Photo By: Photo Nic from Unsplash

Hiking is a great way to maintain your physical and mental health during the transition from winter to spring. While everyone is eager for summer at the first signs of spring, we often forget about all the fun things to do in the springtime, like hiking.

Living in the Niagara Region during springtime may seem dreary (especially during the rainy season), but it has some of the best hiking destinations. Niagara is known as a hot commodity for tourists, but lucky for us, it has some pretty well-kept secrets too. Allow me to share some of the best hidden hiking gems in the region with you:

The Niagara Gorge, being the most well-known hiking destination in the area, is a beautiful escarpment hike that is almost 5km long. The trail has two different entry points and both lead to the path from separate ends through a staircase. 

The Niagara Gorge is rocky and scenic, there is so much to see on this beautiful trail. From the water to the trees, this nature trail has so much to offer. The location offers a variety of trails that range from moderate to difficult for all types of hikers. Although the gorge is a steep location, there are trails with minimal elevation changes at a time. For a map of the trails click here. For directions click here

Part of the famous Bruce Trail, Decew Falls is another incredible hiking destination, only minutes away from Brock.

Perfect for students within walking distance or those living nearby, this trail is slightly less intense than the gorge but is equally as beautiful. The descent and climb back to the top remain the most challenging part of this hike, whereas the journey once you have descended is rather peaceful and effortless.

This trail passes by two beautiful waterfalls, one around the halfway mark and one at the end of the hike. They are breathtaking and the water is incredibly tranquil. This hike does have tiny water streams throughout, as well as a tire swing and swimming pit at the beginning.

The mill located on the Decew Falls property was built by a blacksmith in 1872. It was used to pull water from beaver dams creek to generate power. It was rebuilt in 1933 and then once more after that and was eventually transformed into a museum. It too is worth checking out if you do decide to pay a visit. Click here to see directions to Decew Falls.

I’ve clearly only scratched the surface with these picks, but hopefully you’ll have the chance to get out there, check out not only these suggestions but some of the countless breathtaking hiking spots across St. Catharines and throughout Niagara. With all of that said, happy trails hikers!