Waterfront Trail – a study in contrasts

70 km
4 hrs

Niagara-on-the-Lake to Grimsby

Leaving the Shalamar Lake campground we followed the Niagara River to Niagara on the Lake. We saw many estates and “family compounds” (according to one for-sale sign) along the Niagara Parkway, and the path was beautifully treed and very nice to ride on. As usual we waved and said hello to people we saw on the path, but noticed that fewer people actually responded. Along the Erie Canal everyone said Hi, so I was a bit sad to be greeted with stony silence now that we’re back in Canada. Once we reached Niagara on the Lake, our Recumbents were a tourist attraction on their own, with many people coming up to talk to us and ask us about the bikes. I had a nice lady from Annapolis, VA ask to take my picture on the bike, and Becky got her extraversion fix with a long conversation about our bikes while we were eating breakfast.

We we had hoped to buy a Waterfront Trail map book at the start of the trail, but ended up crossing the trail further along, so missed the info booth. We did pick up a Niagara cycling map, which was helpful, and between that and the road signs we didn’t get lost too often. The trail does make some strange twists and turns along bike paths and through quiet residential streets, so it’s easy to miss a turn.

We stopped at a fresh fruit stand selling locally grown strawberries. They were picked this morning, and it was the first day of the season. We gobbled up a quart pretty quickly! I hope this fresh produce a sign of things to come.

At the fruit stand, we were passed by another pair of loaded cyclists (our first of the trip). They were a father-son team riding from central Pennsylvania to Toronto for the World Bike Messenger games this weekend. We chatted for a bit, but didn’t ever get their names – I need to get better at introducing myself.

Through Saint Catherine’s to Grimsby, the ride became a study in contrasts. We moved rapidly though exclusive lakefront enclaves, lower-income neighbourhoods with small apartments and shabby homes, quiet orchards and long stretches parallel to the busy QEW highway. Some neighbourhoods were quite interesting, including this one – filled with brightly painted gingerbread on the houses.

We both felt strong today – a good sign after our 100+ km day yesterday, given this was originally going to be a rest day.

Niagara on the Lake to Grimsby [gpxcheckpointtable=show;gpxcheckpointinterval=10; gpxelevationcolor=green;gpxspeedchart=show]

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