Niagara Glen Nature reserve

This nature reserve near Toronto is an explorer's dream

Considered the 8th wonder of the world to Canadians, Niagara Falls is one of the most breathtaking places in the entire country. So, it's no surprise that the Niagara area attracts nearly 30 million tourists every year. 

A post shared by Mady Stoner (@wanderlustinohio) on

Although the Horseshoe Falls is the main attraction to most visitors, the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is a lesser known area that deserves more of the spotlight. Overlooking the powerful rapids of the Niagara River, this protected land is only an hour's drive from Toronto. 

A post shared by BossertArt (@bossertartstudio) on

The Niagara Glen is a nature lover's playground because of the sheer amount of diverse areas to explore on foot. Located deep in the Gorge, stairways lead to four kilometres of rugged paths that wind through the Carolina Forest, and past mammoth-sized boulders. 

A post shared by James Mahoney (@jmahomey) on

When hiking along the trail, just be aware that you'll experience an elevation change of more than 60 metres, and with the steep climb, wearing good footwear is an absolute must.

Along your hike, be sure to stop and admire two of the coolest attractions―the Devil's Arch and the Mammoth Pothole, both formed centuries ago through natural erosion.

A post shared by John (@aafilming) on

Niagara Parks also offers guided hikes through the Niagara Glen twice daily, if you wish to learn more about the geology, plant and animal life that call this area home. 

A post shared by David Ha (@davidha02) on

With the Niagara River Whirlpool swirling below you as you hike, there's no better backdrop for your trek.

If you're an adrenaline junkie, then perhaps bouldering might be up your alley. This extreme sport has gained a ton of popularity over the past 30 years, and the endless cliffs and rock formations of the Niagara Glen make it the perfect spot for mountaineering.

A post shared by Tugce (@tugceonder) on

Bouldering permits are available at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, and you must complete a waiver form before you hit the slopes.

A post shared by Joelle Kool (@joellekool) on

The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is open year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Although the park is free to the public, there's a $10 fee to park your car for the entire day. 

Lead photo by

nickita025


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

This animal sanctuary near Toronto looks like the happiest place on earth

Win a Keep Cool fitness prize pack

The top 5 fall hikes in Toronto

20 essential fall day trips from Toronto

Toronto's newest haunted house is behind a popular Italian restaurant

This lookout tower in Ontario comes with breathtaking views

Everything you need to know about running in Toronto

The surreal Cheltenham Badlands near Toronto are finally re-opening