Town prepares for waterfront adventure
As summer approaches, thoughts turn increasingly to outdoor recreation such as baseball, tennis and cycling. For the town of Grimsby, this means getting ready for the first annual Great Waterfront Trail Adventure.
This year’s event is the first and will be a small one, according to Grimsby councillor Wendy Watt, who says that just 167 cyclist will be taking part. The route the cyclists will follow hugs the shoreline of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake all the way to the Ontario-Quebec border.
The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure runs through the first week of July.
“It’s an opportunity to highlight the communities along the lakeshore,” said Watt.
The town of Grimsby, along with other towns that lie along the shores of Lake Ontario have been involved in the planning of the event since its inception and have been asked to develop a program of activities for the cyclists, who will come from all over North America.
For Grimsby this means a rest stop by the historic Grimsby Pump House and a side trip to Grimsby Beach where participants can learn about Grimsby’s role in the War of 1812.
Looking farther into the future, Watt sees the potential for a large boost in tourism. She says that many of the cyclists participating in the event this year are also bringing their families, who will travel along a different route than the cyclists, which will allow them to see some of the Grimsby region’s natural beauty such as Ball’s Falls, Beemer Point and the Bruce Trail.
In addition, the families of the cyclists taking part in the event will be travelling through the heart of the Niagara wine region. Watt adds that events such as this one are extremely popular in some parts of the United States and that if this year’s pilot event is successful, next year could see upward of 2,000 cyclists visiting Grimsby and the Niagara Region.
“We’ll have a lot more riders ” says Watt.
If successful, the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure could generate more tourism year round for Grimsby and other Niagara region communities.