Explore the heart of quintessential Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region on this delightful, introductory loop ride via vineyards, quiet roads, and bike paths.
Begin at the bike shop with a quick sizing and orientation to get familiar with your bicycle. From here, follow a multi-use path paralleling a popular road leading to the small town of Virgil. Turn into the heart of wine country and ride on a combination of bike paths and quiet backroads connecting a number of the region’s best-known vineyards. As the day’s ride is only 12 miles, be sure to stop and visit a few wineries before returning to Niagara-on-the-falls via the Niagara Falls Parkway multi-use path. Marynissen is the only vineyard on the Passport that you pass on the main route, also seek out Rancourt and Riverview Cellars. For further details on the numerous other vineyards to visit, see the Tips, Hints and Links section or refer to your additional maps provided in the Information Packet.
Take time before the ride to pick which vineyards you might stop to see - there are many options and it helps to prioritize those you are most excited about!
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 riders when passing or being passed, and always yield to walkers.
Be aware of the few instances where the multi-use path merges onto a “Service Road,” or a type of driveway that parallels the main road. Though limited to residents, there may be traffic on these roads.
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.
Vignoble Rancourt Winery - A small detour from the day's route will take you to this vineyard on the passport for a free tasting. Just under 2 miles into the ride, TURN RIGHT onto East and West Line Road, and then TURN RIGHT at the 1st road onto Concession 4 Rd. The Vineyard will be on your right after 600ft.
Caroline Cellars - Not on the passport, but a stop is recommended. After turning left onto Line 2 Rd, Caroline will be 1.2 miles on your left. A wonderful lunch experience at the onsite Farmhouse Café is not to be missed, especially as wine tasting while you wait is included and encouraged!
Marynissen Estates Winery - follow the itinerary down Concessions 1 Rd to this Vineyard for a free tasting from the passport.
Inniskillin Wines - not on the passbook, but a famous vineyard known well beyond this region.
Riverview Cellars - this is less than 1/2 a mile off of your route but is on tomorrow's route. It is on the passbook and worth visiting one of the two days! When you reach the Niagara Recreation Path, TURN RIGHT instead of left, and Riverview will be on your right after .4 miles.
Peller Estate Winery and Restaurant - One of the most gorgeous vineyards in Niagara region, it is worth a visit and tasting - a great one to save for "the best for last!" Make sure to check out the multiple dining options and consider returning for dinner. It will be a memorable meal. See the Peller Dining Options here.
Silversmith Brewing Company
Pair tasteful craft beer with a unique, exciting atmosphere inside of an old repurposed church. In the town of Virgil, early on in the bike ride.
Points of Interest
Shaw Festival Theatre
A world-famous theatre that hosts events, plays, musicals throughout the summer. See the website to see what might be in town for your trip!
Toward the end of the ride along the Niagara Recreational Trail, pull over to admire the two-hundred-year-old home that has "stood as a monument to the impeccable demeanor, good taste and gracious living that epitomizes Niagara-on-the-Lake." Enjoy scones and afternoon tea in the Conservatory Tea room throughout the summer
Niagara Historical Museum
Off of King St. and Gage Street just before the ride ends, it has all the region's history in one place! See link here for more information.
Food and Drink
In addition to Caroline Estate's Farmhouse Café, Niagara-on-the-Lake has so many great lunch options! The Queen Street options range from Pieza Pizzeria, Sandwich Bar, and Cork's Winebar and Eatery, but don't overlook the Sandtrap just outside of town!