Welland Canal – Park Trail

St. Catharines to Port Colborne
Posted on June 30, 2018 / 11895
Welland Canal – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : EPIC Ride
Total Trail Km : 42
Park Path % : 95
Road % : 5
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : sandy spots, paved, bridges
Faclities : parking, food close by, drinking water, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 42 km (one way)

95% park path
5% road crossings, detours

Elevation – hill at each lock on the north end, flattens out beyond Thorold

Terrain – paved wide path, bridge crossing, a few short road detours

Skill – all levels

Maps – good signage

Facilities –  food and lodging available along the way, restrooms, bike repair station

Highlights – freighters, locks, bridges

Trail Fee – free

Phone – none

Website – Niagara Cycling Tourism

Similar Trails – Niagara River, Hamilton Beach, Rideau Canal

Local Clubs – Short Hills Club, Bikefit Sunflowers

Access –  Parking north end starts at Charles Ansell Park, south end starts HH Knoll Lakeview Park, Welland Canal Centre and Museum, Allanburg bridge, many parking spots on route

The 42 km Welland Canal bike path makes for a great weekend outing—or two! This historic canal from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie is a beautiful, scenic, and established route along the water’s edge.

The sights vary along the way, but the large freighters drifting down the canal and the giant locks are definitely sights to see. There are stretches of homes, industries, and open parklands, as well as the occasional bridge to cross.

On the west side, the route follows the canal for most of the way. It is a spacious paved path that is well–marked with a few detours.

From the north end, you can start at Lake Ontario by including the George Nicholson Trail for another 3 km; officially, it begins at the first bridge/lock on Lakeshore Rd.

As you cycle along the edge of St. Catharines and the canal, you will pass two locks and start to climb. By the town of Thorold and the third lock, you will have to climb the Niagara Escarpment which is a good-sized hill. Continuing south, the rest of the ride south is a flat and leisurely cruise.

Further on, riders will cross a few bridges and end up at an island with natural parkland and wooded areas.

The path diverts away, through the city of Welland, to run along the older, closed canal for 14 km before rejoining up to the main one. On the return, there is an option of riding…


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

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Total Score 5 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • April 11, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Great path, gets you into nature, needs some repair stations found one in Welland but few in between and want operational . Great in the summer especially by the flat water area and if some events are happening .Must be extremely careful if heading to the Dain city section also needs signage to direct you behind the rowing to the path to port Colborne Besides that what a unbelievable enjoyable biking path, nevermind the one from Port Colborne to Fort Erie or Fort Erie to NOTL Niagara has so much to offer.

  • February 28, 2021 at 8:23 am

    One of my favourite trails, if it is not too windy out. One big hill around the Robin Hood Plant and in Thorold. Well maintained and all off road.

  • September 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Easy ride. Go to Nickel beach in Port Colborne. Great day. Very enjoyable.

  • July 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Scenic, peaceful path that for the most part, is in exceptionally good condition. The path is rarely crowded and has plenty of places to stop and rest. Long site lines allow for a relaxed group ride.

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:59 am

    An epic long park trail, good for any type of bike and rider. Make it long or a short ride and come back. Hilly on the north end, flat on the south.

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