It’s just the beginning of Fall and the humidity of summer has disappeared. At the time of writing this the mornings are cool and crisp – perfect for savouring a hot coffee, throwing on a sweater, and getting outside for a hike.
Since moving to St Catharines from Australia in late May I have been eager to hike the trails in the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, but it has been so hot. Today is our perfect opportunity.
It’s not my first time hiking here. When I visited in winter a couple of years ago, a friend took us to the Niagara Glen. It was a spectacular day – blue skies, and white snow – but the ice made it particularly treacherous hiking in the Glen where the steps are mostly smooth slippery, and sometimes loose, stones.
This is not a great hike to take young children or babies. There is no pram or wheelchair access down to the nature trails, just a steep metal staircase to the bottom of the sheer cliff face. We did hike with our bub in the carrier on this particular trip, which works fine if you have enough strength and good balance to make it up and down. However, next time I will plan an adult-only outing here to savour the peaceful surrounds.
From the bottom of the staircase there are 2.6 kilometres of trails heading down to the edge of the rushing Niagara river. We descend stone steps through trees and around massive mossy boulders.
Seeing the red leaves of Autumn begin to appear amongst the forest is spectacular and hearing the river rush by – serene. Leafy tunnels open up to sweeping views of the Niagara River and the stone cliffs on the other side.
It takes us about 30 minutes of meandering to get to the river where we sit and snack while enjoying the view.
Heading back up to the car I can only think about when I will get back here again and how fortunate we are to live less than 20 minutes drive from such an amazing hike. However, there are plenty of other adventures to be had in the outdoors here and I can’t wait to explore them all.
Location 3050 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0