Niagara Falls is well-known for our natural wonder, Niagara Falls, but many people are unaware of our other natural beauty, the great outdoors, compliments of Mother Nature.
So the next time you are visiting this great place of wonder, be sure to pack your hiking shoes, golf shoes, running shoes and binoculars and get ready to get outdoorsy in Niagara.
Niagara has joined the ranks of the world’s premier golf destinations in terms of challenge, design, aesthetics, course conditioning, facilities and service. The Top Five Recommended Courses (from our panel of Niagara Golfers):
Walk, Hike or Bike
Walking has been identified as one of the favourite physical activities of Canadians. The Niagara Region has many recreational trails that are perfect for walking, hiking or biking. Here are our top two “must-tackle” trails.
The Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve)
It is on the top of the list for hikers. It’s a world unto itself, encompassing farms, recreation areas, sweeping scenic views, 1675 foot cliffs, streams, wetlands, rolling hills, waterfalls, wildlife and so much history. The Niagara Escarpment’s hiking trail is most commonly known as the Bruce Trail, which starts at Queenston Heights and takes a diagonal path 773 km through Southern Ontario to the tip Tobermory on the Bruce Trail.
Bruce Trail Day is an annual event celebrating Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, hosted by the Bruce Trail Conservancy and each of its nine Bruce Trail Clubs. Bruce Trail Day is Sunday, October 5th, 2014. Save the Date. More details to be announced soon.
For downloadable maps and guided hikes, visit http://brucetrail.org/pages/trail
The Niagara River Recreation Trail
This 56 km scenic paved trail runs parallel to the Niagara River from historic Fort Erie in the South to Fort George in the North. At the halfway point, you can’t miss the natural wonder, Niagara Falls.This paved path was constructed in 1986 for non-motorized traffic. It is divided into four scenic sections, each with its own history and high adventure set amidst lovely countryside. It takes one to two hours to pedal leisurely each of these sections: (1) Niagara-on-the-Lake to Queenston; (2) Queenston to the Whirlpool Aero Car; (3) Chippawa to Black Creek; (4) Black Creek to Fort Erie.
For more information visit, http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails/view/niagara-river-recreation-trail
Looking for bike rentals? Visit Mac’s Bike Rentals, which is conveniently located just outside the hotel grounds. Explore Niagara at your own pace or ask about some of their recommended routes.
Niagara is also a popular destination for birds. In 1996, the entire Niagara River corridor – stretching 56 kilometers from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario – became the first site in North America to receive international recognition as a “Globally Significant Important Bird Area” by major conservation groups in both Canada and the United States. Starting in mid-November, the river comes alive with more than 100,000 gulls on migratory flights from as far north as Greenland and the Canadian Arctic to as far south as Florida.
The Niagara River is also home for numerous species of ducks, geese and swans in the Wintertime. Along the Canadian shore near Old Fort Erie, people gather with binoculars to watch American Widgeon, Redhead, Canvasback and numerous other species of ducks. The ducks can be seen diving and bobbing for fish downstream from a floating boom Canada and the United States installs across the head of the Niagara River each winter to hold back massive fields of lake ice. As the ducks feed, they let the current carry them downstream toward the Peace Bridge (crossing the Niagara River to Buffalo, New York) before beating their wings back to the boom to begin the cycle again.
The Niagara River received international attention in the spring and summer of 1998, when a pair of peregrine falcons successfully hatched and fledged three chicks on a narrow ledge of rock along the Niagara River Gorge, a mere 200 meters from the Horseshoe Falls. This was the first documented case of peregrine falcons choosing a natural area to nest in southern Ontario, and it was spectacular for countless visitors who caught a glimpse of these powerful birds of prey soaring through the mist near the Horseshoe Falls. (Source: Niagara Parks: 2014).
You are going to need a place to rest your feet after all of this activity with nature. Have we got the perfect Niagara Falls accommodations for you. The Courtyard by Marriott is one of the closest Niagara Falls hotels to these natural Niagara Falls attractions.
Niagara certainly is the place to be for nature lovers!