Summer is on its way, and as the weather warms up, more and more people are looking for outdoor destinations close to home. Hiking, sightseeing, cycling, and even just a quiet nature walk are all great ways to soak up the sun and get outdoors this summer, and Niagara is one of the top destinations for those seeking natural wonders in their own backyard.
Niagara Region is one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Under normal circumstances, it brings in 30 million tourists a year from the rest of Canada, the United States, and around the world. With so much to do in the area, there’s no shortage of entertainment. In an ordinary year, there’s the Falls, the casino, the attractions of Clifton Hill, the Shaw Festival, strolling through historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the wineries.
There’s also an abundance of natural beauty thanks to the Niagara Escarpment and the region’s location between two Great Lakes. One of the best things about living in Niagara on the Lake is the proximity to stunning views, conservatories, nature walks, bike trails, and more, right in your backyard.
If you want to experience a piece of Niagara living, we’ve put together a roundup of some of the best parks in the area for you to explore.
Top Parks in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is the top destination in the area, and there’s plenty of entertainment in the city. There’s also no shortage of natural wonder to be explored.
The Falls at Queen Victoria Park
If there is one can’t-miss visit in the area, it’s the Falls themselves, and Queen Victoria Park is the most popular place to view the largest waterfall in North America. Located along the Niagara Gorge, this urban park also provides easy access to Clifton Hill, Fallsview Casino, the Maid of the Mist, and the Journey Behind the Falls, which takes you into the tunnels behind the majestic Horseshoe Falls.
The Butterfly Conservatory is a stop like no other. Home to 2,000 tropical butterflies and 60 different species, this glass-enclosed conservatory is an incredible place to wander pathways through lush vegetation. Taking the self-guided tour, you’re free to roam in this one-of-a-kind attraction that will transport you to a tropical rainforest where some of Earth’s most beautiful creatures fly freely.
Featuring 99 acres of beautiful gardens, the Niagara Botanical Gardens offer a lovely afternoon wandering amongst the rhododendrons, azaleas, and the world-famous rose garden. There are 2 kilometres of walking trails, as well as the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture.
Niagara Glen Nature Park
Located in the same area as the Butterfly Conservatory and the Botanical Gardens, the Niagara Glen Nature Park is your destination for a hike through the rugged beauty of the Carolinian Forest. Overlooking the Niagara River, including the phenomenal whirlpool, the Nature Park offers a bit more of a challenge than a casual stroll through the Botanical Gardens, but it’s well worth the views.
Many newcomers looking for adult living in Niagara value the outdoors, and the Nature Park is where you’ll find it.
Explore the Best Parks in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming, historic town in the heart of Canada’s wine country. The parks in Niagara-on-the-Lake make the most of the area’s natural assets.
Queen’s Royal Park
Enjoy a picnic, watch the sailboats, take a walk along the shores of Lake Ontario, and enjoy some shade under the gazebo. Queen’s Royal Park is just two blocks away from NOTL’s main street and brings the lakeside close to town. The park is on the former site of the Queen’s Royal Hotel, which hosted King George V and Queen Mary back in 1901. The elegant hotel was once a social hub for the wealthy elites of Canada and the United States, but today it’s open to everyone. Queen’s Royal Park is a mainstay of everyday life in NOTL.
Niagara parks are rich in history, and Fort George National Historic Site is one of several historic sites that played a major role in the War of 1812. The fortification sits across the river from the US border and provides a fascinating glimpse of 19th-century military architecture.
Beginning at Butler’s Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Waterfront Trail is a 900 km trail that goes all the way to the Quebec border, but the 15 km stretch between NOTL and St. Catharines takes you between the Escarpment and the lake through the region’s lakeside vineyards. It’s the northern stretch of the Niagara cycling route and connects to the ever-popular Niagara River Recreational Trail. If you love getting out on a bike during a sunny day, or you’re looking for a unique way to hop from winery to winery, don’t miss the Waterfront Trail.
Enjoy the Lake on Either Coast
If you want to enjoy the Niagara lifestyle, you can’t miss the beach! Whether you’re looking for a tan in the sand or stunning photos of Lake Ontario, Niagara parks have all your lakeside needs covered. With shores on both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, head north or south, and you’ll be sitting by the water in no time. No list of Niagara parks would be complete without a nod to some of the incredible beaches around.
Located on the north shore of Lake Erie and just a stone’s throw from our Ridgeway community The Oaks at Six Mile Creek, Crystal Beach is the perfect place to relax in the sand, get out on the water, and enjoy waterfront nightlife in town. Once the home of the Crystal Beach Amusement Park, it’s still one of the best beaches in Ontario. Enjoy the cerulean waters of Lake Erie in the summer at Crystal Beach.
On the other side of the peninsula is Sunset Beach in St. Catharines, a popular local destination for sun-seekers. If you’re looking for a great spot to snap photos of a gorgeous sunset, this beach lives up to its name.
Our work as new home builders in the Niagara Region is to help you enjoy all these amenities and more right at your doorstep. The natural wonders of the region aren’t to be missed, and when you move here, you’ll have it all just minutes away. From the falls to the lakes to the rich farmland, Niagara is one of the most beautiful places in Canada.