EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT THE LAURA SECORD WALK


IMPORTANT

For medical emergencies in the field, call 911. You are participating entirely at your own risk.

Before using the Friends of Laura Secord website or any of its resources, participating in the Laura Secord Walk, or using the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, please CLICK HERE to read our GENERAL DISCLAIMER.



PLEASE READ THE OVERVIEW BELOW TO INFORM YOURSELF ABOUT THE LAURA SECORD WALK... THEN

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!



Walk Basics

Q: Is this event a race? The registration page on the Running Room site seems to indicate that it is.

A: No! The Laura Secord Walk is definitely NOT a race. The 'race' wording on the Running Room registration site is there because their website is most often used for race registrations. This wording unfortunately cannot be changed to accommodate our event. Though seasoned hikers and runners are welcome to participate and are likely to move along quite quickly, the event is a WALK to be undertaken at your own pace. Trail conditions are also too muddy and rough to support a conventional race... plan on moving slowly and carefully, and on getting dirty! No one is timing the participants, and there are no prizes or awards for speedy completion. So take your time and enjoy your walk!


Q: Do I have to walk the entire 32 km of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail on the day of the walk?

A: No! Not at all. You decide how you'd like to take part. Walk the full 32 km if you like. Walk shorter trail segments and take a connecting ride the Secord Shuttle bus. Or walk and linger at the waystations for awhile. The Secord Shuttle will pass each waystation every 1.0 - 1.5 hours between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm to give you a ride if you want it.


Registration and fees

Q: How much does it cost to register for the Laura Secord Walk?

A: Registration in the Laura Secord Walk is $25 per person. The registration link is at the bottom of this page.




Walk Departure Time

Q: When will I leave the Homestead on Saturday morning?

A: Please check in at the Laura Secord Homestead between 7:00 and 10:00 am. You may walk part or all of the trail at your own pace.

HOWEVER, IF YOU PLAN TO WALK THE ENTIRE 32 km LAURA SECORD LEGACY TRAIL, PLEASE LEAVE EARLY. AVERAGE WALKING TIME FOR THE ENTIRE ROUTE IS 6 - 8 HOURS, DEPENDING UPON CONDITIONS AND ABILITY.

Parking is available on the street in Queenston (please observe parking signs). DO NOT PARK IN THE LAURA SECORD HOMESTEAD.

Volunteers will be onsite at waystations throughout the day.


Weather

Q: Will the Laura Secord Walk take place even if it is raining?

A: Yes - we will go ahead rain or shine. Though we're of course hoping for a lovely day, the weather will not stop us from walking the walk. Laura Secord made her trek on one of the hottest days of the year, after many weeks of heavy rains. We'll try to capture some of her spirit!


Emergencies

Q: What should I do in an emergency?

A: Carrying a CELL PHONE is highly recommended. Review the route you are going to take BEFORE you start on your walk, and know your location.

For medical emergencies, call 911.


Trail guides and maps

A turn-by-turn guide to the Laura Secord Legacy Trail is available online in downloadable PDF version or in a mobile-accessible web version.

Overview maps and interactive Google maps of the five stages of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail are also available. Note that because the trail is 32 km long, printed maps are of limited utility for detailed trail navigation. We recommend that you review the interactive Google maps online to familiarize yourself with the details of the trail sections you will be walking on.

If you have a smartphone with a data plan, you may also wish to bookmark the links to the trail guide and the interactive maps in the web browser of your mobile device so that you can access them in the field.


Transportation: Secord Shuttle bus

Q: What is the schedule for the shuttle bus?

A: The Secord Shuttle bus service will travel the round trip between the Laura Secord Homestead (the start of the trail) and Decew House (the end of the trail) all day between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. It will stop at all 6 waystations along the way.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For safety reasons, the shuttle bus IS NOT PERMITTED to pick people up on the roadside, part way along the trail, or elsewhere on the route, so you should plan on boarding the shuttles at the designated waystations.

There will be NO OTHER SHUTTLE BUS SUPPORT, so please plan your walk carefully.


Q: If I start the walk and get tired, what can I do?

A: You should make your way to the nearest waystation and get on a shuttle. (For safety reasons, the shuttle bus is NOT PERMITTED to pick people up on the roadside, part way along the trail, or elsewhere on the route).


Parking

Q: Where can I park my vehicle while I am participating in the Laura Secord Walk?

A: Parking is available on the street in Queenston. Please obey all parking signs and maintain free access for residents and visitors to Queenston. There is NO PARKING AVAILABLE in the Laura Secord Homestead on the day of the walk.


Food and Water

PLEASE PACK YOUR OWN LUNCH, WATER, AND SNACKS!!

Q: Are there places for us to have our lunch?

A: PLEASE PACK YOUR LUNCH, WATER, AND SNACKS. You will be able to purchase your lunch at the food concessions in the vicinity of Niagara College and the Outlet Collection at Niagara Mall. Light refreshments, snacks, and water may be available at SOME way stations along the trail at no charge. If you are walking the entire walk, you will pass several eating establishments in St. Catharines on your way to your final destination. But plan on being self-sufficient!


Q: Do I have to bring water along?

A: Yes, please do. Though water and other drinks may be available in limited quantities at waystations along the route, we cannot guarantee that sufficient water will be available onsite for all participants - so PLEASE BRING AT LEAST ENOUGH WATER TO MEET YOUR BASIC NEEDS.


Toilets

Q: Will toilets be available?
A: Toilet facilities are available, but limited, so please plan your walk accordingly. Toilets will be available in the following locations :

  • Laura Secord Homestead
  • Firemen's Park (portable toilet)
  • Niagara College
  • McDonald's near Outlet Collection at Niagara
  • Outlet Collection at Niagara
  • Rodman Hall
  • Rotary Park (portable toilet)
  • Morningstar Mill (portable toilet)
  • DeCew House Heritage Park (portable toilet)

Toilet locations are also listed in the turn-by-turn trail guide to the Laura Secord Legacy Trail (downloadable PDF version or mobile-accessible web version).


Outdoor and Trail Hazards


WET, MUDDY AND SLIPPERY TRAIL CONDITIONS - Some sections of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail may be wet, muddy, and slippery, especially in areas of exposed clay or in low-lying areas. Make sure to:

  • wear appropriate footwear - and expect that it will get muddy!
  • consider carrying a portable walking stick (or two)
  • approach slopes and hills with extreme caution
  • leave sufficient space between yourself and other hikers
  • walk carefully to avoid damaging property adjacent to the trail if you have to walk around mud holes or flooded areas
  • do not rush or pressure other hikers to move quickly
  • take your time, and provide assistance to other hikers when appropriate
  • try to avoid inflicting additional damage on wet or eroded sections of the trail.

SLIPS, FALLS, TRAFFIC, AND OTHER TRAIL HAZARDS

The Laura Secord Legacy Trail crosses all sorts of terrain, from paved city sidewalks through to gravelled, grassy, rocky or earthen paths. Trails can be wet, muddy, slippery, and / or steep. You may encounter cyclists, mountain bikers, or even motorized vehicles like ATVs or dirt bikes. Urban trail sections may have heavy automobile traffic.

The trail crosses railways, highways, streets and canals, all of which require vigilance and caution. Wear appropriate footwear, and anticipate that you WILL get dirty, especially in wet weather. Proceed carefully, supervise children, and plan accordingly!!!


TICKS - Hikers on the Laura Secord Legacy Trail have encountered ticks. Both Dog Ticks and Black-Legged Ticks have been found in Niagara. With the spread of ticks throughout Northeastern North America, it is not impossible that you may encounter disease-transmitting ticks anywhere in the Niagara region. Information on ticks in Niagara and protection against ticks can be found here. In general:

  • Dress in light coloured clothing to easily spot ticks
  • Wear clothing that covers arms and legs when walking in wooded areas. Tuck in loose clothing and have your child wear shoes that cover the entire foot.
  • Spray insect repellent that contains DEET on exposed skin and clothing (except for babies under 6 months). Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check yourself and your child's skin for ticks after outdoor activity. Pay special attention to areas such as the groin, scalp and armpits. Tick bites are usually painless, so your child will likely not feel the tick.

MOSQUITOS AND BITING FLIES - Compared to 'cottage country', much of Niagara is relatively bug-free. However, mosquitos and other biting flies may be present along the trail, especially in wet areas and in early morning and evening. Mosquitoes in the area have been known to carry West Nile Virus (more information here). To protect yourself against mosquitoes and biting flies:

  • Do not linger in areas with standing water where mosquitoes like to breed
  • Avoid infested areas
  • Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, socks and shoes.
  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET (except for babies under 6 months).

HEAT, SUN EXPOSURE, AND DEHYDRATION - On hot, sunny days, make sure to protect yourself from sunlight and carry enough drinking water so as to avoid dehydration. Follow these Sun Safety tips from Region Niagara's Public Health Department:

Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek and Slide

  • Slip on clothing to cover your arms and legs
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat
  • Slop on sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses that offer 100 per cent UVA and UVB proctection