We are blessed here in Niagara with a large number of BEAUTIFUL trails at our disposal. From Provincial Parks to conservation areas and nature preserves, there really is something for everyone!
Town of Grimsby
Is home to a number of trails for both hiking and cycling.
Town of Lincoln
Offers on and off-road walking trails, multi-use trials, connections to local, regional, provincial and national trail systems. Residents and visitors can plan their trip or route using the Town’s map.
Is home to some of the most scenic trails in the region. There are two local trails for you to explore.
There are more than 130km of trails associated with the Niagara Section of the Bruce Trail all of which are maintained by volunteers. The southern terminus of the Bruce Trail is located at a stone cairn in Queenston Heights Park. Near Niagara Falls, the park is perched on the west side of a deep gorge carved over the centuries by the Niagara River. The Niagara Section is 83km long, ending in Grimsby, at a little bridge crossing 40 Mile Creek.
Basic Hiking Etiquette
#1 – Leave No Trace
The basic idea is that when you leave a trail, you should leave behind no sign that you were ever there allowing for the hikers who come after you to enjoy the full experience. This means that any and all garbage and supplies that enter the trail with you must also leave with you when you’re done. If it wasn’t there when you arrived, it shouldn’t be there when you’re done. Taking this a step further, if you do see litter along the trail, pick it up and leave the trail a little better than you found it!
#2 – Stay On the Trail (If Using Marked Trails)
Continuing on the discussion of Leave No Trace, always stick to the existing trails. If you are hiking on a set of trails, don’t stray from them unless absolutely necessary. You may not realize it but stepping off the trails can cause damage to the ecosystem that you are currently exploring by damaging or even killing native plant and animal species. If the trails are too flooded or muddy, wait to take your hike on a different day when the trails will be accessible once again. Walking around mud patches and puddles that cover the trail will contribute to erosion, causing long-term damage to your favourite trails.
#3 – Know Your Right of Way (And Yield to It)
Depending on the trail that you are travelling, you may find yourself encountering other hikers. In order to ensure that everyone can enjoy their experience (and do so safely), you need to understand the right of way guidelines and do your best to adhere to them. This will allow you to pass one another safely and both continue on your day. There are right of way considerations for hikers encountering other hikers. If you are a solo hiker or a small group, be prepared to yield to larger groups. It’s easier for you to move out of the way for a dozen other hikers than it would be for all of them to move for you. If you are on a hill, those travelling downhill should yield to hikers going uphill. It takes more energy to hike uphill and your visibility is limited to a shorter distance in front of you while hikers travelling downhill have clear visibility. Finally, much like on a road, if you come up behind a hiker you should pass on the left. Be sure to announce your arrival if you are coming up behind another hiker so that you don’t startle anyone.
#4 – Be Friendly and Amicable
No hiker is more entitled to the trails than any other. This is important to remember when you are out and about on your outdoor adventures. Adding to this, you can approach or interact with your fellow hikers in a friendly and amicable manner. If you do encounter other hikers, greet them in a kind way. This doesn’t mean you have to stop and engage in conversation with them for the next 15 minutes, but even a smile and a nod of the head can have a significant impact on their day!
#5 – Minimize Noise Pollution
Another way that you can show respect to other hikers is to minimize your noise pollution when you are out in the trails. Remember, everyone is out here to enjoy the great outdoors. While there is nothing wrong with talking among your group when you’re hiking, try to keep volume levels down to a respectable level. Don’t shout on the trails unless it is absolutely necessary during an emergency situation.
#6 – Be A Responsible Dog Owner
If you are hiking on a trail with set leash laws, follow them. These laws are in place for a number of reasons including protecting your dog, other dogs that you encounter, the natural wildlife in the area and other hikers on the trail. Further to this, keep in mind that not all hikers are dog lovers. There are many people who love the great outdoors but may be afraid of your dog, regardless of their size. When you are passing other hikers, always keep your dog close and under control. Assume that everyone you meet is afraid of dogs at first and react accordingly. If someone wants to approach your dog, they have the opportunity to ask you. ALWAYS travel with dog poop bags on hand. It is your responsibility to clean up after your dog. After you have used a bag, be prepared to carry that out with you. Going back to the Leave No Trace rule, no one else wants to see your dog’s poop bags sitting decoratively on the side of the trail.