Fall is the best time of year for hiking in Niagara—the trees are gorgeous, it’s not too hot outside, and, maybe best of all, there are hardly any bugs hanging around the trails. Here are four of the top hiking destinations for November!
Short Hills Provincial Park
Short Hills is absolutely beautiful and should be at the top of your fall hiking list. A provincial park, Short Hills is comprised of 7 established trails, each with varying levels of difficulty. The park is full of creeks, waterfalls, and incredible hilltop views. The Paleozoic path is a good one for beginners, and includes a waterfall view; for a more advanced hike, try the Black Walnut trail. You can access the park at any of the three entrances through Pelham, Roland, and Wiley road. For more information about the different trails, check out the website here (http://www.friendsofshorthillspark.ca/page/trails).
The Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail runs right through Brock’s campus, so you can get to it easily. Since it runs along the escarpment, which is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, you have some great views of St. Catharines, especially with the leaves beginning to fall. The entire Bruce Trail runs about 890 km, so you don’t need to worry about running out of trail! Check it out here (http://brucetrail.org/).
Decew Falls is a Brock favourite. Located nearby and accessible using the Bruce Trail, Decew Falls is particularly nice in the fall when you have a great view of colourful leaves. The upper waterfall is 22m, making for a spectacular view. For more information on Decew Falls and the Morningstar Mill, check out this link (http://www.niagaragreenbelt.com/listings/73-natural-habitats-a-features/626-decew-falls.html).
Burgoyne woods is a smaller park, but still full of trails with views of streams and valleys. There are tons of picnic tables and sheltered seating options if you want to bring along a snack. Burgoyne is a great option for anyone without a car—it’s only a short bus ride from Brock.
Wherever you go hiking this fall, make sure to be safe—especially when it’s been raining and the trails are muddy and slippery. Hike with a friend and tell someone else where you’re going; avoid trails near steep hills and cliffs after a recent rain; and always bring some water and a snack.