Niagara Falls/Ontario Canada to the Erie Canal
Day 58 – July 28, 2014 Buffalo, NY to Niagara Falls/Ontario Canada- 23 miles (total miles 3546)
Weather – cool low 60, overcast and rainy
We were staying at the Hyatt in Buffalo – they had a great deal going on due to all the construction outside their doors for the light rail upgrade. We planned to stay a second day and check out the city more but the NYC Bar Exam was being held Monday and Tuesday and we could not get a room in the city on Monday night due to all the hopeful attorneys being in town.
So off we headed about noon – after the storm went by- to get to Niagara Falls/Ontario Canada. Our first task was to figure out how to get across the bridge into Canada – Fort Erie. Neither the Americans or Canadians plan very well for bicyclists to cross into their countries. Once we found where we needed to be we discovered their was no bicycle accommodations on the bridge and we needed to use the sidewalk which was not wide enough for us to ride our bicycle. So we began walking our bicycle over the 1 mile long bridge in the pouring rain with wind gusts blowing hitting us from the side. To say the least it was an eventful walk across the Buffalo/Peace Bridge. The people in their vehicle were looking at us like we were nuts- oh well. We just had to laugh about it because it truly was quite funny. Once we got across the bridge we were directed to the first open lane to clear customs – so off we went to the first open lane – actually a Fast Pass Lane and the guy told us to go to the next one. Once through customs we were able to enter Canada and tried to following our Adventure Cycling directions. Just as we were getting ready to go a gentleman came up to us from a customs building and said you really do not want to go that way. He then directed us to a sidewalk that would lead us to a residential neighborhood and to the Niagara Parkway.
The rain was starting to come down harder and we were hungry so we stopped for late lunch in Fort Erie and then continue on our ride to Niagara Falls. The route was very nice – Niagara Parkway was nice to ride and the adjacent pathway was also a nice facility. Although we rode most of the way on the parkway because the road conditions were better and we were closer to the river. But as we got closer to the falls we changed over to the pathway – which moved adjacent to the river. As we got closer to Niagara Falls the weather kept getting better – we were pretty much dry by the time we got in for the night.
It was a great ride and really cool to come into the falls from upstream and then all of a sudden come around a bend and see this huge waterfall. By this time there were many more people around and we could not ride our bicycle and ended up pushing it along for several miles. Which was ok because the views were spectacular and we wanted to take them all in. We got to see the Horseshoe Falls in Canada and also the American Falls in the United States. That evening we also went back to the falls to see them with the colored lights – Tracy was not as impressed as she thought she would be, but it still was cool.
Day 59 – July 29, 2014. Niagara Falls/Ontario Canada to Medina NY – 45 miles(total miles 3591)
Weather 65-70, partly cloudy, nice tailwind
We decide to take the Horn Blower Niagara Boat Tour to the falls before we left – so we got up early and headed out for the 8:00am trip. It was very fun and amazing to be that close to the falls – we really got wet with the spray from the falls. They even give everyone a rain coat for the trip – much needed.
After our boat trip we headed up for our crossing back into the US – the bridge we crossed this time was the Lewiston/Queenston Bridge. The directions from Adventure Cycling were again a problem – we were told to go to the Toll Captain’s office and then cross the border. At the Toll Captain’s office a woman told Tracy she needed to go to customs – so off we went – but when we got there customs the officer said you do not have to come here just go in line and cross the bridge. Peter was not happy with the again confusing directions – although we did finally figure out what to do. We got in the car line which took us an hour to cross the bridge – we walked our bicycle across the bridge – it totally amazes us they have no accommodations for walkers or bicyclists – not even a sidewalk. Oh well maybe someday they will get it right.
The rest of our day was pretty uneventful and we spent the last half of our trip on the Erie Canal Trail – which as you probably guessed is the old tow trail adjacent to the Erie Canal. It is pretty cool and the historical markers tell the story about the canal, bridges over the canal and buildings adjacent to the canal. The only bad part is the trail is crushed rock and in some spots in bad condition – Peter is not a fan of trails so that also makes it hard. The entire trail is 350 miles and we will be traveling on about 100 miles of it – I am sure we will see some cool sites along the way.
We spent tonight at our first bed and breakfast – The Historic Village Bed and Breakfast in Medina, NY – very nice and great hosts. They were even kind enough to let us do our laundry at the house – yea!! The last picture is of the B & B.