Woodend Conservation Area

Date: Saturday November 7

Hike Leader: Bill Baird

We will hike the Woodend Conservation area, have dinner, then stick around for the Niagara Festival of Lights.


  1. Take Highway 401 west to Highway 403.
  2. Take Highway 403 to the QEW.
  3. Take the QEW over the Burlington bridge towards Niagara.
  4. Just past the Garden City Skyway Bridge at St. Catharines, take the Glendale Ave exit (Highway 89), this only goes southwest. A Tim Horton's is behind you on the north side of the QEW.
  5. Only about 200 yards later, turn left onto Taylor Road. Drive past Niagara College.
  6. About two kilometers later, near the top of a hill, turn left into the Woodend Conservation Area. There is a sign, but it is hard to see. If you get to Mountain Road you have gone too far.
  7. Once off the road, do not park in the first parking lot. Instead, drive as far as you can, the main parking lot is about a kilometer up the road.

We will try to get the hike going at noon. It is a long trip from Toronto.

The hike is mostly on the Bruce Trail. We will hike the Niagara escarpment back towards Taylor Road. On the other side a woodsy trail leads through the recently created Royal Niagara Golf course (the Bruce Trail was there first).

The rest of the hike is along the third Welland Canal (the current is the fourth). In total we will see six large locks made from hand-cut stone. With any luck there will be some water running through it, creating rapids.

We will start the lock section by hiking on a short side trail (1.5km round trip). Then we travel down the remaining four locks to Glendale Ave. Then we will retrace our steps.

Take the pathway to the northeast (50 yards). Once there, check out the view. The road leading off into the distance is Niagara Road 55 (Niagara Stone Road), which leads to Niagara-on-the-Lake.


This hike is rated intermediate, probably with some wet sections. It is about 13 kilometers long, mostly flat. There are some very interesting sights on the hike, but most are man-made.

The hike starts with a short walk through the conservation area. The trail cuts through a golf course (the Bruce Trail was there first). The majority of the hike is along the Old Welland Canal. We will pass by five abandoned locks, and see one other. They have rapids running through them.

The Festival of Lights features a large number of animated light sculptures. Disney is one theme but there are many more. There is a great pizza place is called Zappy's . It is in the city of Niagara Falls. It is about twelve minute drive southeast. Take the QEW to the 420. Take the 420 (left , east) into Niagara Falls. Turn right onto Stanley Street. Travel many blocks through Niagara Falls. Zappy’s is near the south end of town, on your right. It is opposite the casino.

Since we will be wandering around Niagara Falls after dark in November, wear warm clothing. It might be an idea to bring or wear your skiing long underwear.

There is no admission fee for Woodend Conservation Area, or the Festival of Lights.

Bill Baird