St. Catharines/Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Includes Routes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. See Also Our Separate Running Guide for Niagara Falls

CC 2.0: Onasill ~ Bill

St. Catharines is the largest city in the Ontario’s Niagara region. It’s  known as the “Garden City” due to its 1,000 acres of parks, gardens, and trails. The surrounding area is known for its orchards and vineyards. There are two ‘sections’ for running in St. Catharines: the downtown area, which is 5 km inland from Lake Ontario, and the waterfront, stretching from Port Dalhousie to Port Weller.

In central St. Catharines, there’s some nice running along the Merritt Trail and the Twelve Creek Trails.  Just south, there’s fairly easy trail running in the area around Brock University, using the Bruce Trail to connect to Glenridge Quarry and Lake Moodie. Trail runners will enjoy Short Hills Provincial Park and Ball’s Falls. Some of the best places to run in St. Catharines are in the area around Lake Ontario. A highlight is the several km of Waterfront Trail along the lake and the Harbour Walkway Trail in the Port Dalhousie area. Just east of there, in the Weller Port area, there’s another section of the Waterfront Trail, a paved multi-use path along the Welland Canal, and the George Nicholson Memorial Trail out to McIntyre Bay. We’ve also included three routes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is 15 km east of St. Catharines.

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Some of our favorite runs in St. Catharines/Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

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St. Catharines has a humid continental climate typical of southern Ontario, with warm summers and cold winters. In summer, temperatures are in the 27C (low 80sF), with cool-ish nights. Fall is gorgeous for running in the Niagara region. Winters are somewhat moderated by Lake Ontario/Erie, though the region receives 137 cm (54 inches) of annual snowfall.


There are a lot of hotels along the main highway, Queen Elizabeth Way — but there’s not great running out your door there. Ideally, try to stay at the waterfront in Port Dalhousie or North St. Catharines. There’s also decent running nearby if staying downtown.

Runners’ Edge is the main running store in the St, Catharines area, and hosts regular group runs. Schedule

There’s also a Reebok store between St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake.