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Hike Info

N43.10799 W079.25003

about 22.6 km

6 h



The Thorold North Canals hike is mostly flat with some hills to climb & descend.

Free parking lot at DeCew House

Porta John near (003).

Where Twelve Mile Creek bends left just before waypoint (006).

22 Sept 2004, 30 Mar 2005, 01 Oct 2005

Not wheelchair accessible


You can shorten this hike by about 2 h and 6.5 km by parking in the Pen Centre and beginning at waypoint (009) across the street. This eliminates the Lake Moodie section of the hike (001 -004).

Twelve Trail, old canals

Unknown winter activities


The Site

The Thorold North Canals

Beginning at the historic Decew House, the hike swings around Lake Moodie, passes through the Brock University grounds and follows the “Twelve Trail” established by Brock students along the east side of Twelve Mile Creek (once part of the Welland Canal). The trail then links to the Merritt Trail which follows the First and Second Welland Canals, passes the old canal locks (now waterfalls) and the Pen Centre mall before heading back into the Brock University Reserve along the ravine edge and then returns back along Lake Moodie.

Twelve Mile Creek

The Twelve Trail begins just south of downtown and runs south and south-west, parallel to the creek to the hydro generating station. The trail provides opportunities for exploring the nearby creek bank and the plants and animals of the valley. The Twelve Trail provides a connection to the Merritt Trail.

The Merritt Trail is a segmented 11 km trail that runs along the east side of Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines and passes many of the old sections of the second Welland Canal and remnants of its locks.

commentThis is a very nice and historic walk through some of the old Welland canals that brought back some childhood memories. The hike crosses a few bridges as it curves around Lake Moodie and passes through Brock University before arriving at the Ontario Power Generation Plant. We particularly enjoyed walking along the wide and fast flowing Twelve Mile Creek which seemed to be more like a river than a creek. The trail along here is called the Twelve Trail. After a bit of urban walking, and a stop at an ice cream store, we came upon the Merritt Trail which took us past the remnants of the old first and second Welland canals. Further along a wooden post signified that we were on the "Scott Misener "section of the trail. Having grown up in Port Colborne, that rang a bell with me. I had seen a ship with that name pass through the canal on a number of occasions and had been late for school once when the bridge was up to allow it to pass. Unfortunately that was never an excuse that the school accepted. This was the largest and most beautiful lake boat I had ever seen. During the 1950s and 1960s, Scott Misener, the man, evolved into a recognized leader within the Canadian shipping industry, moving vast quantities of grain, iron ore and other bulk commodities throughout the Great Lakes in the country's industrial heart.

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