Walking around the town is always enjoyable at any time of the year but for me, the summer is still my favorite. With all the flowers on display and trees in full leaf, the town is ‘alive’ with tourists and locals shopping, sight-seeing, riding in horse drawn carriages and just enjoying the atmosphere.
Click here to see information about walking the Niagara River Parkway and Bruce Trail.
After walking the length of Queen Street to the intersection with King Street, it is a short walk along the edge of Simcoe Park down to the shores of Lake Ontario. From the famous bandstand on the edge of Queens Royal Park, there are great views toward Fort Niagara across the river in the USA and views to Toronto.
The Niagara River and Lake Ontario are busy with pleasure boats coming and going. The park is usually busy at this time of year with people enjoying the view and having picnics in the park.
From here, you can turn right and walk through a residential area towards the Niagara Jet Boat dock and onto the NOTL Yacht Club. Walk a little further and you can visit the Niagara Pumphouse Art Centre. From here there is another great view of the river.
Carry on along Ricardo Street by the historic Navy Hall and onto Fort George. From this point, you have the option of continuing for miles along the bank of the Niagara River on the word famous Niagara River Parkway (I will write about this in a separate page) or crossing the field by Fort George and on towards the Shaw Festival Theatre or retracing your steps back to Queens Royal Park.
From the Park, I enjoy walking along Front Street towards the NOTL Golf Club, enjoying the lake views along the way and passing the many beautiful homes in this exclusive section of Old Town NOTL, then past the wonderful Charles Inn.
Turning right and heading along the north end of Queen Street, it is possible to walk the length of the golf course all the way to Niagara Boulevard, passing some magnificent, multi-million dollar homes along the way.
This end of town is generally pretty quiet and it is easy to walk up and down the many residential streets here without being disturbed. The occasional jogger or dog walker is just about all you will meet.
Heading back towards the centre of town, maybe enjoy a well-deserved coffee at Starbucks or Balzacs or one of the many restaurants and cafes. There is also a Tim Hortons of course. This is Canada after all!
Walking Niagara River Parkway and Bruce Trail
Above is a nice photo of Queenston Heights. Exploring our region on foot is a great way to get to know areas in detail. It is amazing what you miss when driving, even when taking the same road every day. As the owner of two dogs, a daily walk of some sort is inevitable and although it is often just a relatively short walk along the road on which I live, my wife and I like to get out and explore whenever we can.
We are fortunate to live just a 15 minute walk to the Bruce Trail. If you walk to the end of Melrose Drive, and climb up over a small rocky outcrop, you enter the site of the former Queenston Quarry.
Disused for many years now, the quarry produced high quality limestone which was use in the construction of many fine buildings. Canada House in London, UK being one! Now privately owned, there are plans to build condos, a new golf course, a winery and possibly some retail outlets and a small hotel.
As you wander through the wooded area along the path, you will join the main path which forms part of the Bruce Trail. Head east on the trail which runs along the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment, offering great views across the vineyards and toward the Niagara River.
Eventually, you will arrive at Queenston Heights. This is a beautiful park which is very popular, especially in the summer, with picnic groups and people playing sports. There are tennis courts, a splash pool, a small gift shop and café, lots of barbecues and several covered picnic areas.
Crossing the park, you will find the Queenston Heights Restaurant with stunning views of the Niagara River, first opened in 1900. Just beside this is the famous Brock Monument, erected in honour of British General Sir Isaac Brock who died in battle during the war of 1812. You can climb to the top of the monument for an even more magnificent view of the area.
If you have had enough of walking, you can get on board the WeGo bus that will take you into Niagara Falls via the Niagara River Parkway.
Below Queenston Heights is the Village of Queenston. The historic village sits on the bank of the Niagara River and is generally very quiet at any time of the year. There are two main tourist attractions here – the printing museum and the Laura Secord Homestead. Both are very interesting to visit.
Wander through the streets of the little village past the Willowbank Estate – now home to a restoration school for historic buildings – and head north where you will join the path alongside the Niagara River Parkway, by Riverbrink Art Museum and drop in to see their fine collection of art on display.
As you continue along the Parkway, you will pass many, very large homes, some quite historic, as the footpath meanders with the river, under the shade of the avenue of trees that line the road. Sharing the foot path with cyclists, it is possible to walk all the way to the town of Niagara on the Lake, passing fruit stands, historic plaques, a number of wineries and even an historic tea room – the McFarland House, set within a park.
The parkway was referred to by Sir Winston Churchill, having been driven down it, as “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” It certainly lives up to that and I will never get bored walking along the route. The dogs seem to love it too!
Working as a Realtor in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I know pretty much everything that is to know about this town – and I would love to talk more about it! If you have any inquiries about real estate, or just wants to know more about this beautiful place, you can contact me.