How to Explore Niagara Glen

The Niagara Glen is one of the best places to hike in the province. After seeing numerous pictures of this eden we took a trip down to Niagara to see what the fuss was all about. The pictures I saw on Instagram featured stunning lookout points, magical forests trails, and majestic caves. Luckily we were able to see all of these on our trip plus even more!

If you’re visiting Niagara Falls this is the perfect adventure getaway away from all the tourists and crowds downtown. It’s only a short 10-minute car ride to the Glen from the city along Niagara Parkway. Located deep in the Niagara Gorge, this nature reserve is comprised of 4 kilometres of paths which winds through a pocket of a pristine Carolinian Forest, along the mighty river rapids, and past prehistoric geological formations.

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River Trail

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To visit Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, start off by going early in the morning as the trails are quieter and less busy. The main parking lot is located next to the reserve building and it is easy to spot the path. You will begin on the Cliffside Trail, head down the stairs and to the right. Follow this for twenty minutes past the limestone rocks and through the forest. 

We only encountered a few other hikers along the way which made our journey more serene. On our way out there around 1pm, there were packs of people coming in so we were glad we left in time.

Wear weather appropriate clothing and gear. We hiked during the fall so the weather wasn’t always predictable. Not only was it grey and gloomy (looking like it was going to rain any minute), but there were tons of leaves on the ground and plenty of mossy rocks making the paths slippery. Our hiking boots, jackets and hats were lifesavers.

We followed the path downhill and enjoyed the view from the forest but eventually ventured closer towards the water. The river rapids are extremely powerful and forceful so it was a little timid going close to the water on the rocks. Nevertheless, we wanted to be closer to nature. It was amazing to be able to sit and appreciate this force of nature. The American side of the escarpment was directly across from us about a couple hundred feet away. There were some other hikers on that side of the border- which was really cool to see. There are tons of big rocks at the bottom where  you can sit or photograph.

We only wanted to spend a few hours here so we continued on the River Trail for a bit to see what else the trail offered. We happened to stumble upon a stunning little turquoise inlet which was so peaceful and relaxing. It was the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy a snack. After this, we turned around made our way back out. The journey down the escarpment was good but be prepared to come back up! It’s a gradual climb so it isn’t too hard but we still took breaks every few minutes. Fortunately, there’s a stairway at the beginning of the trail which helps out with the elevation. If you want to go further the River Trail leads onto the Eddy Trail and then the Whirlpool Trail which wraps around the coast.

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Cripps Eddy

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River Trail

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Down by the water

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We had so much fun exploring this part of Niagara- we can’t wait to go back. I’d love to see this place during the summer and winter- as I’m sure it’s beautiful all year around. What is your favourite hiking spot?

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