The Niagara Glen – which features a host of trails between the top and bottom of the Niagara Gorge just north of Niagara Falls, Ont. – will be the setting for a spring hike on Saturday.
The Niagara Parks Commission, Friends of the Niagara Glen and the Niagara Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada are combining to carry out various activities at the glen, 3050 Niagara Parkway, across from the Whirlpool Golf Course.
At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., guests are invited to take part in free guided hikes into the glen to explore and experience the blooms of elusive rare and unique spring flowers, along with the return of local birds and other wildlife. Spring ephemerals such as red and white trilliums, wild columbine and Dutchman’s breeches are only in bloom for a short time each spring. From week to week, the variety of blooming wildflowers will change. Hikes last about an hour.
Meanwhile, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will host activities from 1 to 3 p.m.; visitors will be able to safely view the sun through "sun-scopes." Astronomers will be on hand to answer questions.
Later in the day, starting about 8 p.m. if the skies are clear, telescopes will be set up for nighttime viewing of the sky. Visitors should be able to see the International Space Station, meteors (shooting stars), the Northern Lights, the moon, neighboring planets and more. A laser guided tour of the night sky will be provided to help locate stars and constellations. If skies are clouded over, society members will provide an astronomy presentation in the comfort of the Niagara Glen Nature Centre.
After Saturday, Niagara Parks will continue to offer general Niagara Glen tours twice daily, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends in the month of May and then seven days a week from June 1 until the end of August. These general hikes come with a cost of $7.57 (tax included) per person.