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Bicycle Ride

Niagara Biking - The Welland Canal Trail

Bicycle Ride · Ontario
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    Photo: Chase Marston, Macs Adventure
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Ride along the scenic Welland Canal from Port Colborne back into the wine country. Admire the intricate lock-system and enormous freighters, and end in the cozy and familiar Niagara-on-the-Lake

56.5 km
4:15 h
17 m
108 m

Depart Port Colborne and join the Wellend Canal Trail system, 20+ miles of mulit-use paved trails that highlight the industry, natural beauty, and transportation efficiency of the St. Lawrence waterway. Pedal alongside the 8 lock, taking special note of the 5 in Thorold City, which lower the cargo ships over 300 feet to the elevation of Lake Ontario. As the Canal trail ends, rejoin the road leading to Niagara-on-the-Lake and finish the ride passing the familiar territory of lake-front Vineyards and quintessential 19th century housesinto Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Author’s recommendation

If you have a chance to see the massive freighters slowly traveling down the canal, take a minute or two to watch them. The Welland Canal is a feat of engineering and is worth admiring! Locks 7, 6, 5, and 4 are in quick secession and are also worth watching if there is a boat coming through. User
Chase Marston
Updated: April 29, 2019

Highest point
184 m
Lowest point
77 m

Safety information

*Note, as of May, 2019, there is a section of Lakeshore Road a few miles before reaching Niagara on the Lake that is under construction. The road condition will change daily so please be aware of signs directing local car & bike traffic. At the time of writing, it is a passable, temporary dirt road. If they day's riding allows, pass with care. If unpassable, take the alternate route along East and West Line Road into town. 


Inspect your bike for any damage before you begin your ride. Please check for issues with the frame, components, wheels, and breaks. Ensure there are no loose cables or straps and that the tires are inflated. If you are doubtful of the condition of your rental bike, please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack. Always wear a helmet when cycling.


Be aware of traffic at all times. While most locals drivers are accustomed to seeing bikers, there are many visiting drivers unfamiliar with the roads, so always pay attention to passing traffic. When not on a bike path, utilize the shoulder whenever possible, ride single file on the right side of the road, and obey road signs. When passing through towns, stay alert and ride defensively as drivers will have a lot to focus on. Mind inconstant pavement and unique intersection lanes.


The many bike paths in the region included on the ride are well maintained, thoughtfully built, and provide safety from the main road. However, they are not without danger and can at times be very busy. Be aware of other rides when passing or being passed, and always yield to walkers.


When crossing over bridges, be aware of the material of the surface of the road. Many of the bridges - mainly those over canals - are not suitable for bikes as the gaps a long and will arrest your bike wheel. Defer to the route notes / turn by turn directs for insight to these bridges before you cross. Furthermore, some train tracks do not run perpendicular to the trail, which present an opportunity for your wheel to get stuck. Always pass over tracks in a perpandicular manner or dismount and walk. 


When leaving your bike unattended in town or at a winery, always use the lock provided to protect your rental. Furthermore, be sure to bring your valuables with you wherever you go as they are not necessarily safe in the bike bag.


Always be sure to check the weather before beginning your ride. Rain and fog can reduce visibility and can affect how you normally ride your bike.


In addition to your preferred bike shorts and shoes, please make sure that you also have a rain layer and warm layer in the event of inclement weather. Many riders also enjoy gloves for extra padding on the handlebars.


Though most routes will pass stores for food and drink, bring enough snacks and water to sustain yourself for the day. Many riders enjoy reservoir backpacks in addition to water bottles. Please also bring proper cash/credit card, navigation equipment, emergency phone numbers, and a way to charge your phone.


Always wear a helmet and pack a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tire levers, and handpump. You may also like to take a multi-tool. Note, there are a few public bike repair stations throughout each day’s ride. Take note and use if necessary.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest


The Welland Canal 

This modern marvel is the 4th version of a revolutionary waterway from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The 8 locks are fascinating to watch, and a true highlight of this day's ride. 

Welland International Flatwater Centre

Home to some of the Word's Elite rowing, canoeing, dragon boating, water polo, and various other water sports - this centre takes advantage of an unused section of an old canal to promote flatwater sports. It is truly the flatwater capital of Canada

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre 

A small but rich museum with local history exibits and a platform for viewing the ships passing through Lock 3. 

Sunset Beach 

Just off of the main route, continue on the west side of the Welland Canal to the waterfront and enjoy a quick swim on the beach!

Jones Beach 

Also just off the trail, but on the east side of the canal. Simply cross the bridge over Lock 1 and turn left, continuing to the waterfront. Consider taking the Seaway Haulage Road out onto the peninsula at the Canals entrance to Lake Ontario for stunning views of the coastline & of Toronto!


Wineries - both on the passport and near the end of the ride

Konzelmann Estate Winery - a waterfront gem with an beauiful scene & delicious wine. 

Hinterbrook Estate Winery - delicious wine also known as NOMAD, where you can sample the wine and even paint your own label as you drink!


Food and Drink

Welland - The Black Sheep Lounge, just off of the main route. Evelyn's Sandwich Factory, just off the main route. 

Thorold - Thorod Fish and Chips or Riganelli's Bakery, both in the center of town, less than 1/2 mile off the main route. 

Note, Judith at the Talwood Manor can make a bagged lunch if given 48 hours notice. 


Talwood Manor, Port Colborne (181 m)
42.888206, -79.257279
17T 642305 4749873


Simcoe Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Turn-by-turn directions

0.0 Miles – Leave the Talmoor Manor and TURN RIGHT out of the drive way onto Fielden Rd, and immediately TURN RIGHT onto Elgin Street.


0.3 Miles – TURN RIGHT onto King Street.


0.35 Miles – TURN LEFT onto Princess Street and follow this as is curves 90 degrees to the right.


0.4 Miles – At the stop sign at Clarance Street, at the base of the bridge, dismount your bike and walk along the left side of the bridge on the pedestrian section.


0.45 Miles – On the far side of the bridge, re-mount your bike and immediately TURN LEFT on the trail through the park. At the small circle in the park, BEAR LEFT to continue to the Canal Trail.


1.3 Miles – At the T-intersection with the Road, wait for the pedestrian walk sign and cross over the bridge street. When safe, ride across the Bridge or walk via the pedestrian section, and immediately TURN RIGHT after crossing into the park. Continue on The Welland Canals trail through the park.


1.65 Miles – In the same park, the trail will come to a parking lot and split into two direction. Though they rejoin shortly, TURN LEFT and take the path the follows the road.


1.7 Miles – TURN RIGHT onto Main Street with the vehicle traffic coming from the same direction.


1.75 Miles – TURN LEFT on Ramey Ave


1.8 Miles – TURN RIGHT to rejoin the Welland Canals Trail.


2.0 Miles – BEAR LEFT to stay on the Welland Canals Trail. Turn right for an optional out-and-back to Derek Point.


6.3 Miles – As the Welland Canals Trail comes to the T-intersection with Canal Bank Street (a major road), TURN LEFT and remain on the left-hand sidewalk over the bridge.


6.6 Miles – Use the pedestrian walk sign to cross STRAIGHT ON over Townline Tunnel Road.


6.7 Miles – After rejoining the Welland Canals Trail, TURN LEFT at the trail split, keeping the canal on your right.


6.8 Miles – As you come to the Welland International Flatwater Rowing Centre – the trail goes on either side of the building, but the route to the left has a bike pump should you need air for your tires.


7.6 Miles – BEAR RIGHT on the Welland Canals Trail just before arriving at a T-Intersection with a major road. Use the pedestrian walk sign to cross over and continue STRAIGHT ON the Welland Canal Trail.


8.25 Miles – As you come to the T-intersection with Lincoln Street, a major road, TURN LEFT on the pedestrian multi-use path to the closest stop light. TURN RIGHT by using the pedestrian walk sign to cross Lincoln Street, and once across, immediately TURN RIGHT again to rejoin the Welland Canals Trail.


9 Miles – After a short climb, enter the left bank of the town of Welland. For ease of navigating the small, busy intersection, dismount your hike and TURN LEFT to walk along the left sidewalk to the first road intersection. Using the pedestrian walk signs, cross kitty-corner to the far side. Walk toward the bridge, and TURN LEFT just before it to rejoin the Welland Canals Trail. The next section is a multi-use path that may have more walkers, so proceed slowly.


12.4 Miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON the Welland Canals Trail.


15.6 Miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON the Welland Canals Trail


18.3 Miles – After crossing the train tracks and a small bridge, BEAR RIGHT to stay on the Welland Canals Trail. Immediately after, cross another set of tracks and BEAR LEFT.


19.2 Miles – Come upon the first of the Thorold Canal Locks (Locks 3-7). TURN LEFT onto Welland Canals Parkway Road, and after 100 ft, make a 180-degree turn to rejoin the Welland Canals Trail. If there is time and a ship, enjoy watching the massive locks working from the Viewing Center next to the trail.


20.3 Miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON the Welland Canals Trail.


20.8 Miles – As the trail comes to a major road, cross STRAIGHT ON over the Welland Canal Parkway, and then use pedestrian walk signs to TURN LEFT and cross over the main street – Glendale Ave – just before the bridge to continue on the Welland Canals Trail.


21.6 Miles – Come to the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre. Follow the trail around, leaving the Centre to your left.


24.25 Miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON over the Welland Canal Parkway before a gentle downhill past Lock 2.


25.9 Miles – BEAR RIGHT to remain on the Welland Canals Trail


26.0 Miles – TURN RIGHT onto Lakeshore Road and cross over Lock 1 Bridge. Remain on the far right side as the bridge surface is better suited for bicycles.

*If you'd like to visit Sunset Beach, continue STRAIGHT ON the Welland Canal Path before crossing the bridge to the trail's terminus at the beach, an additional mile farther along the trail.

*If you'd like to visit Jones Beach (smaller than Sunset) or the Peninsula into Lake Ontario, cross over the bridge and immediately take your 1st left onto Broadway Street. After .3 miles, TURN LEFT at the T-intersection and then BEAR RIGHT on Broadway for .6 mile to reach the beach. To visit the Peninsula, turn left at the T-intersection, but BEAR LEFT immediately after onto Seaway Haulage Road and continue as far as you'd like out the Peninsula. From Lakeshore Road to the end is 2.0 miles total. 


Note – the remainder of the ride will be on a road, opposed to a multi-use bike path. Remain on the right side in the bike lane, ride singe file, and be aware of the vehicles.


28.8 Miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON Lakeshore Road as the road turns left. Do not follow signs for Niagara via East & West Line Road or Townline Road.


**NOTE - as of May, 2019, a short section of Lakeshore Road into town is under construction and may not be passable. Please follow local signs and call Zoom Leisure for any questions. If the road is not passable, TURN RIGHT onto East and West Line Road. After 2.9 miles, cross over Niagara Stone Rd / Rt 55, and TURN LEFT onto the multi-use recreation path. The path with end after 1.5 miles, but continue STRAIGHT ON into the town of Niagara on the Lake. 


29.3 Miles – BEAR RIGHT to stay on Lakeshore Road.


30.6 Miles – Pass the optional stop at Konzelmann Estate Winery on your left (on the Tasting Passport).


30.9 Miles - Pass the optional stop at Hinterbrook Estate Winery on your right (on the Tasting Passport).


32.2 Miles – TURN LEFT onto Shakespeare Ave.


33.65 Miles – Immediately after the road reaches the lake and takes a nearly 180-degree turn, TURN LEFT onto Niagara Blvd


34.1 Miles – BEAR LEFT to stay on Niagara Blvd. Continue on this road past the golf course and into town.


35 Miles – Arrive in the center of Niagara-on-the-Lake at Simcoe Park, and either park your bike to enjoy town, or return to your accommodations. Alternatively, ride to Zoom Leisure Rentals.


To Zoom - Return backward on Niagara Blvd .2 miles and TURN LEFT on Mississagua St., continue for .4 miles, arriving at Zoom on your right).


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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56.5 km
17 m
108 m


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