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TURN BY TURN
DIRECTIONS
and TRAIL GUIDE

 

June 2016

 

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LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL

Turn-By-Turn Directions - updated JUNE 2016

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY


USE OF THE LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

TRAIL SIGNAGE, DIRECTIONS , LANDMARKS, WAYFINDING INFORMATION AND OTHER DETAILS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL IN THIS DOCUMENT AND ELSEWHERE (INCLUDING INTERNET AND ELECTRONIC SOURCES) ARE PROVIDED ONLY AS A CONVENIENCE, AND DO NOT CONVEY ANY LEGAL AUTHORITY OR RIGHT OF ACCESS. ACCESS TO PROPERTY IS ENTIRELY AT THE DISCRETION OF THE RELEVANT LANDOWNERS AND JURISDICTIONAL AUTHORITIES. PROPERTY ACCESS AND USE ARE GOVERNED BY ALL PERTINENT AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS IN FORCE AT THE TIME OF ACCESS. TRAIL SURFACE INFORMATION, HEALTH AND SAFETY WARNINGS, AND OTHER INFORMATION RELATED TO THE LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. TRAIL CONDITIONS MAY BECOME HAZARDOUS AT ANY TIME DUE TO WEATHER, EROSION, OR OTHER UNFORESEEN EVENTS. ACCESS TO AND USE OF TRAILS IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

FRIENDS OF LAURA SECORD, PROPERTY OWNERS, AND RELEVANT JURISDICTIONS ASSUME NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR USE OF THE LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL OR OTHER ASSOCIATED TRAILS AND FEATURES, NOR ARE THEY LIABLE IN ANY WAY FOR YOUR HEALTH, SAFETY, OR CONDUCT.

 

 

 

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STAGE 1 - LAURA SECORD HOMESTEAD TO FIREMEN'S PARK

Start: Laura Secord Homestead, 29 Queenston St., Queenston, ON.
 End:
Lower (north) car park in Firemen's Park west of Dorchester Road, Niagara Falls, ON.
Approximate Distance:
7.5 km.
Average Walking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending upon trail conditions.

Available online: STAGE 1 GOOGLE MAP (HOMESTEAD TO FIREMEN’S PARK)

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Toilets
Toilets at 
Laura Secord
Homestead
(business hours,
May-October)

DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD - The Laura Secord Legacy Trail starts on the sidewalk in front of the Laura Secord Homestead - 29 Queenston Street, Queenston, Ontario. Start at the stone marker beside the main gate on Queenston Street.  

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Walk down Queenston Street - From the stone marker beside the main gate in front of the Laura Secord Homestead, walk down Queenston Street until you reach the intersection with Dee Road (400 m). Dee Road is a small lane, and hard to see, but watch  for a red brick house on your left. Dee Road is just after that house, on your left.

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Left onto Dee Road - Turn left (west) onto Dee Road.  Continue walking straight ahead on Dee Road towards the Niagara Parkway (300 m).

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Cross the Niagara Parkway - Head straight across the Niagara Parkway to the unpaved Dee Road farm access road directly opposite.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

5

Continue on farm access road - Continue west on Dee Road farm access road (850 m). At the end of this farm access road, you will arrive at a ‘T’ junction, the intersection with Concession 1 road (also unpaved). 

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Turn left on Concession 1 road allowance - At the 'T' junction, turn left (south) onto the unpaved Concession 1 road allowance and follow it to York Road (600 m). It becomes a narrower dirt path up ahead.

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Cross York Road - You’ll emerge from the woods onto York Road, a well-used, paved, two lane regional highway.
Cross York Road, turn right (west), and walk along the south shoulder of York Road for about 15 minutes.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Walk along shoulder of York Road - Continue west along the south shoulder of York Road to the intersection with Concession 2 Road.

Just past the intersection with Concession 2 road, you’ll see a massive stone wall - the remains of an old railway bridge abutment.

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Into the woods behind the old railway bridge abutment - Just before the old railway bridge abutment, look for a couple of trail signs (Secord and Bruce Trail) directing you to turn left into the woods and follow the trail up and behind the stone wall. Just follow the trail marker sign into the woods.

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Follow the signs and paint blazes - Follow the signs and the blue paint blazes on the trees. They will take you past the trail intersection with Kilometre 4.3 of the Bruce Trail. Continue on the shared Laura Secord Legacy Trail / Bruce Trail (white paint blazes) along the edge of the escarpment, all the way to the intersection with Stamford Townline Road (about 2.0 km).

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Right on Stamford Townline Road - Exit the woods and turn right (west) onto Stamford Townline Road.  Walk out to the stop sign at the intersection with Four Mile Creek Road / St. Paul Avenue (60 m).

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Left at the stop sign, onto shoulder of St. Paul Avenue -  Turn left (south) and follow the shoulder along the left hand (east) side of St. Paul Avenue, walking up the hill. You will pass underneath the highway 405 overpass.

Continue up the hill for 550 metres, or about 6 minutes. Watch for the right arrow sign that points you across St. Paul Avenue. That’s where you’ll and enter the woods again on the opposite side of the road. 

CAUTION: HIGH TRAFFIC AREA!
Be very careful as you walk up the hill and cross the road.

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Cross St. Paul Avenue - At the right arrow sign, cross St. Paul Avenue onto the shared Laura Secord Legacy Trail / Bruce Trail, marked by a dirt path, trail sign, and white paint blazes.

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Through the woods - Follow the shared Bruce Trail and Laura Secord Legacy Trail signage through the woods (1.1 km) until the trail emerges on Dorchester Road. The railway tracks run parallel to the trail at this point . 

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toilets

Portable toilet at Firemen's Park on Laura Secord Day ONLY

Cross Dorchester Road - Walk across Dorchester Road into the parking lot at lower Firemen's Park. The official end of Stage One of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail is located in the gated car park in Fireman’s Park, immediately across Dorchester Road. 

This is the end of Stage 1.

NOTE: Stage 2 of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail continues on the opposite side of the railroad tracks, just up the hill. Cross over the tracks and look for the railway signal control box. The trail heads into the woods, on your right, immediately alongside the control box.

CAUTION: RAILWAY CROSSING - Watch and listen for trains!

 

 

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STAGE 2 - FIREMEN'S PARK TO NIAGARA COLLEGE

Start: Lower (north) car park in Firemen's Park west of Dorchester Road, Niagara Falls, ON. End: Main bus stop at Niagara College (under the big blue 'nc' logo in front of the main entrance), 135 Taylor Road, Niagara on the Lake, ON. Approximate Distance: 6.5 km. Average Walking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending upon trail conditions.

Available online: STAGE 2 GOOGLE MAP (FIREMEN’S PARK TO NIAGARA COLLEGE)

16

toilets
Portable toilet
Firemen’s Park on Laura Secord Day ONLY

Stage 2 of the Legacy Trail officially starts at the parking lot at lower Firemen's Park, west of Dorchester Road and north of the CN Railway. The trailhead itself is just south of the railway tracks on Dorchester Road.

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DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: From the gated car park in lower Firemen's Park, head south on Dorchester Road, across the railway tracks.  Cross over the tracks and look for the railway signal control box on the right. The trail goes into the woods, on your right, immediately alongside the control box. 

CAUTION: RAILWAY CROSSING - Watch and listen for trains!

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Into the woods - Follow the Laura Secord trail signs and white paint blazes into the woods. This section of trail follows the railway line, then skirts the north edge of the Mountain Road Landfill Site, enters Mewburn Park, and intersects Mewburn Road (1.9 km). 

CAUTION: There is extensive trail erosion in this area from motorized vehicles.
Low-lying stretches of the trail may be very wet and muddy.
Please proceed carefully, and avoid doing further damage to the trail.

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Cross Mewburn Road - The Laura Secord Legacy Trail will cross Mewburn Road and continue straight ahead on the opposite (west) side for 70 m. Stay south of the fence. The trail north of the fenceline (marked with Bruce Trail blazes) is rutted and muddy.

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Passing stormwater ponds - After 70 m, you will pass three leachate ponds south of the trail. 

About 400m later, the trail will turn south (left) along a ravine for 140 m, before U-turning and heading north again up the west side of the same ravine.

CAUTION: depending upon season and weather conditions, the bottom of the ravine may be wet and muddy.

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Approaching CN Railway and QEW - As you approach the CN railway line from the south, the trail will veer left (west) and meander through the woods for 330 m to the intersection with the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway.

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Cross the QEW on the Sand Plant Hill Footbridge.

From the west end of the Sand Plant Hill Footbridge, the trail descends to grade level and follows the south side of the CN railway for 360 m before making a sharp right turn and passing through the 25m long ‘Screaming Tunnel’ under the train tracks.

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Through the Screaming Tunnel - Walk through the 25m long ‘Screaming Tunnel’, a quarried limestone tunnel that runs under the present-day CN (once Grand Trunk) Railway line.

Be careful as you make your way through this dark and wet railway underpass, as there is frequently running or standing water in the bottom of the tunnel. The stepping stones installed by fellow hikers, though convenient, are often wet and slippery, and are not always very steady.

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Exit the Screaming Tunnel and turn left (west) on Warner Road.  

In about 500 metres you will pass the intersection of Garner Road and Warner Road. Keep on walking straight ahead on Warner Road.

Coming up - about 900 metres past the intersection with Garner Road - the trail will take a sudden hard right turn. It’s hard to see, but keep your eyes open for a clump of blue spruce trees on a privately owned residential property on the right hand side of the road.

Look for a small green and white address plaque with the number 9556 – it will be on your left. You will be heading onto a marked side trail alongside someone’s private property just opposite the address plaque.

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Abrupt right turn off Warner Road - Just opposite the driveway for 9556 Warner Road, the trail takes an abrupt right turn and heads along a private property line and into the woods, skirting the eastern edge of 9559 Warner Road (a privately owned property with right of passage granted to the Bruce Trail Club). The trailhead is marked with Laura Secord Signs and Bruce Trail directional signs and blazes.

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Alongside the private residence - Follow the trail signs, and walk between the blue spruces and the hedgerow that runs beside the farmer’s field. It feels like you’re walking into someone’s back yard – and indeed you are. But it’s all right – you have permission to walk here. So please respect the rights and privacy of this generous landowner.

Stay close to the hedgerow, and watch for the trail markers up ahead (you’ll see them when you leave the grassy area and head into the woods). You will cross into Woodend Conservation Area and continue due north until the intersection with the access road to the Woodend Conservation Area parking lot.

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Crossing the Woodend Conservation Area access road - Our trail will cross over the access road to the Woodend Conservation Area. Keep going straight across the access road, and enter the woods again, on the other side. Just follow the Laura Secord trail signs. 

In 45m, you will join the Paul Naray [Silurian] Side Trail of the Bruce Trail, which continues westward for approximately 300m.

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Turn left at the junction with the Paul Naray (Silurian) side trail - Our trail joins with the Paul Naray (Silurian) side trail and the Wetland Ridge Trail of Niagara College. Turn left and follow the trail markers down the rocky slope towards the Niagara College vineyards. 

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Double back on the Wetland Ridge Trail - As you descend the slope, the trail doubles back and follows the southeastern edge of the Niagara College vineyards for about 400 metres. You might be able to catch a glimpse of the vineyards through the trees. 

Keep walking along this trail, but be careful – it is a talus slope, littered with loose stones from ancient glaciation and erosion of the Escarpment.

CAUTION: Rocky slope with uneven footing - WALK CAREFULLY!

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Passing Niagara College Vineyards and Ponds  - The trail emerges at the eastern edge of the Niagara College vineyards.
It continues north for about 440 m, passing the wetland ponds (lagoons) and the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Garden on the way.

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toilets
Toilets in Wine Centre
and Main Campus
(business hours,
year-round)

Entering the main campus of Niagara College - When you reach the paved entrance road to the Niagara College car park, turn left and follow the signs that will take you through the College campus. 

Follow the shoulder of the road as it curves south and then west towards the Wine Visitor and Education Centre.

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From the Wine Education Centre to the Transit Loop -  Cross the road at the crosswalk in front of the Wine Vistor and Education Centre and follow the sidewalk to theTransit Loop in front of the main college building (400 m), under the big blue 'nc' logo.

This is the end of Stage 2.

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STAGE 3 - NIAGARA COLLEGE to RODMAN HALL

Start: Main bus stop at Niagara College (under the big blue 'nc' logo in front of the main entrance), 135 Taylor Road, Niagara on the Lake, ON.  End: Front door of Rodman Hall, 109 St Paul Crescent, St. Catharines, ON L2S 1M3. Approximate Distance: 9.0 km. Average Walking Time: 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes, depending upon road and trail conditions.

Available online: STAGE 3 GOOGLE MAP (NIAGARA COLLEGE TO RODMAN HALL)

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toilets

Toilets in Mall /
McDonald's /
Starbucks
(business hours,
year-round)

Stage 3 begins at theTransit Loop bus stop in front of the main entrance of Niagara College, under the big blue 'nc' logo.

Path to Taylor Road - From the bus stop in front of the main entrance to Niagara College, look for the pedestrian pathway that takes you from the bike racks at the transit loop to the edge of Taylor Road.The path curves west, towards the edge of Taylor Road. Follow the path.

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Turn right onto Taylor Road towards Glendale Avenue - When you reach Taylor Road, turn right and walk towards the traffic lights and the pedestrian cross walk at the main intersection with Glendale Avenue.

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Cross Glendale Avenue and Taylor Road, then walk towards McDonald's and Starbucks - At the traffic lights, carefully cross Glendale Avenue using the pedestrian crosswalk. On the other side prepare to cross Taylor Road. You’ll be heading towards McDonalds, and the Outlet Mall. Continue along the sidewalk on the west side of Taylor Road, towards McDonalds and Starbucks.

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Cross the Outlet Collection Mall entrance road and continue along the sidewalk - Carefully cross using the pedestrian crosswalk.

Stay on this sidewalk as it curves past the full length of the Outlet Mall. If you want to look around the mall, go right head. Otherwise, keep walking along the sidewalk past the mall.  

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Continue walking to the end of the sidewalk in front of the mall on Taylor Road. When the sidewalk ends, you can choose to continue walking on the shoulder of Taylor Road itself, or walk along the grassy verge in front of the car park at Leon’s Furniture.

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Carefully cross Homer Road and continue along the shoulder of Taylor Road. Up ahead, Taylor Road will curve north towards the intersection with York Road and Highway 55, in the shadow of the Garden City Skyway. You’ll be turning left at the traffic lights, heading west on York Road (which will turn into Queenston Street on the other side of the Homer Lift bridge).

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Turn left at the traffic lights onto York Road (which will become Queenston Street on the other side of the Homer Bridge).  Make your way carefully along the shoulder of the road.


Walk carefully, facing the traffic. The Garden City Skyway will be on your right, and high above you. You will also pass the Homer Cemetery on your left, and the sign which marks the municipal border between Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines. 

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Walk west towards the Welland Canal along the south shoulder of York Road (which becomes Queenston Street on the other side of the Homer Bridge).

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

41

Cross the Homer Lift Bridge over the Welland Canal (240 m)Use the pedestrian pathway on the south (left) side of the Homer Bridge. You may have the opportunity to view ships if the lift bridge is up.

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Cross the Welland Canals Parkway Trail intersection, and continue west along Queenston Street.

After crossing the bridge you’ll come to a set of traffic lights at the intersection of the Welland Canals Parkway Trail. Keep walking straight ahead along Queenston Street, heading west.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Continue west along the south side of Queenston Street. You will pass Victoria Lawn Cemetery, and cross Emmett Road and Spring Street on your way to Bunting Road (1.3 km).
                        CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

44

Cross the busy intersection at Bunting Road and Queenston Street at the crosswalk. Continue on Queenston Street to Hartzell Road (400 m).

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

45

Cross the busy intersection at Hartzell Rd. Continue west along Queenston St. for 900 m to Westchester.
                        CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

46

At the intersection of Queenston Street and Westchester Crescent, directions get a bit tricky - so pay attention!

Cross over Westchester Crescent and immediately turn left, but do not go straight down the hill on Westchester Crescent.

Instead, follow the sidewalk that heads along Eastchester Avenue and down the hill on the diagonal. You will see a one-way street sign that directs you onto Eastchester Avenue.  Follow the sidewalk down Eastchester Avenue.

THIS INTERSECTION CAN BE A BIT CONFUSING…  CHECK THAT YOU ARE
NOW FOLLOWING EASTCHESTER AVENUE TOWARDS CENTENNIAL PARK.
 

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Keep following Eastchester Avenue southwest (downhill) for about 200 metres, until you meet the intersection with Oakdale Avenue.

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Turn right on Oakdale, and walk north on Oakdale for 80 metres, towards the car park on your left.
The car park is actually an entrance to Centennial Park Gardens – which is part of the system of parks that follow the old Welland Canal through the heart of St. Catharines.

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Cross Oakdale Avenue and enter the car park, then turn right and head past the road barrier into the valley. Follow the trail into Centennial Park.

All along the this section of the trail, partially hidden by the vegetation on your left, is Dick’s Creek. This creek was part of the original Welland Canal system, and is believed to be named after celebrated  Black Loyalist Richard ‘Captain Dick’ Pierpoint, who was granted land in this area. You’ll see a plaque commemorating him beside the car park.

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Keep walking along the trail (shared with the Merritt Trail) into Centennial Park. Up head, in about 500 metres, you’ll see the Totem Pole Garden. Keep walking along the trail.

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After the Totem Pole Garden, continue walking west on the Merritt Trail for 180 m, then bear right on the paved section of the trail. 

Follow the trail up the staircase and emerge on Riordan Drive. Follow the left (west) sidewalk of Riordan Drive to the intersection with Gale Crescent.

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Turn left (west) on Gale Crescent,
and walk all the way to Geneva Street (170 m).  You’ll see the Garden City Arena Complex across the road on your right.

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Turn left on Geneva Street. Walk south on Geneva Street for 70 m. At the traffic light, CAREFULLY cross over the Hwy 406 off- ramp and continue walking SOUTH. 

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Cross Geneva Street to the opposite corner using the pedestrian crosswalk. You’ll be on the southeast corner of Geneva Street and Race Street. (Race Street turns into McGuire Street up ahead). Watch for the street marker signs, and again, please be careful of traffic here.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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CAREFULLY cross over to the sidewalk on the opposite side of Race Street. Turn left and continue walking west on Race Street. It will bear slightly south west.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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Continue walking southwest on Race Street. Keep left on the sidewalk along Race Street. Just ahead, you will pass in front of Brock University’s new downtown campus – the Marilyn I Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts, and the Meridian Arena.

CAUTION: High traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

57


Cross Carlisle Street. At this point, Race Street becomes McGuire Street. 

Continue walking southwest along McGuire Street. You’ll pass the entrance ramp to Highway 406, and walk under the Westchester Avenue viaduct. (Highway 406 is a major north-south highway which runs from the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) here in St. Catharines along the valley of the Twelve Mile Creek and then continues south to East Main Street in Welland).

CAUTION: Construction and high traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

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At the foot of St. Paul Crescent cross straight over McGuire Street. Look straight ahead, and take the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Highway 406.  At this point the Laura Secord Trail shares the pathway with the Merritt Trail.

NOTE : The pedestrian bridge over Hwy 406 is OPEN.

The Merritt Trail west of St. Paul Crescent on the east side of the creek (which is not part of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail) may be closed due to construction.

After you’ve crossed Highway 406 on the pedestrian bridge, the ramp takes you down into the valley of Twelve Mile Creek.

CAUTION: Construction and high traffic area - Please proceed carefully!

Walk over Hwy 406 on the pedestrian bridge and turn right, following the ramp down into the valley of Twelve Mile Creek. Follow the trail along the creek (350 m) to the steel truss bridge.

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Crossing Twelve Mile Creek -
Up ahead is the steel truss bridge. Turn left onto the pedestrian walkway of the bridge, and cross over Twelve Mile Creek.  Once you’ve crossed the creek, you are back on the continuation of St. Paul Crescent. You will follow St. Paul Crescent all the way to Rodman Hall, about 350 metres up the hill.

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Continue straight ahead (south) along St. Paul Crescent
for 350 m towards the entrance of Rodman Hall. (Alternatively - if conditions permit - you can make your way diagonally across the front lawn and up the hill to the Rodman Hall car park).

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toilets
Toilets in
Rodman Hall
(year-round,
business hours)

Arriving at Rodman Hall - Climb up the hill and walk across the lawn, or turn left into Rodman Hall Drive, and enter the grounds of Rodman Hall Arts Centre

Stage 3 of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail ends here, at the front door of Rodman Hall. 

This is the end of Stage 3.


FLS leaf logo


STAGE 4 - RODMAN HALL TO ROTARY PARK

Start: Front door of Rodman Hall, 109 St Paul Crescent, St. Catharines, ON L2S 1M3.
End:
Rotary Park (entrance opposite 392 Pelham Street, St. Catharines L2S 0A2 (at Rotary International logo). Distance: 4.5 km, or approximately 55 min to 1.25 hours for the average walker, depending upon trail conditions.

Available online: STAGE 4 GOOGLE MAP (RODMAN HALL TO ROTARY PARK)

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toilets
Toilets in
Rodman Hall
(year-round,
business hours)

Leave the front entrance of Rodman Hall and turn right towards the entrance of the Walker Botanical Gardens.

Follow the staircase down through the Walker Botanical Gardens, past the outdoor amphitheatre

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Rodman Hall to the edge of Twelve Mile Creek - Stay on the path as it winds down the hillside until it emerges on the main Laura Secord Legacy Trail, about 350 m.

At the bottom of the hill, you’ll be turning right and walking south along the wide gravelled expanse of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

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Turn right and walk south along the wide gravelled expanse of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail (former Participark Trail). As you walk along the trail, Twelve Mile Creek will be on your left. 

Up ahead, in about 450 metres, is the CN Rail Bridge. Continue walking south towards that bridge.

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Cross under the CN Rail Bridge (450 m) and continue walking south on the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

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Approaching the Western Hill Side Trail - About 900 m south of the CN Rail Bridge, you will pass the intersection with the Western Hill Side Trail, which hairpins up the bluffs under the power lines to the right. Continue south on the main Laura Secord Legacy Trail, keeping Twelve Mile Creek on your left.  

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Approaching the Glendale Avenue Pedestrian Bridge - Just before the Laura Secord Legacy Trail intersects with Glendale Avenue, you’ll see the Glendale Avenue Pedestrian Bridge at Old Glendale Avenue. 

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Make a left turn towards the Glendale Avenue Pedestrian Bridge (40 m) but do not cross it. Instead, turn right and follow the Laura Secord Legacy Trail south, past the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) barrier gate.  

Continue walking under the newer Glendale Avenue Overpass (60 m). 

After you’ve walked under the Glendale Avenue Overpass, continue walking south on the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

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Approaching the storm water retention pond - About 900 m south of the Glendale Avenue Overpass, you will come upon a large storm water retention pond on your right. Follow the path as it hugs the south eastern edge of the retention pond. Keep the pond on your right. After you’ve reached the end of the pond, bear left along the trail that follows Twelve Mile Creek.

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Crossing Elk Street Flats - Stay on the trail as it meanders through the Elk Street Flats. This is a low-lying area that is undergoing reforestation. After 600 m you will come to a small rise, where you will begin your ascent to Rotary Park.

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Bear right at the trail intersection - After 160 m, the main gravel trail will make a sharp left turn towards a leachate pumping station.

Do not follow it; instead, bear RIGHT at this corner and follow the trail WEST for 100 m towards the stand of pine trees on the hillside (Rotary Pines North).

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Up through the pines to Rotary Park - Follow the path up the hillside and through the pines towards Rotary Park.

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Entering Rotary Park -  As you emerge from the trees at the top of the hill, you’ll be entering Rotary Park. Turn left here, and follow the curving trail towards the large circular stone structure about 50 m ahead. It is hard to tell from here, but it is a raised stone garden featuring the Rotary International Logo.

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toilets

Portable toilet
at Rotary Park
(Laura Secord
Day ONLY)

Friendship Garden - Rotary Logo - The raised circular garden on the edge of Rotary Park is known as the Friendship Garden. It displays a large Rotary International logo, surrounded by ornamental grasses and junipers. The 24 foot wheel, made of steel, is said to symbolize movement and civilization.

Stage 4 ends at the big yellow and blue Rotary Garden monument in Rotary Park.

This is the end of Stage 4.


toilets

Portable toilet
at Rotary Park
(Laura Secord
Day ONLY)


STAGE 5 - ROTARY PARK TO DECEW HOUSE

Start: Rotary Park (entrance opposite 392 Pelham Street, St. Catharines L2S 0A2 (at Rotary International logo). End: Decew House Hertiage Park, Decew Road, 628 m west of Merrittville Highway, St. Catharines.  Approximate Distance: 4.5 km, or approximately 55 min to 1.25 hours for the average walker, depending upon trail conditions.

Available online: STAGE 5 GOOGLE MAP (ROTARY PARK TO DECEW HOUSE)

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Stage Five begins immediately in front of the big blue and yellow Rotary International logo. From the Rotary International logo, walk along the path towards the large boulder with the bronze plaque. 

Just past the boulder, there, turn right on the pedestrian pathway and make your way to the park entrance at Pelham Road. Watch for the Laura Secord Legacy Trail marker.  From there, you’ll follow the gravel path as it skirts the edge of the park.

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From the Rotary International monument, walk along the path towards the large boulder with the bronze plaque.
 

Just past the boulder, turn right on the pedestrian pathway and make your way to the park entrance at Pelham Road.

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From the main (Pelham Road) entrance to Rotary park, look for the Laura Secord Legacy trail marker, and walk south along the wide gravel path, keeping Pelham Road to your right.

Follow the path until it bears left. 

At the bend, you’ll see the marker for the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, which continues straight ahead, heading south. Leave the wide gravel path, and follow the trail.

On the opposite side of the parking lot you will see a gravel path that heads south, and then bends left (east) through a stand of pine trees (Rotary Pines South) towards the valley of the Twelve Mile Creek. Follow this pathway down the hillside and into the valley.

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Descending towards Rotary Pines South - Keep heading east on the trail into a stand of pine trees. This grove of trees is called  Rotary Pines South.

Follow this pathway down the hillside and into the valley.

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Entering the power line corridor - The trail emerges into a wide power line corridor and curves right.

In late fall, winter, and early spring, you will have a good view from here of the DeCew Power Generating Station on the opposite (east) side of the creek. 

Follow the trail ahead as it crosses under the power lines and continues into the woods.

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Enter the woods on the opposite side of the power line corridor. Continue down the trail as it descends into the valley of Twelve Mile Creek.

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Gate at DeCew Power Generating Station - At the bottom of the valley, the trail emerges at the foot of Tailrace Road by the gate of the DeCew Power Generating Station. 

Follow the trail which parallels the chain-link fence to the right of this gate.

CAUTION: This section of the trail can be very wet, muddy, and slippery.
Proceed carefully!

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When the fence ends, bear left on the trail and climb up on the slight rise to the old DeCew Power Plant access path. Follow the earthen trail (dirt path) south, beside Twelve Mile Creek. The creek is much narrower here, upstream from the power station.

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Ruins of the Peter Thomas Mill Dam - About 650 m after the end of the power station fence, look left. You will see the ruins of the old Peter Thomas Mill Dam bridging the Twelve Mile Creek. You can view it from a small lookout to the left of the main trail. Return to the main trail and continue south.

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Climbing the 'hogsback' ridge - About 50 m south of the Mill Dam, you will come to a trail junction. Bear RIGHT and follow the gravelled section of the trail as it climbs the 'hogsback' ridge. Follow the hogsback trail as it descends and eventually crosses the 12 Mile Creek at what’s now known as 'The Bridge at Laura's Crossing'.

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Looking down on the Bridge at Laura's Crossing - As you descend the slope from the hogsback, look through the trees on your left and you should be able to see the metal span of The Bridge at Laura’s Crossing.

At the bottom of the hill, at the trail junction, turn left and head towards the bridge. You’ll be using this bridge to cross Twelve Mile Creek.

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Cross the Bridge at Laura's Crossing into Laura's Meadow.

The Bridge at Laura’s Crossing was installed in May 2013, and officially dedicated on June 22 – exactly two hundred years to the day after Laura Secord’s momentous journey. As you cross this simple but unique bridge, remember that according to her own accounts, Laura Secord crossed the 12 Mile Creek on a fallen log. This footbridge, built with generous donations by the Toby family and Rankin Construction and based on a design from the Government of New Zealand, makes the crossing a whole lot easier.

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After crossing the bridge, continue straight on the trail across Laura’s Meadow, towards the Escarpment. (250 m).

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Up the escarpment to the 'Bench on the Bench' -  Follow the gravel trail up the hill, and into the woods. Soon you’ll see a log seating area on a gentle slope of the escarpment, a level area known geologically as a 'bench'.

You can take a rest here on what’s now known as 'The Bench on the Bench'.

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Take either trail branch - Just after the Bench, the trail splits (left or right). You can take either branch. Both paths will converge further up the escarpment, but the right branch is a little longer.

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Trail convergence - On the brow of the Escarpment, the Laura Secord Legacy Trail rejoins the Bruce Trail.

Stay on the trail as it heads southwest towards the 'nose' of the Escarpment (370 m), and then back eastward overlooking the valley of Beaverdams Creek for 450 m. You will soon see the gorge of DeCew Falls on your right, as you approach at DeCew Falls and Morningstar Mill.

NOTE: The Laura Secord Legacy Trail turns left and heads northeast just before you get to the DeCew Falls lookout and the Morningstar Mill property. If you choose to visit the Mill, note the trail junction where the Laura Secord Legacy Trail continues so you can return and continue your walk.

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toilets

Permanent
portable
toilet at
Morningstar
Mill (year-round)

Approaching Morningstar Mill - As the trail approaches DeCew Falls and Morningstar Mill, you will come to a trail junction.

The Laura Secord Legacy Trail turns left there, and head north.

If you turn right at the junction, you’ll end up on the Morningstar Mill property.

Morningstar Mill is definitely worth a visit. But if you choose to visit the Mill, note the trail junction where the Laura Secord Legacy Trail continues so you can return and continue your walk.

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Along DeCew's Field - At the junction where the trail splits towards Morningstar Mill, turn left and follow the trail for 200 metres along the west edge of the Niagara Region's DeCew Water Treatment Plant. 

On your left you’ll see two small brick buildings – these are pumping stations. The open grassy field, on your left, is part of DeCew's Field.Somewhere in that field Laura Secord had her famous encounter with the First Nations warriors. 

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Past the ponds and trees to the reservoir - About 50m past the pumping station building you will see two round settling ponds at the water treatment plant. On your left, just before the gate to the settling ponds, look for a small pathway that leads past a grove of trees. It will curve towards the stone wall of the Lake Moodie Hydro reservoir. Follow that path.

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Up the reservoir wall - Carefully climb the angled path up the stone wall of the reservoir, and turn right when you reach the top.The trail continues along the top of the wall. Once you’re there you’ll see some sweeping views of the escarpment, and the complete reservoir system.

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Continue on top of the reservoir wall - Stay on the trail atop the crushed stone berm as it follows the edge of the reservoir. Keep the reservoir on your left. Up ahead you’ll be approaching Decew Road. 

Stay on the raised trail as it follows the south edge of the reservoir, parallel to Decew Road. 

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Remain on the trail on top of the reservoir wall as it curves away from Decew Road along the edge of the reservoir for 130 m and  descends to grade level.

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Down from the reservoir wall to the trail - The path descends from the stone reservoir wall, and follows a short section of the shoreline of Lake Moodie before heading east through forest and meadow (400 m). Follow the trail as it heads into the forest. 

The forest can be damp through here - watch out for mud puddles!

The trail will turn left (north) for 80 m, and then make a sharp right turn towards the southeast at the water's edge.

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Turn right when the trail reaches the shoreline - On this stretch of trail, you will approach a hydro feeder canal which supplies water to the Decew Falls Generating Station (which is located on the edge of the escarpment just north of this location). 

Make a sharp right turn along the water’s edge. Be careful - the banks can be slippery, and the water here is fast-flowing and very dangerous. It connects the Lake Moodie hydro reservoir system with Lake Gibson.

At this point, you will be on the final approach to DeCew House.

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 toilets

Portable toilet at
Decew House
Heritage Park
on Laura Secord
Day ONLY

Arriving at Decew House Heritage Park - The final approach to DeCew House follows the swift-flowing channel connecting Lake Moodie and Lake Gibson for 300 m before emerging at DeCew House Heritage Park.

At the end, you will arrive at Decew House Heritage Park, which is the end of Stage 5 (and of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail).

Decew House is where Laura Secord came to deliver her fateful message to Lieutenant Fitzgibbon, and  walked into history. 

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FLS leaf logo

 
This is the end of Stage Five,
and the end of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

Congratulations – you’ve just followed in Laura Secord's footsteps!
 


FLS leaf logo

 

THE FOLLOWING ONLINE MAPS CAN BE FOUND UNDER THE ‘TRAILS’ TAB ON

www.friendsoflaurasecord.com


 

 

 

© 2016 Friends of Laura Secord. Assembled by David T. Brown and Barbara Worthy. Special thanks to Ross Macdonald, Bryant Prosser, Lori Steglinski, Leah Bercovitch, Cate Mee, Roy McCormick, Mike and Judy Fox (Niagara Nomads), Niagara Bruce Trail Club, Shannon Millar, Matt MacMillan, Niagara Region and municipalities, and everyone else who has assisted with route planning, mapping, and trail creation and maintenance.