The Lake Ontario State Parkway Trail is a 3.3 mile trail that runs along Lake Ontario. It is a paved and very hilly trail. There are two segments of the trail. The west segment that runs parallel to the Lake Ontario beach, and the east segment that is wooded and runs parallel to Sweet Fern Road. Take a peek at the Lake Ontario Start Parkway Trail for all posts of this trail.
This post talks about the west "beach" segment.
This segment of the Lake Ontario State Parkway Trail starts at the intersection of Lake Shore Boulevard and Camp Eastman Way. It then heads east parallel to Lake Ontario. If you are heading east, to your left you'll see the lake, and to your right are parking lots.
At the end of the first parking lot, there will be a hill to go down. Its not too steep of a hill, but it is a long one. The trail then flattens out for a little bit, but then the trail goes up a steep hill that you'll have to work hard to push up.
As you reach the top of this hill, you will notice that the trail does not stay flat, it goes downhill again! This hill is steeper, and you'll pick up a fair amount of speed. If you don't like going fast, you'll have to foot-brake or carve.
Once you reach the bottom of this hill, you need to push up another hill, only to go down another hill. In case you haven't figured it out yet, this is a very hilly trail.
At the east-end of the segment, there is a steep hill that heads into the wooded segment of the trail. This is where I turn around to repeat the uphill-downhill pattern. If you were to keep going, at the bottom of the hill is a wooden boardwalk. I don't recommend trying to go down this hill without a fair amount of skill, as it is narrow and steep.
There are some steep hills on this trail. If you are not experienced with going down hills, avoid the steep hills. But, there are more gentle hills that one can practice carving and foot-braking on.
The other hazard is other people. Be on the lookout for beach-goers crossing the trail to get to the beach. During the summer months, it can probably get pretty crowded.
Getting to it
There is ample parking on north-side of Lake Shore Boulevard. Pick a spot to park, and the trail is within a few yards north.
This is a tough one to rate, because it is very subjective. If you like hills and do not mind pushing uphill, this can be a very enjoyable segment. But, what goes down must come back up. While it is easy going down the hills, it is exhausting going back up.
The other thing is some of these hills are very steep. If you are not experienced with carving and foot-braking, do not attempt the steeper parts of this segment, as you may go too fast and get hurt. But, the less steep segments can be a good spot to practice carving. The trail is wide enough, and there is plenty of grass to have a softer landing if you need to bail.
For me personally, I give it a "meh" rating. . The main reason is while going down the hills can be fun, coming back up them is not. I may not go back here very often. However, that is my opinion. Perhaps you feel differently. The only way to know for sure is to try it and see how you like it.
Timelapse video of the segment
- Segment Rating: Meh
- Segment Length: 1.34 miles (2.16 kilometers).
- Minimum Elevation: 77.30 meters.
- Maximum Elevation: 85.70 meters.
- Average Elevation: 81.07 meters.
- View Start On Map
- View End On Map
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