MERRITT TRAIL:

GREEN RIBBON TRAIL:

ST. CATHARINES; ONTARIO CANADA

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       July 31, 2017

Length:                 Merritt Trail [Martindale Rd in St Catharines to the Welland Canal in Thorold] ;8.6 miles

                               Green Ribbon Trail; 0.3 miles

                               On-road connection between the Green Ribbon Trail & Merritt Trail; 1 mile

Difficulty:             Merritt Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust trail. 

                               Green Ribbon Trail; Easy, Flat, old paved road.

Directions:     

To Start from the Green Ribbon Trail; From I-190 in Lewiston, NY cross the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge into Canada along Route 405. Merge onto Queen Elizabeth Way. Take exit 48 to Route 38 and head left (north). After less then 0.5 miles (750 m) the parking lot will be on your left. 

To Start from the Merritt Trail (Northern End); From I-190 in Lewiston, NY cross the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge into Canada along Route 405. Merge onto Queen Elizabeth Way. Take exit 48 to Route 38 and head right (south). Travel 0.5 miles (800 m) to Erion Rd. The trailhead is on your left. No trail parking, but lots of plaza parking around.

The Merritt Trail is named in honor of William Hamilton Merritt, the person who originally conceived the idea of the Welland Canal. It follows the path of the old Second Welland Canal, which was a rebuilding of the First Welland Canal, from St. Catharines to Thorold and the Welland Canal Trail . The Second Canal also became more than just a single channel. Locks were built on the Welland River and the Feeder Canal to create a larger inland waterway system. By offering available waterpower and easy transportation to markets the second canal also became an industrial corridor from Thorold and St. Catharines. Because of this the Second Canal continued operating long after the Third Canal was built.

The Second Welland Canal infrastructure is the most preserved of the three Welland Canals.

The Green Ribbon Trail connects to the northern end of the Merritt Trail via an on-road route. 

Starting from the Green Ribbon Trail parking lot; Map and informational board located here. The Green Ribbon Trail follows old Martindale Rd north from the parking lot. Scenic. The old road travels across Barnsdale Marsh via a green bridge. After only 0.3 miles the trail ends at Old Martindale Rd which leads to Third Street Louth. 

Traveling south from the Green Ribbon Trail parking lot; To connect to the Merritt Trail you'll need to travel on-road along Martindale Rd (Route 38).Wide shoulder and sidewalk available. When you cross over Queen Elizabeth Way you'll briefly pick up a BIKE LANE. Come to Erion Rd after 1 mile. The Merritt Trail begins on your left.

Starting from the Merritt Trail off of Martindale Road [Northern End]; I haven't checked out this section. The wide stone-dust Merritt Trail enters the woods traveling south. After 0.5 miles you come alongside the west bank of Twelve Mile Creek. You then come to Welland Vale Rd after 1.1 miles. Head left across the creek then travel on-road (sidewalk available) along Welland Vale Rd a short distance. You'll pick up the trail on your right again at 1.3 miles and travel underneath Route 77. Here the trail follows the east bank of the creek before traveling above Route 406. You briefly utilize Salina St before continuing along the trail. Travel underneath Route 81, then up to McGuire St at 1.9 miles. Travel across the pedestrian bridge. After crossing the bridge over Route 406 a ramp takes you down to an intersection.

Note; The Merritt Trail heads left, straight brings you to the Participark Trail .

Head left along the stone-dust trail and you'll come to an intersection at 2.2 miles.

Note; Right is the start of the Twelve Trail .

The trail travels above Route 406 before traveling underneath Route 91 and then bringing you up to Route 91 at 2.5 miles.

Note; To connect to the next section of trail requires an on-road trek (No shoulder/narrow sidewalk) that is Not recommended for kids on bikes.

Head left along Route 91, crossing over Route 406. Turn left on Collier St and follow to Beard Pl. Head right to a dead end where you'll find a yellow gate on your right and the continuation of the stone-dust Merritt Trail at 3 miles. This wooded trail travels through Centennial Gardens;

Centennial Gardens was unveiled in 1967 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Canada. It is located in Merritton Ward and provides a variety of passive recreational opportunities. The Merritt Trail passes through the park and provides opportunities to view the Locks and path of the First & Second Welland Canals. At the south end of the park, beneath Westchester Crescent (Route 91), are the remains of one of the stone Locks from the Second Welland Canal. Within the park, visitors can view a special Centennial gift to the City, a totem pole.

You come alongside the western bank of the old canal, then follow the canal back towards Route 406 where the canal is swallowed by the roadway.  Now you reverse back alongside the eastern bank of the old canal where the trail is more open passing by a totem pole. Pass by the Oakdale Ave parking lot at 4.3 miles and a garden before emerging alongside Oakdale Ave. Head right along the wide sidewalk and you'll return to Route 91. A cross-light returns you to the Merritt Trail which you follow to the Knifeworks Historical Site parking lot at 4.6 miles.

The Merritton area of St. Catharines was an industrial corridor in the 19th century, filled with mills and foundries. In 1870 Collinson and Burch opened  a factory to produce knives and other sharp instruments such as sickles, the stone foundations seen on the site today were part of the original buildings. Later purchased by a pair of businessmen, Barnes and Whitman of Akron, Ohio, the factory became Barnes and Whitman Knifeworks in 1880.

From here the trail travels south along both sides of the old canal. I would suggest the West Bank as it is more complete, although you can cross over to the West side from the East Bank.

Heading South along the East Bank; The stone-dust trail follows the canal. You quickly pass by some stone foundations of the old mill on your left. After 0.4 miles you can cross over the canal if you wish as the trail ends after 0.5 miles on Oakdale Ave. To continue south you'll need to travel on-road (no shoulder). Pass by the entrance to a playground on your left at 0.7 miles before coming to Disher St. Turn right and you'll pick up the stone-dust trail at 0.9 miles. Across the canal is the West Bank section. The trail continues south before turning left. To your right is a bridge over the canal to the West Bank section. The trail then ends at Oakdale Ave after 1.1 miles.

Heading South along the West Bank; Head north through the parking lot where you'll pick up the trail next to Westchester Crescent. Here the trail turns south along the West Bank of the old canal. You pass by a bridge over the canal after 5.2 miles that leads to the East Bank. Exit onto Moffatt St at 5.5 miles and head left to Disher St. 

Note; Left on Disher St takes you across the canal where the East Bank canal picks up heading south.

Just past Disher St you'll pick up the trail on your left. After 5.8 miles the trail again exits onto Moffatt St. 

Note; Left a bridge takes you across the canal to the the East Bank then out to Oakdale Ave.

Continue south on-road along Moffatt St (residential) a short distance where you'll pick up the trail and cross over some RR tracks as you continue south alongside the canal. Come to a service road at 6.2 miles.

Note; It appears you continue straight, however, I don't know if this is a private road in which case you would detour right out to Brookdale Ave.

Continuing straight you pass by a plaza on your left along with a small section of Mt Locks Park. Here you'll find a Johansson Bar, a type of lever canal workers used on the Second Welland Canal. Come to Glendale St at 6.5 miles and cross over to Mt Locks Park. See Map below. The stone-dust trail travels past the remnants of Lock 15 then around an open field and alongside Bradley St. All the remnants of the old Locks are located in the wooded area along your left. Unfortunately, the trails along the Locks are overgrown and not easily traveled or marked. A big opportunity lost. After 6.8 miles spot a dirt path on your left. This leads to Lock 17. After 7.2 miles a bridge on your left crosses over Lock 20. The trail then ends after 7.3 miles on Bradley St. To your left is Lock 21. Continue left on-road (low volume) and you'll come to Townline Rd. Head left and you'll pick up a gravel trail that brings you to Front St at 7.5 miles. Head right along the paved, Front Street Path. I'm not sure if this is officially part of the Merritt Trail but it will bring you too more sections of the old canal. This path follows Front St south along a commercial corridor. After 7.9 miles you continue south on-road along Front St (Brick paved sidewalk available). Cross Sullivan Ave and head right along the sidewalk. This brings you to the entrance for the Battle of Beaverdams Park at 8.2 miles. A paved trail travels through the park bringing you past the remnants of the Second Welland Canal. Bandstand located here. The trail then leads out to the Battle of Beaverdams Park parking lot at 8.4 miles. Cross Ormond St (Route 52) and travel on-road (residential) along Portland St. Follow to Chapel St and turn left. This brings you to the Lock 7 Viewing Centre & parking lot after 8.6 miles. Here you also connect to the Welland Canal Trail next to the Welland Canal.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

CLICK HERE FOR MT LOCKS PARK MAP

 

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