The name Niagara Glen conjures up casions of a
pleasant peaceful glade. This image is reasonably accurate
so long as you stay in the picnic area above the cliff. This grassed
area, set amongst tall trees, was previously part of the river bed. In the mid
1850s, a saw mill operated on these flats, although no vestiges of it remain today.
But once you wander over the edge of the gorge, the scene changes
dramatically, and a more apt descriptor would be the Devil's Half Acre or the Battleground of the Gods. Gigantic moss- covered boulders are strewn about in the most chaotic fashion, as though some superhuman powers had fought a pitched battle on this site, gouging rocks as large as houses from the ground and hurling them at each other. You can wander around this bizarre landscape along approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of trails, which can be accessed
via a metal staircase down the initial, steepest part of the
Rock climbers are often seen dangling precariously by ropes and pitons from the cliff face.
The trails lead down into the gorge, revealing the geologic strata that were laid down over four hundred million years ago. Although steep in places, the trails are well-marked and easily negotiated. The paths, which thread over, under, and mound huge boulders that have been carved
from the cliff face and were smoothed when Niage'a Falls was here approximately eight thousand years ago, pass by various natural features including the mammoth pothole, the leaning rock, and the Devil's arch. The forest is primarily deciduous with maples, Staghorn sumacs, sassafras, tulip trees, and even some red mulberry trees. The ground cover is varied and includes poison ivy, so take care. This is one of our favourite walks because it is seldom crowded, and the scenery, with its tangle of giant boulders, has a surrealistic beauty.
Fishing has long been a favourite pastime at the Glen, and fishermen cm often be seen casting their lines from the many rocks that are strewn along the shore. A word of caution: do not clamber onto these rocks as the water level can change suddenly and leave you stranded.
It is easy to spend an entire day at the Glen as it offers an excellent place to picnic and observe the geology and natural history of the Niagara gorge.
From late June to Labour Day, a park naturalist conducts free guided walks through the Glen. Contact the Parks Commission for times and topics to be covered. Sturdy hiking shoes are