Niagara River – Park Trail

Niagara on the Lake to Fort Erie
Posted on June 2, 2018 / 9901
Niagara River – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : Popular
Total Trail Km : 53
Park Path % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : paved, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length –  53 km (one way)

90% park path
10% road, crossings, detours

Elevation – gradual slope from Lake Ont., large switchback at Queenston then level to Lake Erie

Terrain – wide path, paved asphalt, some crushed stone & gravel, road riding in Niagara Falls

Skill – easy

Maps –  signs and maps on trail

Facilities –  parking on street, washrooms, food, water, lodging, bike rentals

Highlights – very scenic ride!, Niagara falls, large river, lookouts, garden parks, estates, forts, historic towns

Trail Fee – free

Phone – 1 800 563-2557

Website – Niagara Cycling Tourism, Niagara Falls Tourism,  Niagara Parks

Similar Trails – Hamilton Beach, Ajax Waterfront, Welland Canal

Local Clubs – St. Catharines Cycling Club, Niagara Freewheelers

Access –  A popular trail with many parking lots to start from along the Niagara Parkway.

The Niagara River Recreation Trail is one of the best Park trails in Ontario. As this 53 km trail is paved, it is a well-used path that winds along the Niagara River. You’ll never get bored of the sights and attractions.

The mighty Niagara Falls is undoubtedly the big draw and is located in the middle of this route. Other highlights are lookouts over the river gorge and the fast-flowing water, as well as stately homes, flower gardens, quaint eateries, historical statues and forts.

Since it is 100 km return-trip, I typically ride only from one end or the other—to the Falls and back.

There is one main difference between each section. Above Niagara Falls, riding in north from Fort Erie, the river flows just a few metres below the riverbank trail.

However, if you ride south from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Falls, the trail starts close to the river and contains an approximately 100 m switchback at Queenston. From there to the Falls the now-turbulent river is way below in the gorge.

Take a moment to visit the quaint and historic parts of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston. Or, you may like the buzz of tourists and bright lights of Niagara Falls. Fort Erie is more of a working border town, with a Rail trail that carries on along Lake Erie.

This well-maintained paved path is free of cars and runs parallel to the road through picturesque parkland.

Watch for the many crossovers at…


Read more of this review in my trail guidebook, plus 64 others. Featuring better maps, parking locations and elevation graphs. Available as an eBook or paperback.

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Total Score 4 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • February 16, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    We have done this trail many times. Prefer the stretch from Fort Erie to Dufferin Islands the best. The part from Queenston to NOTL can get busy, suggest skipping it on week ends. We often start at the Willougby Museum, that has a washroom and picnic tables. It is very scenic and safe ride . We often stop at the marina for a ice cream and head back from there. Can hardly wait to return, my wife's favourite trail Bring a picnic!!!

  • May 19, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Great scenic ride. Dealing with tourists on the path by the falls isn’t fun so road riding is better during that section. Wind off the river cools you down.

  • June 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    We enjoy once a year going here for a ride. We do a different section every time, slowly with the kids. Ice stops are mandatory.

  • August 20, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    A great destination for a bike ride out of town for the family or a date. Doing even half the length and back is plenty for most.

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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: