Niagara Glen Nature Reserve

The Niagara Glen is a 3-kilometer trail, which takes approximately 1 ½ hours to complete. The Whirlpool path is a 5-kilometer trail that takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

Terrain: The Niagara Glen Trail has a varied terrain with steep climbs and slopes. The area is extremely rocky and the trail takes you over and around the rocky slopes, and along the Niagara River Gorge. Please be alert of falling rocks, and use caution on slippery rocks while hiking in the Glen. To get into the Glen you must take the stairs, which are moderately steep.

Directions: The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is located on the Niagara Parkway. To get to the parkway take the QEW to Highway 405, which takes you to the parkway. Head south on the parkway for approximately 5 kilometers before reaching the parking area at the Niagara Glen gift shop and restaurant.

The Niagara Glen is a truly enchanting place, and is one of the more interesting places to hike in the area. The Glen offers four kilometers of well-marked and maintained trails for visitors to explore, some leading to the water’s edge.

Your journey begins at Wintergreen Flat, a picnic area, north of the Parkway. Here you will find the metal staircase, which will take you down into the gorge, some 30 meters down the side of the cliff. When you reach the base of the stairs you can access the White, Red, and Blue trail, which are the main trails in the Glen. To access all three begin with the White Trail, which heads north. Keep to your left and you will soon encounter the Red Trail, and the beginning of several rock stairways made from local stone. Here you will see an abundance of ferns and mosses that grow amongst the limestone rocks and humongous boulders.

Make your way down to the Niagara River as you descend towards the Blue Trail. As you near the river you will encounter some maple and beech trees, and the more rare tulip trees that grown in this Carolinian region. The Blue Trail runs north and south along the river with a moderately flat terrain. Follow the Trail to your left where you can enjoy views of the river and the sounds of the many seabirds that call the Glen their home during the summer months. You can also see across the river to the American side, and catch a glimpse at the American power station.

Continuing along the Blue Trail you will see sumac, cedar, and sassafras trees. As you follow this trail you will continue downriver to a picturesque view of the Whirlpool. Next you will come to the Green Trail, which allows you to work your way back to the White Trail and to the metal staircase you took to begin your journey.