Bike Tours Tour 3
This tour, contributed by Fran Bauer, mother of the legendary Canadian cyclist Steve Bauer, is on of the prettiest in the Niagara area - but you have to work as there are many hills. We suggest you start this 33-kilometre ( 20 mile ) ride at Rockway Community Centre on Pelham Road ( Regional Road 69 ) west of St. Catharines and follow Map 23 in a counter-clockwise direction.
Go west along Pelham Road for a short distance and then turn left onto Wessel Drove. The route is easy to follow. At about the 8 kilometre ( 5 mile ) mark, just past the right turn onto Metler Road, a sign will announce the Comfort Maple. This very short detour is well worth the time, as the Comfort Maple, at about 500 years, is the oldest sugar Maple tree in Canada. And Quiet a sight it is too, with its gnarled trunk and branches supported by guy wires reaching as high as a ten-storey building (34 metres or 112 feet.) Old Glory, as it is called by the Comfort family who farm the surrounding land, towers majestically over neighbouring orchards.
Another jewel along this tour is Edward's, a large gracious century home at about kilometre 15 ( mile 9.3 ) on the right side at 398 Canboro Road. This red brick house with ornate trim and its accompanying old barn is a reminder of prosperous country living in bygone days.
A good place to stop for a rest is at about the two-thirds mark at the intersection of Haist Street and Highway 20. The Loft Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour is on the north side of Highway 20 just a little west of the corner. This is a favourite place for the Freewheelers to stop and partake of sustenance before tackling the winding, rolling lanes of Short Hills that lead back to the Rockway Community Centre.