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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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

The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is open year-round but make sure to check their COVID-19 rules this summer to plan your visit properly.

Lead photo by

nickita025


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