Our entourage of 18 (all family friends from the adventure of Sudbury in 2005), ranging in ages from 4 years to over 40, explored the nature trail in Niagara Glen on July 27, 2008. The Niagara Glen is located deep in the Great Gorge that has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992.
We took giant Stairways that led us to 4 km (2.5 miles) of paths that meandered through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest and over and around small and big boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago. Many of us climbed a huge boulder to get beautiful views of the valley upstream (picture # 1)
We descended all the way down to Niagara River where it became white water and was being negotiated by whirlpool jet boats. The spots near the river offered wonderful views of the river upstream, the rapids and the mountain on the US side of the Gorge (details and more pictures in following tip).
This was a difficult trek as it involved an elevation change of over 60 meters (picture # 2). It became even more difficult because of many beginners in our group in the skills of hiking and trekking (picture # 3).
Parking at the entrance area to the Glen is free, washrooms and covered picnic areas are also available.
Location: 8 kms north of the Falls on the Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Canada, across from the Whirlpool Golf Course and south of the Lewiston-Queenston bridge.
I am a local and spend a couple of times each year at the "Glen". Just ask how to get there. Wear your running shoes, take water. It is not an amble, but a hike. Keep your hands free of carrying things as you "need" them at times for the odd precarious step. Nature at its best. Boulders as big as your house, the river roaring by, nooks to sit and go "aaaawwwwe". GO! ...and be careful, it is not a park but a nature reserve
Niagara Glen Nature Area
A great place to wander for the afternoon. You take a set of metal stairs down the cliff face to emerge into the gorge. Wander through a forested area strewn with bolders the size of houses. The trail is steep at times and winds through, over and under the boulders. You eventually emerge down at the Niagara River. You're not supposed to clamber down to the water line because of sudden changes in the water level, but I can never resist.