With March Break upon us (and nearly over), my family and I decided to take a mini-vacation to the Niagara Region. Rather than staying near the Falls, we found a little farm near Welland called “The Hoblet” that I’ll talk about later in this post. As usual, I brought a bicycle to explore the area.
Our accommodations were about 20 km from Niagara Falls, so after our first night, I rode my bike to the Falls to meet my family. I extended the ride to about 30 km so I could ride along the Niagara River. My plan was to ride along the bike path from Black Creek to the Falls, but the Niagara Region got about a foot of snow a week before and the path was snow-covered in places, so I ended up riding along the Niagara Parkway.
Along the way, I was reminded of my very first hydrogeology work-term job as a co-op, undergraduate engineering student (waaayyy back in 1987). My supervisor and I drove from the office in Burlington and took a boat over to Navy Island, where I learned about groundwater monitoring in the carbonate rock of the area. The island, about 4 km upstream from the Falls, is on the Canadian side of the border. There was a hotel on the island from 1875 until 1910 when it was destroyed by a fire. It’s presently uninhabited and I’ve read conflicting reports about public access: one website says there is no public access; another says there are permitted campsites available.
I continued to Niagara Falls, stopping along the way for some photo opportunities:
The second morning, I rode from the farm to Brock University, where we toured campus. Along the back roads, I saw two ducks (or some kind of fowl) crossing the road (I didn’t stop to ask why).
And I crossed the Welland Canal on a lift bridge that was, fortunately, not lifted:
So back to our accommodations. The Hoblet in Welland. It’s a small farm where the owner’s Petra and Mush have animals that they’ve rescued donkeys, goats, pot-bellied pigs. Before I set off for my ride each morning, I greeted the friendly animals.
If you’re looking to visit the area, The Hoblet is a great place. Small private cabin with one bedroom (room for four), kitchen/bath. And hey… animals!
One more item… I visited my friend Brandon at Inception Cyclery in Thorold. Brandon has a cool initiative called the UnRoyal Ride Ambassador (URRA) program, which I’ve been a part of for the last two years… “No Fame, No Glory, Just Awesome Riding”. Proceeds from clothing sales go to mountain bike trails!