Last year, I started a series entitled “Great Places To Run in Niagara”. I featured Port Dalhousie, Queenston Heights and the Niagara Parkway. I have decided to pick up where I left off a year ago because there are many great places in Niagara to run. In my fourth post on the topic of Great Places To Run in Niagara, I am featuring the recreational trail along the Welland Canal Parkway.
Running along the Canal
The recreational trail is a popular spot for walking, running, roller blading and cycling. The 9 km long trail runs North South along the Canal and spans from Lock 1 to Lock 3, with a few lift bridges in between. This is one the places I have run, jogged and roller bladed along countless times. Often with my furry companion in tow!
In fact, the recreational trail is the location of many charity runs and walks that take place in St. Catharines. It is here that my husband, son and I ran in the Rankin Cancer run in May (as seen in the image above).
I would rate this course easy. There are a few dips, but no significant change in elevation.
There is plenty of parking along the recreational trail. There are small parking lots throughout the trail, with a larger parking lot at Lock 1 neat Lakeshore Road, where the recreational trail starts and at Lock 3, where the trail ends at the Lock 3 Museum/Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
The recreational trail runs along the Welland Canal. The Welland Canal connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. If you are familiar with Niagara Falls, you’ll understand that in order for ships to travel between these two lakes they need to travel up or down the Niagara Escarpment. The canal was built to allow ships to do this, and to bypass Niagara Falls.
The current Welland Canal is actually the fourth one and was built in the 1930’s. The first Welland Canal was constructed in 1829 and didn’t last long since the ships were getting too large to fit. There were two more canals sandwiched between. Remnants of these old canals can be found around St. Catharines if you know where to look. Many sections are now buried as they were used as landfills. As mentioned above, you can still see old stone remnants of the old canal in Port Dalhousie, specifically while running through Jaycee Park. The building in the photo to the left shows the old Dry Docks
Niagara is well-known for the Niagara Falls, but there is much to Niagara then that. With great culture, tourism, beautiful natural environment, amazing agriculture, its role in Canadian history, and can’t forget the fabulous wine that is produced here, it’s no wonder that I love Niagara! Have you been to Niagara Canada?