5 eco-friendly summer activities in West Niagara

·3 min read

With more people becoming aware of the undeniable impact of climate change on the world, they're looking to make conscientious choices about where and how they spend their money.

With that in mind, here’s a roundup of the best eco-friendly activities to make the most of summer while reducing our impact on the Earth.

PADDLE POWER

In Niagara, we’re blessed with an abundance of waterways, including the lake Twenty Mile Creek and Jordan Harbour.

And the best thing is, you don’t need a big motor to enjoy them. Instead, slow down and take to the water in a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard.

One of the best spots to explore is Jordan Harbour, where you can paddle through the reeds and lily pads, watching out for birds in the trees by the shore.

Niagara Rowing Club (4579 21st St., Vineland) rents out canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards for $40 or $50 for two hours. See their website for details: http://www.niagararowingschool.com/kayak--canoe--sup-rentals.html.

YOGA IN THE VINEYARDS

Along with the lake, the vineyards are one of our most treasured assets, and there are few more relaxing ways to enjoy them than with a yoga session among the vines.

A few different wineries in the region offer yoga sessions, such as Cave Spring Vineyard, which has partnered up with Yoga by Abbey to offer a day retreat, including a tasting at Malivoire winery and lunch at Revalee café. To book tickets visit https://www.yogabyabbey.com/retreats.

Westcott Vineyards (3180 Seventeenth St, Jordan Station) also offers evening yoga on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m., with a post-stretch glass of wine. Visit their website to book: https://www.westcottvineyards.com/products/yoga-in-the-vineyards.

ON YOUR BIKE

West Niagara is a great place to cycle, as long as you’re cautious and follow the rules of the road.

Whether it’s casually winding through the wineries, or powering up the steep escarpment, cycling is one of the best ways to visit the Benchlands. And not only is it good for the planet, it’s good for your health.

County Cycle (4977 King Street, Beamsville) offer bike rentals. Visit their website for more information: https://www.countycycle.ca/rentals.

AND ON YOUR HIKE

Being on the escarpment, the Benchlands are blessed with good hikes with stunning views out over the lake.

So, lace up those hiking boots and take to the trails. Some of the best spots are the Ball’s Falls, Beamer Memorial, Cave Springs and Louth conservation areas.

Winding your way up and around the escarpment is one of the cheapest and most rewarding ways to see the area and appreciate nature.

To boost your eco-credentials even higher, try cycling to the trailheads.

SUSTAINABLE SIPPING

The Benchlands are known for its world-class beverage scene, so no eco-trip would be complete without an environmentally friendly drink.

Bench Brewing (3991 King St, Beamsville) is a brewery that put sustainability and environmentally friendly practices at the forefront of its operations. It was certified carbon-neutral, and the brewery is designed to save water.

If you prefer your wine, look out for the Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario (SWO) logo.

SWO is an industry-led program run by Ontario Craft Wineries and the Grape Growers of Ontario which indicates that the certified wineries follow sustainable practices.

Wineries in the Benchlands that are certified include Cave Spring Vineyard, Creekside Estate Winery, Hidden Bench Estate Winery, Malivoire Wine Company and Vineland Estate Winery.

The full list can be found on the SWO’s website: https://sustainablewinegrowingontario.ca/wineries/.

So, after you’ve finished canoeing, cycling or hiking, you can enjoy a rewarding drink safe in the knowledge that your day has been environmentally friendly as possible.

Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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