For runners, choosing a vacation destination is serious business, because every vacation — regardless of who you’re taking it with — must also double as a running vacation. Because of this reality, it isn’t enough to find a spot that has plenty to do. Nor is it enough to choose a place known for its natural beauty. No, the right vacation spot has to have all the essential ingredients a runner wants and needs on a day-to-day basis, too: reliably decent weather, safe roads or trails, good air quality, a landscape that’s pleasing to the eye, and, if possible, a community to join for a run or two.
Well, if you’ve always wanted to take in Niagara Falls, you’re in luck. The Niagara region has everything the vacationing runner needs. From community to natural beauty, here are three reasons to take your next vacation in Niagara.
1. The Community
Running clubs aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy the company of other runners for a run now and again, the running community at the St. Catharines Roadrunners and Walkers Club is second to none. With over 100 active members, the group meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club in Niagara for a 5k or 10k run or walk along local roads and trails. And, if you’d like to go further, you can probably find a group of runners who will be happy to join you. Open to visitors, this running club is a great place to get a group running experience, while also learning about secret spots and favorite runs in the region. If Wednesday doesn’t suit your vacation schedule, or if you’d like to join up twice, there are also runners who meet on Sunday morning.
2. The Weather
Even though it’s in Canada, the Niagara region enjoys some of the mildest weather in all of North America. Summers never get too hot. Winters are never too terribly cold, icy, or wet. Spring can be wet, but so long as you stick to the roads it shouldn’t slow you down, and autumn is ideal with its crisp and cool days and nights. While you should definitely pack layers to wear — temperatures can get into the 30s at night — you won’t have to bundle up like you would in a place like Boston. Bring a light raincoat to be on the safe side, but the chances are good that most of the time you’ll be visiting, you’ll be able to head outdoors for a run.
3. It’s Beautiful
Almost everyone already knows about the area’s massive waterfalls. After all, they’re responsible for the region’s worldwide reputation as a place of beauty, but throughout the Niagara Peninsula, loveliness abounds. From trail running to road running, the landscape — dotted as it is with vineyards, orchards, waterways, and farms — is varied, lush, and always worth marveling over. For the runner who wants an inspirational reason to clock in the miles, the countryside and small townships of Niagara are ideal all year around. That being said, the fall foliage makes autumn a particularly memorable time to run.
So, head to Niagara for the vacation of a lifetime. Especially if you’re a runner, the place offers unforgettable experiences around every turn.