“. . . here stands a rugged, beautiful continuum of rocks,
waterfalls, greenery and ‘recreational opportunity’
that must be preserved in its entirety for us and for the future."
Ray Lowes, Bruce Trail News, Vol.1, No.2 (September 1963)
There are more than 130km of trails associated with the Niagara Section of the Bruce Trail all of which are maintained by volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a trail captain visit our Volunteer page to sign-up.
Quality maps of the Niagara section or of the entire trail can be purchased from the Bruce Trail Conservancy Store
Occassionally it is necessary to re-route parts of the trail to avoid dangerous conditions (ie. spring flooding), or by request of the property owners. In these cases, the re-route is posted and new blazes are marked on the trail. It is important that you follow the blazes. If your map does not show the re-route, you still need to follow the blazes.
Up-to-date trail changes can be found on the Bruce Trail Conservancy Trail Changes page.
The trail begins...
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 80km long, ending in Grimsby, at a little bridge crossing 40 Mile Creek.
On the way through St. Catharines and Thorold, a hiker will pass all four of the Welland Canals, from the first canal, with it's narrow wooden locks, to the fourth canal, with its massive twin locks. Here, on this major international waterway, ships can be found from all over the world.
The Trail begins to travel through a woodland belt and across farmland before heading northward along the ancient shores of Lake Iroquois.
Apart from the Bruce Trail, there are several side trails which are worth exploring;
- General Brock Side Trail: (12.4km long) Runs from the cairn at Queenston Heights Park to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the west side of the Niagara Parkway.
- Upper Canada Heritage Trail: (1.1 km long) Follows the old New York Central Railway bed for most of its length. It leaves the main trail at km 4.2, and within 1 km ends at Regional Rd 81.
- Firemen's Side Trail: (2.5km long) In Firemen's Park, Niagara Falls, this dead end trail starts at km 7.0. After skirting around the north side of the pond the side trail follows the escarpment, passes by a vineyard and ends at Concession 6.
- Paul Naray Side Trail (West): (620 m long) This short cut trail starts at a parking area on the Woodend access road at km 12.5. It heads west through the bush to the scarp edge where it rejoins the main trail at km 14.7.
- Paul Naray Silurian Trail (East): (300 m long) A short cut trail that heads north from the parking area 50 m east of km 12.5. It rejoins the main trail at km 14.0
- Wetland Ridge Side Trail: (1.1km long) Near Woodend, this trail travels through vineyards and reclaimed wetlands.
- Bert Lowe Side Trail: (12.4km long) This trail follows the Welland Canal south, then turns northwest to follow the south shore of Lake Gibson to Decew House Park.
- The Twelve Trail: (5.2km long) This side trail starts at km 26.8 km and follows the east bank of Twelve Mile Creek to connect the with yellow-blazed Merritt Trail.
- Black Walnut Side Trail: (2.2km long) This trail leaves the main trail at km 34.6 and heads west through a wet, low-lying area to the old Hog Back Rd. An alternate route through the northern part of Short Hills Provincial Park.
- Rockway Falls Side Trail: (970m long) This side trail is split by the main trail at km 44.8. Heading north the side trail terminates at a small waterfall on Fifteen Mile Creek. Heading south the side trail ends at Rockway Community Centre parking lot.A short loop through Rockway Conservation Area.
- Louth Side Trail: (900m long) A short loop through Louth Conservation Area. Combined with the main trail it forms a 1.6 km loop.
- Jim Rainforth Side Trail: CLOSED (730m long) Provides an access route to the Village of Jordan. It terminates at a residential cul-de-sac close to St John's Anglican Church, where parking is usually available.
Rim of Africa - Bruce Trail Friendship Trail
This section of the Bruce Trail, located in the Short Hills Provincial Park, is twinned with a section of the Rim of Africa Trail in South Africa.
The Rim of Africa is a unique mountain passage trail and conservation initiative at the southern edge of Africa in the Cape mountains. These mountains form the core of the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and home to more than 9 000 plant species, the greatest non-tropical concentration of higher plant species in the world.
At its core the Rim of Africa initiative offers a hiking experience through a series of linked high mountain traverses, some involve easy path-hiking, while others are off-path and require confident mountain and hiking skills. The entire route is 52 days in duration and can be walked in a variety of ways.
The Rim of Africa mission is to help preserve and protect the natural beauty of these mountains and the important ecosystem functions they offer communities living along the route.
Rim of Africa is a mountain initiative with community, conservation and hiking at its heart.
Beginning at the parking area on Pelham Rd, this friendship trail follows the Black Walnut Side Trail and the main trail to form a 5.3km loop.