We had some nice spring weather this past week, so we used it to scope out some nearby trails that are new to us. If you enter Artpark using the Portage road entrance you go past a very nice dog park, (which has a skills course section!) then it continues into the parking areas. If you look closely you will see a narrow road to the left of the brick path. This narrow road leads to the trailhead.
There is an upper trail and the rivers edge trail. The rivers edge trail stays long the river for the length of the trail. Then there is a stone staircase to bring you up to the upper trail. These 2 trails join near the Whirlpool bridge. From there the upper trail continues on to the top of the gorge.
We took the upper trail all the way to the top, and on our way back down we took the stairs down and took the rivers edge trail to back to the trailhead.
Several creeks spill over the gorge wall creating mini waterfalls.
The first half of the upper trail is mostly a very gentle grade, with views of the Niagara River along the way
The second half of the trail has more rock sections to cross. Here one of the mini water falls runs down the trail for a few feet before continuing down to the river.
The trail gets steeper towards the end, and the last kilometer becomes dirt/grass instead of stone/rock trail.
Once you get to the top, you get a view of the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric station, the Whirlpool bridge, and the Niagara river. You can’t see the Robert Moses Power Plant, because you are basically on top of it. There were many hawks circling above here, I didn’t see much other wildlife, presumably due to the presence of the hawks.
The way back down was much quicker, then we decided to head down the stairs to check out the rivers edge trail.
There are several fishing access spots where you can get right down to the water.
One last spillway before getting back to the trail head.