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niagara falls sports and recreation

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Niagara Falls, ON

Niagara Falls Sports and Recreation For those who are adventure travel enthusiasts, Niagara Falls is a fun place to go on vacation. Recreation in Niagara Falls centers on the 1,325 hectares (3,724 acres) of parkland that are meticulously cared for by The Niagara Parks Commission. Included in the park system are the scenic Niagara Parkway and its companion Niagara River Recreational Trail, golf courses, gardens, restaurants, a marina and several attractions.

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The ideal sport for the Niagara Falls area is hiking because of the Niagara River Recreational Trail. Discover the natural beauty of the area at a slower pace along any part of the scenic trail as it winds through such major parks as Queen Victoria, Queenston Heights and the Niagara Glen. The 53-kilometre (33 mi.) paved trail meanders parallel to the Niagara River between Niagara-on-the-Lake to the north and Fort Erie to the south.

Across from The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, visitors can descend stairs at the Niagara Glen to trails in a “dry gorge,” enjoying views of the whirlpool and rapids along the way. One of Ontario's longest trails, the Bruce Trail, intersects the Niagara River Recreational Trail at Queenston Heights Park.

Opportunities for bird-watching abound in the Niagara Glen, but visitors should note that some trails are steep and climbing is necessary. Less strenuous nature trails are found at Dufferin Islands, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi.) south of the falls, where bird-watching is a popular pastime.

Those who love the outdoors can go camping in eight designated campgrounds within a reasonable distance from the falls.

A popular activity on certain sections of the Niagara River and in several parks along the river is fishing. Trout, salmon and bass are prized catches, and fishing contests are held periodically in the summer.

In summer, boating and water skiing enthusiasts head for the upper Niagara River, a safe distance away from the rapids and the falls. Several launching ramps are along the river just off the Niagara Parkway, and the Miller's Creek Marina is south of Miller's Creek Park.

Golf season in Ontario runs from April through October, and Niagara Falls, with several public courses, provides ample opportunity for golfers to indulge themselves. There are nine-hole courses at the Queenston Golf Club, 269 Progressive Ave., and at St. David's Golf Club, 22 Paxton Ln. Golfers have their choice of either nine- or 18-hole courses at Niagara Falls Golf Club, 6169 Garner Rd., and at Oaklands Golf Course, 8970 Stanley Ave. S.

The Niagara Parks Commission offers golfers the Niagara Parks Golf Trail, featuring the seven top courses along 15 kilometres (9 mi.) of the scenic Niagara Parkway beginning in the north near Queenston Heights and running south to the village of Chippawa. The largest of the sites, and also the southernmost, is Legends on the Niagara, which has two 18-hole courses. The 18-hole Whirlpool Golf Course is south of Queenston Heights. Other courses are Beechwood Golf & Country Club at 4680 Thorold Townline; Grand Niagara Golf Club at 8547 Grassy Brook Road; Royal Niagara Golf Club, in Niagara-on-the-Lake; John Daly’s Thundering Waters Golf Club at 6000 Marineland Parkway; and Seneca Hickory Stick Golf in Lewiston, NY. For additional information or for reservations phone (866) 752-9648.

The Niagara Parks System offers plenty of fun places to go for a picnic. Popular picnicking spots include Kings Bridge Park, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi.) south of the falls, and Queenston Heights Park, 11 kilometres (7 mi.) north of the falls. Both have picnic tables, covered pavilions, playgrounds and children's splash pads. Queenston Heights also has tennis courts and offers a view of Niagara's vineyards, while the upper river can be seen from Kings Bridge. Horse racing is conducted at the Fort Erie Race Track on the QEW near the Peace Bridge from May through September; phone (905) 871-3200 or (800) 295-3770.

Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.

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Niagara Falls, ON

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Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview

6361 Fallsview Blvd. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9

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Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel

6400 Lundy's Ln. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1T6

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Sheraton on the Falls

5875 Falls Ave. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3K7

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Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa

6740 Fallsview Blvd. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3W6

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Travel Information

City Population

82,997

Elevation

174 m/571 ft.

Sales Tax

Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax is 13 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(905) 688-4111

Fire (non-emergency)

(905) 356-1321

Weather

(905) 562-3409

Hospitals

Greater Niagara General Hospital, (905) 378-4647.

Visitor Information

424 S. Service Rd. Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8. Phone:(905)945-6293

Air Travel

Four commercial airports serve the Niagara Falls area. See Approaches by Plane for details.

Rental Cars

Hertz, (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members. For a complete list of agencies consult the telephone directory.

Rail Service

Via Rail serves all parts of Canada as well as Buffalo, Windsor (opposite Detroit) and Sarnia (opposite Port Huron, Mich.). The station is at 4267 Bridge St.; phone (888) 842-7245.

Buses

Daily service connects Niagara Falls with all parts of Canada and with principal cities in the United States. Coach Canada, in partnership with Megabus—phone (866) 488-4452—and Greyhound Lines Inc.—phone (905) 357-2133)—operate out of the terminal at 4555 Erie Ave.; phone (888) 438-6646.

Taxis

Niagara Falls taxicabs operate on the meter system. The minimum charge is $3.50, plus $2.50 for each additional kilometre (.6 mi.). There is no extra charge for additional passengers. The meter is kept running while luggage is loaded and unloaded.

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