is located in on the side of the Niagara River Parkway, close to the Botanical Gardens. It is a 15 minute car ride from downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. A designated Nature Reserve since 1992, the Niagara Glen overlooks the Niagara River Whirlpool and is a unique spot of beauty deep in the Great Gorge. Stairways lead to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago.

Follow this link for more information about the Glen and maps.

Other Trails
There are many more nature trails to discover in the Greater Niagara!

Click here for a complete list.

Historic Sites

Having been a pivotal location during the War of 1812, the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake itself has been declared a National Historic Site. Here are the main designated historical sites to discover during your visit.

Fort George National Historic Site
Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site
Fort Mississauga and Mississauga Point Lighthouse National Historic Site
Queenston Heights National Historic Site
St. Mark’s Church

To learn more about Niagara-on-the-Lake rich history you can also visit the Niagara Historical Society Museum

You can also take our free virtual walking tour of 1812 Niagara!