Schedule of events – Laura Secord Walk 2019
You may check in for the Laura Secord Walk between 7:00 and 10:00 am at the Laura Secord Homestead, 29 Queenston Street, Niagara on the Lake. Check-in is mandatory.
8:00 am – OPENING CEREMONY – Laura Secord Homestead
Betty Disero, the first female Lord Mayor of Niagara on the Lake, will officially declare June 22nd and 23rd, 2019 as Laura Secord Weekend.
Join Valerie Pringle as she installs the first new The Great Trail Sign along the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, part of The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail) network.
8:30 am – OFFICIAL DEPARTURE TIME
If you are planning on walking the entire 32 km, we recommend leaving the Laura Secord Homestead no later than 8:30 am. Later departures (up to 10:00 am) are fine if you are walking shorter sections of the trail. (But we really hope you will join us for the official opening ceremony!).
12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – NIAGARA COLLEGE TOURS
If you are passing by Niagara College at noon or 1:00 pm, or if you are ending your walk there, join our great friend, Campus Grounds Supervisor Judy Johnson, for a tour of the greenhouses, apiary, chef’s garden, and a walk past the cannabis production facilities! You can also do free wine tasting at the Wine Centre (or beer tasting at the beer store) before continuing your walk or hopping the shuttle bus back to the Laura Secord Homestead. Feel free to buy your bedding plants, veggies, wine and beer while you are there!
1:00 – 5:00 pm – END OF THE WALK – Decew House Heritage Park
Refreshments and toilets will be available onsite, along with interpretive information about the new First Nations Peace Monument.
THE LAST SHUTTLE BUS LEAVES DECEW HOUSE HERITAGE PARK AT 5:00 pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
For medical emergencies in the field, call 911.
Trail Guide and Maps – Laura Secord Legacy Trail
Find information below on:
Registration and fees – Walk Basics – Walk Departure Time – Weather – Emergencies – Trail guides and maps –Transportation: Secord Shuttle bus – Parking – Food and Water – Toilets – Outdoor and Trail Hazards – Other Events on Laura Secord Weekend
Registration and fees
Q: How much does it cost to register for the Laura Secord Walk?
Q: Do I have to walk the entire 32 km of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail on the day of the walk?
A: No! Not at all. You decide how you’d like to take part. Walk the full 32 km if you like. Walk shorter trail segments and take a connecting ride the Secord Shuttle bus, or walk and linger at the waystations for awhile. Two shuttle buses will be running all day between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm., so a Secord Shuttle will pass each waystation about once every hour.
The last Secord Shuttle will leave Decew House Heritage Park at 5:00 pm.
Q: Can my sponsors walk along with me?
A: Yes and no!!
Only officially registered participants can walk the trail – but if they wish to join you, they can set up their OWN Personal Fundraising Page. All participants must make a minimum donation of $30.00 to their OWN Personal Fundraising Page and sign a digital participation waiver. This officially registers them in the walk, provides liability insurance coverage, allows them to take the Secord Shuttle, and entitles them to a Laura Secord Walk 2019 badge.
Walk Departure Time
Q: When will I leave the Homestead on Saturday morning?
A: Please check in at the Laura Secord Homestead between 7:00 and 10:00 am. You may walk part or all of the trail at your own pace.
HOWEVER, IF YOU PLAN TO WALK THE ENTIRE 32 km LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL, PLEASE GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME. AVERAGE WALKING TIME FOR THE ENTIRE ROUTE IS 6 – 8 HOURS, DEPENDING UPON CONDITIONS AND ABILITY.
Parking is available on the street in Queenston (please observe parking signs). DO NOT PARK IN THE LAURA SECORD HOMESTEAD.
Q: Is this event a race, competition, or timed event?
A: No! The Laura Secord Walk is definitely NOT a race. Though seasoned runners and hikers are welcome to participate and are likely to move along quite quickly, the event is a WALK to be undertaken at your own pace. Trail conditions are sometimes too muddy and rough to support a conventional race… plan on moving slowly and carefully, and on getting dirty if the weather has been wet! No one is timing the participants, and there are no prizes or awards for speedy completion. So take your time and enjoy your walk!
Q: Will the Laura Secord Commemorative Walk take place even if it is raining?
A: Yes – we will go ahead rain or shine, unless there is a storm event with serious threat of lightning strikes. Though we’re of course hoping for a lovely day, wet weather will not stop the walk – though participants should understand that trail conditions may be very slippery in wet weather. Laura Secord made her trek on one of the hottest days of the year, after many weeks of heavy rains. We’ll try to capture some of her spirit!
Q: What should I do in an emergency?
A: Carrying a CELL PHONE is highly recommended. Review the route you are going to take BEFORE you start on your walk, and know your location.
St. John Ambulance medical support personnel will be traveling throughout the various stages of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail. Make sure to say hello and thank them for volunteering to help every year. Take a picture with them and post it online!
For medical emergencies in the field, call 911.
Trail guides and maps
Q: Are trail guides and maps available?
Overview maps and interactive Google maps of the five stages of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail are also available. Note that because the trail is 32 km long, printed maps are of limited utility for detailed trail navigation. We recommend that you review the interactive Google maps online to familiarize yourself with the details of the trail sections you will be walking on.
If you have a smartphone with a data plan, you may also wish to bookmark the links to the trail guide and the interactive maps in the web browser of your mobile device so that you can access them in the field.
Transportation: Secord Shuttle bus
Q: What is the schedule for the shuttle bus?
A: Two Secord Shuttle buses will travel the round trip between the Laura Secord Homestead (the start of the trail) and Decew House (the end of the trail) all day between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. They will stop at all 6 waystations along the way about once every hour or so.
The last shuttle leaves Decew House Heritage Park at 5:00 PM.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For safety reasons, the shuttle buses ARE NOT PERMITTED to pick people up on the roadside, part way along the trail, or elsewhere on the route, so you should plan on boarding the shuttles at the designated waystations.
There will be NO OTHER SHUTTLE BUS SUPPORT, so please plan your walk carefully.
Q: If I start the walk and get tired, what can I do?
A: You should make your way to the nearest waystation and get on a shuttle. (For safety reasons, the shuttle bus is NOT PERMITTED to pick people up on the roadside, part way along the trail, or elsewhere on the route). Alternatively, in an emergency, use your cell phone to call a taxi or Uber (at your own expense).
Q: Where can I park my vehicle while I am participating in the Laura Secord Walk?
A: Parking is available on the street in Queenston. Please obey all parking signs and maintain free access for residents and visitors to Queenston. There is NO PARKING AVAILABLE in the Laura Secord Homestead on the day of the walk.
Food and Water
PLEASE PACK YOUR OWN LUNCH, WATER, AND SNACKS!!
Q: Do I have to bring water along?
A: Yes, please do. Though water and other drinks may be available in limited quantities at waystations along the route, we cannot guarantee that sufficient water will be available onsite for all participants – so PLEASE BRING AT LEAST ENOUGH WATER TO MEET YOUR BASIC NEEDS.
Q: Are refreshments available?
A: Light refreshments will be provided free of charge to registered participants at the following locations on the day of the walk:
- Laura Secord Homestead: Light refreshments until 10:00 am
- Rodman Hall: Light refreshments
- Decew House Heritage Park: Light refreshments
Q: Are there places for us to have our lunch?
A: PLEASE PACK YOUR LUNCH, WATER, AND SNACKS. You will be able to purchase your lunch at the food concessions in the vicinity of Niagara College and the Outlet Collection at Niagara Mall. Light refreshments, snacks, and water may be available at SOME way stations along the trail at no charge. If you are walking the entire walk, you will pass several eating establishments in St. Catharines on your way to your final destination. But plan on being self-sufficient!
Q: Will toilets be available?
A: Toilet facilities are available at various locations along the trail, but are limited, so please plan your walk accordingly. Toilets will be available in the following locations:
- Laura Secord Homestead – regular and accessible toilet facilities
- Firemen’s Park – portable toilet
- Niagara College – regular and accessible toilet facilities
- McDonald’s / Starbucks / Outlet Collection at Niagara – regular and accessible toilet facilities
- Rodman Hall – regular and accessible toilet facilities
- Rotary Park – portable toilet
- Morningstar Mill – portable toilet
- DeCew House Heritage Park – portable toilet
Outdoor and Trail Hazards
WET, MUDDY AND SLIPPERY TRAIL CONDITIONS – Some sections of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail may be wet, muddy, and slippery, especially in areas of exposed clay or in low-lying areas. Make sure to:
- wear appropriate footwear – and expect that it will get muddy!
- consider carrying a portable walking stick (or two)
- approach slopes and hills with extreme caution
- leave sufficient space between yourself and other hikers
- walk carefully to avoid damaging property adjacent to the trail if you have to walk around mud holes or flooded areas
- do not rush or pressure other hikers to move quickly
- take your time, and provide assistance to other hikers when appropriate
- try to avoid inflicting additional damage on wet or eroded sections of the trail
- DO NOT WALK IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF NEGOTIATING OUTDOOR TRAILS IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS
SLIPS, FALLS, TRAFFIC, AND OTHER TRAIL HAZARDS
The Laura Secord Legacy Trail crosses all sorts of terrain, from paved city sidewalks through to gravelled, grassy, rocky or earthen paths. Trails can be wet, muddy, slippery, and / or steep. You may encounter cyclists, mountain bikers, or even motorized vehicles like ATVs or dirt bikes. Urban trail sections may have heavy automobile traffic.
The trail crosses railways, highways, streets and canals, all of which require vigilance and caution. Wear appropriate footwear, and anticipate that you WILL get dirty, especially in wet weather. Proceed carefully, supervise children, and plan accordingly!!!
TICKS – Hikers on the Laura Secord Legacy Trail have encountered ticks. Both Dog Ticks and Black-Legged Ticks have been found in Niagara. With the spread of ticks throughout Northeastern North America, it is not impossible that you may encounter disease-transmitting ticks anywhere in the Niagara region. Information on ticks in Niagara and protection against ticks can be found here. In general:
- Dress in light coloured clothing to easily spot ticks
- Wear clothing that covers arms and legs when walking in wooded areas. Tuck in loose clothing and have your child wear shoes that cover the entire foot.
- Spray insect repellent that contains DEET on exposed skin and clothing (except for babies under 6 months). Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Check yourself and your child’s skin for ticks after outdoor activity. Pay special attention to areas such as the groin, scalp and armpits. Tick bites are usually painless, so your child will likely not feel the tick.
MOSQUITOES AND BITING FLIES – Compared to ‘cottage country’, much of Niagara is relatively bug-free. However, mosquitos and other biting flies may be present along the trail, especially in wet areas and in early morning and evening. Mosquitoes in the area have been known to carry West Nile Virus (more information here). To protect yourself against mosquitoes and biting flies:
- Do not linger in areas with standing water where mosquitoes like to breed
- Avoid infested areas
- Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, socks and shoes.
- Use an insect repellent that contains DEET (except for babies under 6 months).
HEAT, SUN EXPOSURE, AND DEHYDRATION – On hot, sunny days, make sure to protect yourself from sunlight and carry enough drinking water so as to avoid dehydration. Follow these Sun Safety tips from Region Niagara’s Public Health Department:
Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek and Slide
- Slip on clothing to cover your arms and legs
- Slap on a wide-brimmed hat
- Slop on sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30
- Seek shade
- Slide on sunglasses that offer 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection
Other Events on Laura Secord Weekend
Q: I have heard that there are other events and activities happening on Laura Secord Day / Weekend. What are they?
A: Yes! Here they are…
Laura Secord Homestead Visits
Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
29 Queenston Street, Queenston, Ontario L0S 1L0
Family fun and historic demonstrations at the famous Laura Secord Homestead. Outdoor activities are free; regular admission fee applies to tour the inside of the Homestead.
Enjoy music by folksinger James Dyer on Saturday!
Walking Tour by historian Jim Hill
Laura Secord Homestead to Queenston Heights
Sunday, June 23, 2019 – 1:00 PM
29 Queenston Street, Queenston, Ontario L0S 1L0
Laura Secord walked 32 km on her heroic trek in 1813 and many people will walk in her footsteps on Saturday June 22 – but for those that may not want to walk an entire 32 km, we invite you to join a short 0.32 km trek from the Laura Secord Homestead up the escarpment to join the Laura Secord Sesquicentennial Concert concert at 2:00 pm (see below).
Historian extraordinaire Jim Hill will share his knowledge about Laura Secord, the Battle of Queenston Heights, and life during the war that defined Canada along the way.
The Laura Secord Sesquicentennial Concert
June 23, 2019 – 2 p.m. – Queenston Heights Bandshell
Lawn seating – bring your own folding chair or cushion
October 1868 marked 150 years since the death of Laura Secord.
Orchestra Breva will honour her memory in a concert celebration highlighting her heroic acts and life’s journey. Her remarkable contributions to our country’s history will be illustrated through music, paying tribute to all war heroes. ‘EROICA’ will feature classical musicians, Indigenous artists, local historians, new works, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony.