C2C Day 45 Port Dalhousie ON to Buffalo NY

Plenty of smiles on this gorgeous day.

Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Canada

A quaint coffee shop wake-up followed by a morning ride along a wide pier stretching into Lake Ontario. Then a glorious ride through Canadian vineyards and orchards. Yes, Canada has a wine region, nestled into a micro-climate caused by the steep Niagara escarpment hills and warm Lake Ontario breezes. An idyllic ride to the British-inspired hamlet of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here, flower-lined streets of small shops and cafes beckons international visitors. The town is situated on the banks of the Niagara river as it flows into Lake Ontario, and also marks the starting point of the Niagara Recreation Trail, which follows the Niagara all the way to Lake Erie.

Niagara River and Trail, near Niagara-on-the-Lake

Of course, the most famous stop along this spectacular 56 km trail is Niagara Falls, one of the great natural wonders of the world.

Niagara Falls

And what a great place to meet my ‘trail angel’ for lunch. Jax has provided wonderful support and companionship throughout this year’s ride.

A Beautiful View

The Niagara River Trail is a touring cyclist’s dream, winding through orchards, historic sites, picturesque estates, and scenic vistas. And on a stunningly beautiful day like today, it’s got to be one of the best rides in the world. Jax found a nice calm stretch of a tributary river lined with dockside taverns and parks in nearby Chippawa for a perfect paddle boarding experience. The smiles continued all the way to Lake Erie. From here, we bid adieu to Canada and crossed the Peace Bridge into the U.S.

International Boundary Line, Peace Bridge connecting Fort Erie Ontario and Buffalo NY

New York is our ninth state on this cross country journey. And Lake Erie is the fourth Great Lake. Jax whipped out the paddle board and bagged Great Lake #4.

Paddle Boarding Lake Erie

Buffalo, New York is the finish line for this 2022 segment. 650 glorious miles. The bike, rider, and supporter all made it with no mechanical issues or mishaps. One more segment to go, in 2023… to somewhere on the eastern coast where we will dip the front wheel into the Atlantic. For now, adios from Buffalo. Thanks for following along. ~Dan

Buffalo Naval Park, New York

C2C Day 44 Guelph to Port Dalhousie ON

A cool 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) in the royal city of Guelph this morning. Following the Speed River trail southward, an obligatory covered bridge felt even cooler.

Covered Bridge, Guelph Ontario

The ride passed through the University of Guelph, a sprawling campus with fall semester underway. Further on, the ride morphs from city suburbs to exurbs to rural, and eventually farmland. And some beautiful horse estates. Eventually, the suburbs started to appear again near the city of Hamilton Ontario, and that’s were the Niagara Escarpment made it’s presence felt. Over the course of about a mile, the elevation plunged about 1000 ft (or 300 meters!) on the appropriately named ‘Snake Road’. A hardstone caprock has resisted erosion over millions of years, causing a ridge that extends from New York to Wisconsin, helping to form the Great Lakes. I saw many bicyclists taking on the uphill challenge this morning… I was quite happy to be riding downhill.

Snake Road

At the bottom of this lush tree covered cliff lies Canada’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The ‘RBG’ is currently hosting a multi-city augmented reality exhibit called Seeing the Invisible… along with a dozen other gardens around the world, including the Denver Botanic Gardens.

I briefly checked out the garden visitor center and said ‘hello to RBG from DBG’. And then it was time to move along to the shores of Lake Ontario, the third Great Lake of the journey. First Burlington Beach, and then, crossing the channel to Hamilton Beach, another bridge stop, this time a lift bridge.

Burlington Canal Lift Bridge

Being a dry-lander, it’s kinda cool to see a bridge lifted up so tall boats can pass under. Then the bridge slowly dropped back into place and I appreciatively cycled across. With the lift bridge behind me, it was a nice cruise along the lakeshore bikeways and roadways, hugging the western coast of Lake Ontario. Finally, our destination town of Port Dalhousie was reached and we checked into a fun and eclectic establishment called the Juniper Inn, right next to Lakeside Park… a perfect place for a late afternoon paddleboard excursion.

112 kilometers (70 miles) total. Sunshine and mostly clear skies at the finish. Hoping for one more beautiful day to wrap up this 2022 segment of the Coast-to-Coast cycling (and paddle boarding) adventure.

C2C Day 43 Goderich to Guelph ON

G2G Trail, Goderich Ontario

A beautiful day for a 145 kilometer ride, 132 of which were on one trail. An abandoned rail line connecting Goderich to Guelph has been transformed into a trail thanks to determined work from towns, counties, and volunteers. It’s known as the G2G, slicing a linear path through forests, farmland, rivers, streams, and small Canadian towns.

Maitland River

Local folks are proud of the trail, investing their time and money to maintain this beautiful pathway for townspeople and visitors alike. I ran across one farmer who was digging out weeds. His corn, soybeans, and wheat are all maturing late this year due to below-average rainfall this year – so a delayed harvest means time to volunteer on the trail.

G2G Trail Volunteer

And an old covered bridge is also part of the G2G trail. The West Montrose Covered Bridge, also known as the “Kissing Bridge”, is one of the oldest covered bridges in Canada, built in 1880-1881.

Today’s ride finished in Guelph, which calls itself the ‘Royal City’. Feeling like Royalty tonight thanks to a stay in a stately Victorian-Style guest house. Tomorrow is on to the town of St. Catharines and Lake Ontario.

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