Canada Hiking Holidays Around Niagara Falls

The quintessential Canada hiking holiday must include a visit (or at least a stopover) to the renowned Niagara Falls. Sitting on the international border of the Canadian Province of Ontario and the American state of New York, Niagara Falls is the second largest falls on the planet, after South Africa's Victoria Falls. Every year, 12 million tourists from across the globe converge to experience the sight of these wondrous cascading waters. A number of different hikes around Niagara will offer you stunning views of the falls.

Why choose the Niagara Falls on a Canada Hiking Holiday?

The composition and workings of the Niagara Falls are bemusing, and are bound to intrigue you on your Canada hiking holiday if you delve a little deeper. The word 'Niagara' is derived from the Iroquois Indian word 'Onguiaahra', which translates to 'the strait'. Niagara Falls is actually the collective name for the Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Veil Falls, which combine to form the highest flow rate of any falls in the world. With a vertical drop of over 165 feet, the cascading waters of the Niagara come from the four Upper Great Lakes -Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie, which empty into the Niagara River. One fifth of all water in the world lies in the Upper Four Great Lakes. Once at the base of the falls, the water travels 15 miles over many gorges until it reaches the fifth Great Lake - Ontario. The land between the lakes forms a spectacular drop, known as the 'Niagara Escarpment' - it's approximately the same height as a 20-storey building! Two billion years ago this land was buried under a blanket of ice. Glaciers pressed down on it during the last Ice Age, leaving layers of sediment. Eventually, ice and water slowly eroded the surface of the escarpment.

Niagara Hiking Trails

Niagara has hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails that pass near the falls. The Niagara River Recreation Trail is the closest and most prominent route around the falls. It commences at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the north, passing the famous Horseshoe Falls, and extending some 58 kilometres to the town of Fort Erie at the south end of the peninsula.

The Bruce Trail is the other significant route at Niagara, starting at Queenston Heights, taking a diagonal path through southern Ontario to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. A Canada hiking holiday including these trails will introduce you to the timeless beauty of the Niagara Falls. Before the advent of film, the falls were the subject of many artists' work, but it's also been immortalised in films like Niagara (starring Marilyn Monroe) and Superman.

The charming appeal of the Niagara Falls has also made it a popular venue for honeymoons - so much so, that it's known as the 'Honeymoon Capital of the World.' It was first given this name after the daughter of former U.S Vice President Aaron Burr honeymooned there in 1801. Napleon's brother (Jerome Bonaparte) followed on his honeymoon in 1804. Other noteworthy visitors drawn by the charms of the falls include King George the V in 1939, and Princess Diana with Princes William and Harry in 1991.

Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Join us on a Canada hiking holiday to see scenic locations & landscapes at the best value prices. We offer over 250 guided group walking holidays in over 65 different countries.