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Boating the Niagara River

The Great Lakes and their connecting straits form a continuous body of water from the Atlantic Ocean to the centre of the North American Continent. Flowing north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the Niagara River is an historic journey that offers a pristine boating experience. For centuries, the Iroquois, French, British and Americans used the river as a water highway through thick and rugged forest into the centre of the North American continent.  The river is approximately 58 km long and forms part of the Great Lakes Basin.  Over the course of the river there is a 99 meter drop in elevation which accounts for the world-renowned Niagara Falls.

Aside from the River’s natural beauty there are many unique sights to see and destinations to visit including the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake with its artisan culture, the Shaw Festival and lovely Inns and restaurants. The Niagara River Recreation Trail offers 56 km of paved walkways along the river to explore.  Take a ride in a Horse and Carriage to enjoy the beauty of the Niagara Parks or visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, beaches or local vineyards.  The river is renowned for fishing and is one of Canada’s top locations for Steelhead, Lake Trout and Walleye.

For a step back in time watch for the Fort Niagara Light, visible from your boat. Established in 1782 atop the “French Castle” at Old Fort Niagara, this now inactive lighthouse reminds us of the active role the river played in Canadian and American history.  Located at the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, Old Fort Niagara boasts a 300 year old history.  With its restored buildings and re-enactments you are given a taste of what life was like during the War of 1812 when the British and Americans battled for control of this crucial piece of military real estate.

Boating the Niagara River requires planning because of its shoals.  Visit the following link for information to help you prepare for your trip.  http://www.cruising.ca/guide/o_docs/gd-niagara.html

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