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Canal Valley - Merritt Trail

Left: Merrit trail leading to an eating and relaxing area, where people can enjoy nature. Top right: A bridge connecting the relaxing area to numerous trails. Bottom right: Canal Valley in the middle of Merrit trail. [Umar Syed].



This location, situated between Oakdale avenue and Westchester crescent, consists of a huge trail known as Merritt trail where visitors can walk or bike through natural landscape and observe many trees and plants. The trail allows hikers to travel the entire route from Downtown St. Catharines to Mountain Locks Park towards the south part of the city. Part of the trail resembles the shape of a 'U'. It goes west from the parking lot and after about 600m, visitors can turn right and follow the trailto come back the same way. At the end of the trail is an area with big rocks, where visitors can enjoy meals and have a nice picnic underneath the shade provided by long trees. This area is used frequently by individuals who walk towards it. The location gets it's name from a naturally occurring valley called Canal valley located in the middle that travels through the central core of the city of St. Catharines. This location consists of numerous secret trails that allow visitors to venture off to unknown destinations, such as nearby parks or small ponds in the middle of a forest.


 Photo Gallery




TripClip Audio File

(more about TripClips...)








Click to play or download the [Canal Valley- Merritt Trail] TripClip (mp3 format).

This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled
Survey Tour of Natural Picnic Areas


Hours of Operation

Open 24 hours



From Toronto:
Take the Gardiner Expressway W ramp. 14 km

Merge onto QEW/ON 403 W. Drive for 86 km

Take the exit ON-406 S toward Thorold/ Welland/ Port Colborne. Drive for 6.1 km

Take the Westchester Avenue exit.

Slight left onto Westchester Ave and follow for 550 m

The parking lot for the destination should be on the right hand side.

From Niagara:

Take the QEW Highway towards Hamilton/ Toronto. Drive for 13.3 km

Take the Niagara street exit

Merge onto Dieppe road and go on for 500 m

Take a left onto Welland Avenue

After 100 m take another left onto Dunkirk Road. Drive for 400 m

Take a right onto Grantham Avenue South and drive for 750 m

Take the 3rd right onto Eastchester Avenue.

Take a slight left onto Westchester Crescent. 600 m

The parking for the location should be on the left hand side.



The Canal Valley is a naturally occuring valley that travels through the central core of the city. The creek and the surrounding lands are historically significant to the city of St. Catharines. It was here that the First and Second Welland Canals were built. Remnants of the canal are still visible in between the Merritt trail. The remnants that are found are the walls of the locks for the second canal. The Merritt trail was built to commemorate the industrial heritage and route of the First, Second and Third Welland Canals. 



This location inhabits many naturaly conserved areas. The trails all around the park provide great opportunities to experience nature. The trails lead to many different locations, such as parks, ponds and provide fascinating inside routes that make people feel they are in a forest. For people who are fascinated by insects and butterflies, this location is a habitat to many different species of insects.


Further Information





Admission Fee



Not wheelchair accessible


166 Westchester Crescent
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2P 2T3

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.157954
Longitude -79.229735
UTM easting 643922.7343902858
UTM northing 4779876.636549492

Trail length 

11 km

Walking time 

3-5 hours

Jogging time 

2-4 hours

Cycling time 

1-2 hours

Difficulty level 


Surface features 

Rocks, mud, soil.

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