The Deep Cut Walking Tour

Duration: 4 hours Difficulty: Moderate

To see the Deep Cut you have two options, You can drive to Allanburg and Port Robinson and look around or you can hike between the two towns. The photo tour assumes a hike and recommends the east bank.

1.
Old Welland Canal Monument: I'd recommend starting in Allanburg. There's a small parking lot just west of the Allanburg bridge with a monument marking the spot where William Merritt held the first canal's ground breaking ceremony. The monument is also a great place to orient yourself. Facing the front of the monument, you're looking south toward the ridge.
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2.
The Old Welland Canal:
Originally conceived of in 1818, by it's promoter William Hamilton Merritt, to divert trade from the Erie Canal and New York and built under private auspices, the canal was opened in 1829. After additional work in 1833 the canal with its 40 wooden locks linked Port Colborne on Lake Eire with Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario and brought prosperity to its environs by permitting the export of upper Canadian staples through New York. In 1841 reconstruction was begun by the Canadian government to improve the canal's military and commercial value.
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3.
First Welland Canal: Just southwest of the monument there's a stream with water rushing into it. The channel was originally part of the First Welland Canal. Later when plans changed and locks were built in Allanburg the canals route was changed. Leaving this channel untouched. Today the channels used to bring drinking water to St. Catharines.
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4.
The Deep Cut: Before leaving this area, head south about 100 yards along the canal. The Welland Canal Parkway trail passes through here so it should be easy going. After a short distance you can see the highest banks of the canal. It's difficult to appreciate their height, but the banks still climb 60 above the canal and extend for at least 30 feet for 2 miles.
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5.
Allanburg: If you head back to the Allanburg bridge you can cross over to the east bank and see the town of Allanburg. Today Allanburg is a quiet rural community and looks like it would be a nice place to live. It surprising, but considering all the industry and waterways that once stood here, only the street names remain.
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6.
View from the top: I didn't expect this but climbing the ridge and being 60 feet above the canal, gives a great view of the canal. If you look ahead you can see Port Robinson 2 miles away.
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7.
Port Robinson: Entering Port Robinson along the canal brings to to a large flat part. The park was once flooded and the original route to the Welland River. The one remaining lock is across the Street.
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8.
Port Robinson Lock: The path accross the street is actually the route the first and second canals took to the Welland River. The ston lock they used is just across the street. When it was built it replaced two wooden ones that passed just 10 feet north of this one. The path of the canal continued in a straight line to the Welland River about 100 meters ahead.
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8.
Port Robinson Ferry: Just a small addition here. If you continue south along the canal you should see a dead end road leading to the Welland Canal. The bridge was destroyed, instead of rebuilding it a free ferry service was set up. If you come when it's open you can cross over and hike back on the other side of the canal.
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8.
Port Robinson Ferry: Port Robinson used to have a bridge. When it was destroyed in August 25, 1974 a decision was made to install a ferry service. If you're traveling on foot or bike, you have the option to cross over to the west bank for the return trip.
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