Bicycling in Niagara is becoming an increasingly popular way for visitors and locals to experience the rich and beautiful diversity of the region. From the lush vineyards, farms, and orchards that fill the countryside to the 12 municipalities that make up the more urban parts of the area, touring Niagara by bike is an ideal way to get to know the place in an entirely new way.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist with thousands of miles under your belt, or you haven’t been on a bicycle since grade school, the Greater Niagara Circle Route’s meandering, paved path will satisfy your two-wheeled wanderlust. So, pick your favorite hotel, dust off your helmet, and experience the 105-mile trail that makes up the Greater Niagara Circle Route.
When you embark on a tour of the circle route, you’ll find yourself in a myriad of different settings and landscapes. Urban business districts, charming towns, fertile farmland, and stunning waterfronts are par for the course, and they give you just as much reason to take a break from your pedaling to sightsee, shop, and swim, as they do a reason to keep pushing onward, so you can discover what’s around the next bend. Because the path is paved, walkers, runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers all take advantage of it, so you’ll rarely be without other companions — especially in and near the seven municipalities that the trail goes by or through.
With Lake Ontario forming its northern border; the Niagara River forming its eastern one; Lake Erie to the south; and the Welland Canal flanking the route to the west, when you’re out on your bike on this route, you’ll never be far from water. The circle route also passes by the Niagara Escarpment, which means you’ll be able to get up close and personal with this United Nations Biosphere Reserve and its enchanting Carolinian forests. As you ride, you’ll find plenty of reasons to wander off to explore, especially because the circle route joins up with the Trans Canada Trail and the following bicycle routes:
- Welland Canal Parkway Trail. This trail runs along the part of the canal that’s abandoned. Flowering banks burst with color on this waterway that’s been chosen as the site for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Anerican Games’ Canoe/Kayak Sprint events.
- The Friendship Trail. A former railroad line, this trail connects Fort Erie and Port Colborne. It follows Lake Erie through vineyards, villages, and neighborhoods for a quaint and picturesque ride.
- Niagara River Recreation Trail. Starting in Fort Erie, this trail gives cyclists a chance at many of Niagara’s highpoints. See Niagara Falls in all its mighty glory. Stop at a winery for a taste of world-class local wine. Marvel at the whirlpool in the bottom of Niagara Gorge. You can do all this and more on this trail.
- Waterfront Trail. Located between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, this trail takes you through dozens of vineyards and fruit stands, as well as Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you’re a history buff, this trail will bring you by old forts and historic sites for a history lesson via bike.
The Greater Niagara Circle Route is a fascinating way to see Niagara. Whether you bike it alone or with a friend, you’ll find Niagara is even more magical than you’d even imagined.
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