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Southern Ontario Outdoors
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Niagara Peninsula - Destinations Overview
Major urban centers blend with towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and lush vineyards to offer visitors some of the most diverse scenery in all of Ontario. The Niagara Peninsula is not really a peninsula at all, but rather an isthmus between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The major waterways in this region include Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the Niagara River that joins the two. I will also include the Welland Canal in this synopsis because, even though it is a man-made waterway, it is the major transportation route for lake freighters, ocean going ships, and pleasure craft alike. The Welland Canal runs between Port Colborne on the Lake Erie side to Port Weller on the Lake Ontario side.
The Niagara region of Ontario creates a unique microclimate because of its proximity to two large water bodies (Lake Erie being shallow and warm and Lake Ontario being deep and cold) and the Niagara escarpment that separates the two. Summers are warm and winters are very mild (relative to the rest of Southern Ontario). However, snowfalls can be significant.
Aside from being home to one of the world’s great natural wonders, Niagara Falls, the region boasts an abundance of scenic hiking trails, including once again the Bruce Trail that begins in Queenston Heights towering over the mighty Niagara River. Cyclists will enjoy the many well maintained trails in the area as well as hundreds of miles of secondary roads that weave through flat farmland and vineyards between the bottom of the escarpment and Lake Ontario.
The Niagara Peninsula region of Southwestern Ontario is a place where large to medium sized cities blend with farmlands to bring a distinctly rural flavor to the urban landscape. Major cities in the region include Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls.
Niagara Peninsula Points of Interest