Niagara Falls has has charmed me since I was a little kid. I still get butterflies in my stomach as soon as I can see the cloud of mist from the car. As an adult, I have grown to love the entire Niagara region and all of the wonderful adventures it has to offer. So, of course, Jason and I wanted to be in some of these beautiful places and share some fun adventures around Niagara with our three dogs. We started with a trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake. This historic town is located in Ontario, Canada, where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario. I was a bit nervous traveling into Canada for the first time with the dogs so far from home. I had their signed rabies certificates and only an unopened package of dog treats (which the customs officer laughed about and said "oh, we don't care about that. Most people's dog food comes from Canada.") In all of my preparations to make sure all went smoothly with taking the dogs back and forth across the border, I forgot about my own items and I had to surrender my key chain pepper spray.
The drive along the Niagara River gorge to Niagara-On-The-Lake is picturesque. And as we drove, the clouds, which had dampened the majority of our stay so far in Western New York, broke up and more and more sun shone through. When we arrived at Lake Ontario, it was clear enough to see Toronto across the lake and the water was littered in sail boats. Perfect!
Besides having several large and lovely leashed dog friendly parks, Niagara-On-The-Lake has sidewalk lined streets to walk with historic homes and extraordinary gardens. And, while bustling with tourists and locals, the main street is a nice stroll too. It was here 'R' Blood on the Tracks Boys were admired, petted and photographed to what seemed like no end. During one of these crowded petting/asking questions/taking photographs stops, while waiting outside of a wine shop for Jason, a shop employee noticed us and invited us in. I thought the dogs might get a bit of a break from the petting paparazzi, but apparently this was the most pet friendly business ever. Every employee, even ones on break in the back, came out to say hello to Wilhelm, Brychwyn and Huxley. Photos were taken for employees who weren't there and for the owner, who we were told brings her dog into the shop each morning.
To get into the gorge, where the hiking trails are, we had to descend a tall stacked set of open metal stairs. Jason carried Wilhelm and I coaxed Brychwyn and Huxley down with treats (mostly Brychwyn.) They were very good and extremely brave (I was a bit frightened of the stairs too.) After the first two landings, I thought we might not make it, but after some extra treats and a few breaths, we continued down and we were all very glad we did. While quite humid for us Cascadians, the winding trails of the Niagara Glen took us along the roaring Niagara River, through lush green forest and humongous scattered boulders. It was truly a feast for human eyes and canine noses.