The Niagara River Recreation Trail



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The Niagara River Recreation Trail meanders through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.  In August 1943, Sir Winston Churchill chose to rest here from the rigours of meetings with Prime Minister Mackenzie King, prior to the Quebec Conference with U.S. President Roosevelt.  He visited the Falls then drove along the Niagara Parkway, describing it as "the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world". Constructed in 1986, the Niagara River Recreation Trail is a paved path for non-motorized traffic stretching some 53 kilometers (35 miles) along the Canadian side of the Niagara River. From Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the north it extends the full length of the peninsula, terminating at Anger Street in the north end of the Town of Fort Erie.   Breaks occur where the Trail passes through the urban areas of the Village of Queenston and the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Trail was built and is maintained by earnings from The Niagara Parks Commission, a self-funded agency of the Ontario Government. Niagara Parks is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the beauty of the lands adjacent to the Niagara River for the enjoyment of its visitors. For those who wish to savor the entire Trail, it divides nicely into four scenic sections, each with its own history and high adventure set amidst lovely countryside. It takes 1 to 2 hours to pedal leisurely each of these sections: (1) Niagara-on-the-Lake to Queenston; (2) Queenston to the Whirlpool Aero Car; (3) Chippawa to Black Creek; (4) Black Creek to Fort Erie.  In 2007, Niagara Parks worked with volunteers to implement distance markings every 500 metres along the length of the Trail. The markings are designed to heighten safety on the Trail, and to allow Trail users to know how far they have travelled. Trail users are cautioned that the Trail was not designed to accommodate small wheel devices such as roller blades, roller skates or skateboards. Portions of the Trail are shared with motorized vehicles and traverse public roadways and private driveways.   Trail users must obey all traffic regulations and be careful, courteous and respectful of public and private property. Whether cyclist, jogger or pedestrian, anyone fortunate enough to travel on the Niagara River Recreation Trail moves in some very special company, for in yesteryears British regulars and local militiamen thundered along this historic highway, racing to stem the flow of invaders from across the river.   Their lively stories and many stirring episodes are described on over 100 monuments and plaques that mark waypoints along the Trail. From Niagara-on-the-Lake in the north, the Parkway winds its way southward along one of the oldest roads in the province. Major-General Sir Isaac Brock rode along it one cold, wet, October morning, as he galloped to his death and his destiny. Up the steep escarpment it climbs to the Heights of Queenston on which stands the noble column that marks Brock's final resting place.   Leave the gates of Fort George as Brock did 181 years ago and begin the first leg of this enlightening journey across the Niagara Peninsula. The horticultural and historic sights will thrill, inform and delight you.  All this and exercise too!