It is not long on that first day before we are clear of Hamilton suburbs and on rural cliff-top roads.And not long before we go past the first of many vineyards that you will see on this trip.We'll meander through agricultural areas, allowing time to explore some Canada's finest wine-making establishments. We do climb the escarpment but our route for those sections is mostly on canal paths. At the end of that first day we descend to farmland along Lake Ontario and stay in Jordan, one of several villages closely associated with the quality wines that the region produces.
The canal is the shipping artery connecting lakes Ontario and Erie.
It is a key link in a 3,700 km waterway (2,340 miles) that spans the Great Lakes from docks in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to tidewater in the Gulf of St. Our overnight stays are delightful and entertaining.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, our next overnight stay, is a historic and charming town at the mouth of the Niagara River.
Niagara Vineyards, is a one week tour with a route that "wine"ds its way through the Niagara Peninsula.
Cyclists start their ride in Hamilton, a neighbouring city of Toronto.
Locals understand the significance of the Niagara Escarpment but for those who come from away a short explanation is in order.
It is a World Biosphere Reserve, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, one of 16 geological formations in Canada with that UNESCO designation. There is a mainly flat tableland on the Erie side and a steep drop to another mainly flat table land on the Ontario side.
Along the length of the escarpment are several roads with punishingly steep hills to go from north to south.
Our scheduled route avoids the hills but for those who are game we can provide additional options so you can get in some climbing.
We start Niagara Vineyards at a hotel that is at the top of the escarpment in Hamilton.
For much of that first riding day we travel along the rim of the escarpment with stunning views of Hamilton and the villages along Lake Ontario to the east.