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Canal Experiences

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Wednesday, October 28 2015     
Beautiful Walking Paths & Children's Playground at Merritt Island Park
Submitted By: Ilikefun via

It's a city park that is a long strip of park land that is flanked on either side by a river and a canal. Walking / Biking paths, benches, wonderful carvings made from cut trees and a children's park. The area is/has been often used for city events such as the Food Festival and Easter Egg hunts.

Wednesday, October 14 2015
Scenic Hiking Area & Children's Playground at Merritt Island Park
Submitted By: 146Jane1943 via

Enjoyed playtime and a short hike with daughter and 4 year old grandson in July. In September returned with 3 other adults for a longer hike on a lovely Fall day.

Sunday, October 4 2015
Merritt Island Park - Good Place To Go For a Walk
Submitted By: Serious_Neatfreak via

This is quiet, serene and picturesque. Good for a quiet walk with one's spouse or pet. All sorts of amenities are nearby, so it's easy to get food and drinks, etc. - not too far away.

Thursday, September 17 2015
Welland Gem - Merritt Island Park
Submitted By: Donald k via

This is truly one of the nicest stretches of parkland and waterways in Ontario. Tree lined paths an the calm canal waters allows you to escape everyday life.

Wednesday, September 9 2015
Merritt Island Park-Easy to Find but Hard to Leave
Submitted by Professor04 via

This narrow strip of land between the old Welland Canal and the Welland River has been turned into a scenic paradise. Great trails and plenty of parking. To find it, just drive behind City Hall off of Main Street, stay to the right and cross over the old aqueduct (you will see sections of one of the first canals on your left). Keep going straight and the parking lots are in front of you. Get out and enjoy.

Visited September 2015

Tuesday, September 1 2015
WIFC - Welland's Newest Gem
Submitted by Bonnie N. via

With the completion of the Flatwater Centre, Welland will be attracting a lot of events like kayaking (Pan Am Games 2015) and Dragon Boat races. The canal is protected from a lot of wind. People came from all over the world this year to attend and participate in events held here. There is a great deal of potential for this centre. Hope Welland can maintain a good standard.

Visited August 2015

Thursday, August 20 2015
IDBF World Championship
Submitted by Traceyf06 via

The best of the best paddle it out for World Champion titles 19-22 August 2015. Awesome venue. Venue clean plenty of grass and shaded area on one side of course. Seating and grandstand other side. Well done Canada.

Friday, August 14 2015
Nature Trails at Merritt Island Park
Submitted by LaurieS via

Beautiful walking trails with the canal on one side and river on the other. Upper trail is paved and lower trail is more natural and has more shade. Popular with dog walkers, roller bladders, bikers, joggers and those out for a stroll. Quiet scenic area. Childrens playground on site. Plenty of free parking, washrooms available. Benches placed along trails. Some interesting wood carvings throughout the paths. Picnic and fishing spots. Wheelchair accessible. A very nice, relaxing way to spend some time without having to spend any money.

Visited July 2015

Wednesday, August 12 2015
Very Lovely Here
Submitted by Green_fam3 via

Merritt Island park is a very nice, lovely walking trails, stroller and wheel chair friendly.. Scenic views Park area and washrooms Great picnic spot.

Visited August 2015 

Wednesday, July 29 2015
Four Season Walkway at Merritt Island Park
Submitted by Liana17 via

Great place to walk all four season's. Benches placed strageticaly along the paved pathway. Very relaxing.

Thursday, July 16 2015
Home of The Pan Am Games - Canoe and Kayak Events
Submitted by Cinemasound via

This race course is by far one of the best courses in Ontario. The site lines are excellent, and The structures were very well designed. We love racing here, and our programs are very proud of what the City of Welland and the Pan Am games were able to do to improve things on this site. Minor things would really make a big difference. More public washrooms, possibly near the 250m loading docks. A proper sound system along the course and well maintained official boats and rescue zodiacs would go a long way to improve this site. Overall I've rated this site as a 4 out of 5 because it has the potential to be allot better, with very little effort and resources added to the yearly maintenance and operations.

Thursday, July 9 2015
Merritt Island Park - Beautiful Scenery, Great Trails
Submitted by Sapphire226 via

There's always been enough parking every time we've been here. There are bathroom and picnic facilities. The main trail is paved which is nice for a stroller, and there's also other trails for those who want to wander. We always see many types of birds when we go, and the last visit there were red and grey squirrels too. There were wild raspberries but we didn't pick any. This is definitely one of our favourite local places for a walk, and when our baby gets bigger we look forward to having picnics here and having him play on the playground.

Tuesday, June 30 2015
Excellent walking trail at Merritt Island Park
Submitted by desichantale via

This is an excellent hiking trail. It offers a wide cemented trail which runs along the upper portion of the island. On the lower portion of the island another trail winds through the woods and offers a more secluded walk. The entire walk is about 10 miles return. When you reach the railroad tracks - cross them - the trail continues for another 2 KM's or so (1- 1 1/2 miles). The trail follows the river on one side and the canal on the other.

Wednesday, June 3 2015
Beautiful Island - One of A Kind
Submitted by Ashley B via

Merritt Island is such a beautiful place to walk, run, bike, skate or just to take in mother nature- there is lots of nature, especially about 1 km following the paved trail. Many different species of birds- blue jays and robins, squirrels, and there are even fish- lots of fishermen around the front bridge toward certain seasons.

There are two small bike trails that lead off of the main trail, which are pretty fun, but unfortunately they doesn't last too long!

I believe it stretches about 5 km, we have gone right to the end where the train tracks are, underneath the 406 bridge at Woodlawn. Haven't gone around to the side where the kayaking is as yet- that's on the list to do this summer.

Lots of friendly families, couples, dog walkers, and people just strolling or exercising. Many benches placed throughout the trail to take in the wonderful views, and they also have those classic metal charcoal bbqs- haven't actually seen anyone use these since the 90s, but they are available!

The view of the canal especially at sunrise/ sunset is breathtaking along the trail, and a lovely walk for couples :)

Bottom Line: I highly recommend Merritt Park for their trail, the wonderful nature around and it's memorable views.

PS. If going in the evening, you may need mosquito repellent!

Tuesday, October 22

Canoe Niagara 2013 Coverage 

Submitted by: Chris Van Den Bergh

The 2013 Junior and U23 champs was the most wonderful experience for us in South Africa. Although our kayak community is relatively small, we are an intense group of loyal supporters. Following the build-up on your website as well as your Facebook and the photos on WIFC Facebook page was the highlight of my day. Not only mine but many of us shared links from early morning. Thanks for the effort and a huge congratulations on your achievement. The live streaming gave many of us goose bumps and the occasional lump in the throat. I checked many comments by parents all over the globe, don`t worry, we are all the same, from Japan, Canada, Africa. Thanks for sharing the wonderful experience. Today I could watch my son`s semi-final on Youtube, tonight we will watch it again and every day I will check Youtube for new uploads.

Sunday, July 28
My Sunday in Welland
Submitted By: Jeff and Sandi Hopkins

I wish to share with you and to whomever you wish to share this E-mail with in the future as to my experience on this fine Sunday in Welland. I would like to preamble this message with the fact that I am not inclined to register comments with civic authorities as like the majority of Wellanders, my criticisms or compliments are kept for the hallowed halls of my local Timmies. That said, I felt obligated to forward my comments. Our day began at 10a.m.with my wife and I partaking in a bicycle ride commencing from Pt. Colborne and travelling north on the westside canal paved trail. During our time on the trail system we encountered literally dozens of cyclist, skateboarders, rollerbladers, joggers and hikers. Once entering Welland I was met by an assortment of birds enjoying the morning sun on the banks of the Welland Recreational Canal. We then came upon the South Niagara Rowing Centre. Here the provincial rowing championships were being waged with hundreds of participants, coaches and spectators using the canal and associated land. We stopped and observed part of the racing. It was well organized and very accessible to us viewers. we left this only to pass by numerous dirtbikers and quad riders using the appropriate land just north of the rowing centre. As we entered the Welland Flatwater Centre their was an assortment of world-class kayakers and canoers along with all the support staff. There were teams represented from all over the world. Countries sending their best to Welland. We watched some of the preliminary races and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They had an assortment of tents and staging areas set up along with the new flat-water facilities which was nothing short of professional in appearance. We continued north to the canal boat launch just south of Lincoln St where we observed numerous scuba divers using the waterway. Directly across from them I observed the skate park to be quite busy. Stroking by was the German Kayak team and their coaches preparing for the upcoming world championships. We continued north to the Rowing Centre north of Thorold Rd. There was a number of people playing fetch with their dogs, some of which were jumping into the canal. Also, I observed Tri athletes doing training swims paralleling the shoreline. So lets recap. In 7 short kms I saw a variety of wildlife, world-class and international athletes, locals enjoying scuba diving, swimming, running, hiking, skateboarding, cycling, dirt biking as well as sitting, reading and sunning. Please tell me where else in the entire world you would get this type of diversity in one community. I don’t know if all this was envisioned by our civic leaders of the past or present but Sandi (wife) and I felt obligated to send this note with a heartfelt thanks. I know the development of this canal system has been somewhat contentious. There is varying opinion and that dialogue is healthy and necessary. That said, eventually decisions have to be made. There is always risks with every decision and only with time do we know if we got it right. I would say that based on my experience today, you got this right. As industry left Welland with their valued jobs, people thought it was a deathknoll for the city. I suggest to you that you and your council are re-inventing the wheel. PEOPLE are coming to the uniqueness that is Welland. And to top it off, as we left our cycling behind, we attended an excellent car show on Division St and we may top it off with a movie at the WRCC amphitheatre. All this in my town - Not a bad Sunday.  

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