Find your way to some of these hiking trails on your next autumn adventure in St. Catharines.
October is the best time to see the annual autumn show of ‘unbe-leaf-able’ colours in St. Catharines. From the vineyards and hiking trails out in the countryside to the tree-filled parks within the city, there’s no shortage of breathtaking views in St. Catharines that will have you felling all the fall vibes.
Not sure where to start your autumn adventure? Here’s our list of some of the best hiking spots in St. Catharines for to take in fall colours.
Short Hills Provincial Park
Access from Cataract, Roland, or Pelham roads. Free Parking.
There is much to love about Short Hills. The only provincial park in Niagara spans more than 600 hectares and is filled with trees (Short Hills is located in a Carolinian Forest Zone). With seven trails, including the Palaeozoic Path which features a paved surface with gravel, Short Hills invites hikers of all skill levels. Don’t miss the two waterfalls found in the park – Swayze Falls and Terrace Creek Falls – although you may have a better view in the winter and spring.
Make your Short Hills adventure even sweater with a stop at nearby White Meadows Farms for a maple-inspired charcuterie board and a refreshing cup of maple iced tea. Try the deluxe board featuring 10 gourmet maple products from sweet to savoury including locally made smoked maple comfort Cream cheese, maple cheddar and all-beef maple summer sausage.
Access at Morningstar Mill at 2714 Decew Rd. Free Parking.
You’ve probably already seen pictures of Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill on social media. Now, it’s time to see it for yourself in all it’s autumn splendor. Generally considered an easy hike, the tree-lined trail will take you by two of the many waterfalls found throughout the Niagara Escarpment.
Afterwards, make the 6-minute drive to Decew Falls Brewing Company and enjoy the loaded potatoes – the perfect comfort food for crisp autumn days.
Rockway Conservation Area
Access at the Rockway Community Centre at 2021 Pelham Rd.
Get ready for an absolute stunner! Rockway is a hidden gem that features a mix of trails that link up with the Bruce Trail and two more Niagara Escarpment waterfall surrounded by mature trees, including Basswoods, Sugar Maples, Black Walnuts and Sycamores.
Rockway is also in the heart of wine country with some of the best wineries in Ontario only minutes away. Visits to Henry of Pelham, Rockway Vineyards, Hernder Estate Winery and 13th Street Winery would easy add-ons to your autumn adventure.
Downtown St. Catharines Access: St. Paul Crescent and McGuire Street. Parking available nearby. Rates vary.
It’s hard to miss the vibrant tapestry of oranges, yellows and reds while driving along Hwy. 406 between Fourth Avenue and the Meridian Centre. The section of the Merritt Trail from Downtown St. Catharines to Martindale follows Twelve Mile Creek through this picturesque area and connects to a number of other trails. The urban stone-dust path makes for an easy hike that only descends down to the creek at the beginning and climbs out of the valley at the end.
Since you’ll be in Downtown St. Catharines, swing by Montebello Park to check out the fall colours in the heart of the city and grab a cup of joe to go. There are so many great cafes along the way, such as Wandering Spirits and the Fine Grind on James Street.
Malcolmson Eco Park
325 Lakeshore Rd. Free Parking.
A naturalized area bordered by the Welland Canal to the east and Lake Ontario to the north, Malcomson Eco Park is a unique park with Carolinian Forests, rare flora and fauna and beautiful vistas. Trails cutting through the park are easy to navigate and connect to other nearby trails, such as the Welland Canal Parkway Trail, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Walker’s Creek Trail.
If you work up an appetite while hiking, there are many great options around. Bugsy’s Pour House offers classic pub far sure to hit the spot on a crisp fall day.