Niagara On The Lake
East from Port Weller to Lower Niagara River
0.6 miles off Niagara River mouth, on range:
Niagara River mouth, between forts:
The coastline between Port Weller and the Niagara River consists of wooded clay bluffs . The bluffs lower to a height of 10 feet west of Four Mile Point, 4 miles east of Port Weller and 3 miles west of the mouth of the Niagara River. At Four Mile Point (43 ° 16 " N - 79 ° 08 " west *) which is a gravely point where the ground tends to be low and swampy.
CAUTION shoal water extends offshore from four mile point for a distance of 0.3 miles. There is a charted wreck of a concrete barge having 7 feet high located 0.2 miles to the west of Four Mile Point. Firing Practice Area The Canadian Forces maintain a small arms range halfway between Four Mile Point and the mouth of the Niagara River extending 1.5 miles offshore. The boundaries of the range are marked by spar buoys details of which are available in the Canadian Notices to Mariners, with identification of: Niagara-on-The-Lake Small Arms Range light buoy NY (544.8) and Niagara -on-The-Lake Small Arms Range light buoy NT (544.9) located at the outer extremities of the range.
The Niagara River lies 6.5 miles east of Port Weller Harbour and separates the province of Ontario and the state of New York. The river flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and is one of the major tourist attractions of this area. The International Boundary lies close to the middle ground and boaters are cautioned to observe appropriate reporting rules. The Niagara River banks tend to be very steep as one proceeds west up the gorge leading towards Niagara Falls but flatten just before entering the lake on the eastern shore. From the river mouth to Niagara Falls Falls is a distance of 11 miles. However, only the lower 7 miles may be navigated.
CAUTIONS The sand making up the bars is fine and the bars tend to shift easily in storms. Depths and positions may vary from charted position and datum.
The Niagara Bar is a sand bar formed by the silt from the Niagara River, and is located 4 miles from its mouth, covering an area 4 miles NE of Four Mile Point to 1.5 miles NE of Four Mile Point with a depth of 8 feet. The Bar is marked on is outer extremity by Niagara Bar Lighted Buoy 2 (U.S. 2490).
Ramsey Shoal which is a detached shoal, has depths of 17 feet and lies approximately 1.5 miles N.of Fort Niagara. There is a mud bank with reported depths of 5 feet or less extending 0.8 miles offshore from the east side of the river entrance with its NW side marked by a lit bell buoy.
Niagara River Range Lights lie on a bearing of 149.5° . The forward light (549) located on the SW corner of the Niagara-On-The-Lake Sailing Club (43°15' :N - 79°04' :W) shows from a white pyramid shaped wooden tower 24 feet high having a red upper portion. The rear light (550) is shown from a white pyramid shaped wooden tower of 45 feet also with a red upper portion. NOTE the lights are only visible on the line of the range. This range leads over the Niagara Bar with a least depth of 13 feet to 16 feet depth near the old Fort Niagara Lighted Bell Buoy ( US 2495) However the current may cause difficulty in keeping the lights in sight when entering the river.
Niagara-On-The-Lake is a Customs Reporting Station. The old customs wharf is 0.6 miles SE of Mississauga Point extending 20 feet into the river and having an outer face of 52 feet, running parallel to the shore line. There are recreational watercraft rentals located at the wharf wharf.
The Niagara-On-The-Lake Sailing Club is found south of the wharf and has depths of 1 to 4 feet (1994) It offers Fuel, water, pump outs, repairs etc as detailed below. Due to the depth CAUTION is required as during gales the depth may vary as much a 2 feet in the yacht basin due to surge.
More CAUTIONS regarding the mouth of the Niagara River. Northerly winds cause eddies off the east entrance point and the current may rip in two locations north of Mississauga Point. Both can be dangerous to small craft.
If you have shore transportation, the entire golden triangle area is rich with places to go and things to see. During the summer months a short trip along the quiet lanes will find many fruit stands offering fresh produce at a lowercost than the supermarkets.
The majority of these are independant and have developed their own unique orchard vehicles to bring their produce to the roadside stalls.
Niagara-On-The-Lake is a small town with a population of 12,945 (1991) located in Canada on the west side of the Niagara River . Because of the trees you can see very few of the town buildings from the lake.
Niagara-On-The-Lake is a delightful little town, with many interesting buildings dating from the latter part of the last century it also offers enormous amounts of shore entertainment and you may well have to fight the land based visitors to explore. Downtown there are many interesting antique and book shops in which to browse as well as many eating places, but like most tourist areas, a little pricey at times.
From April to November each year the town hosts the Shaw Festival, which is held in three separate theatres, advanced bookings are an absolute must as this event makes it a great stopover both by land or water visitors.
Just up the hill from the Niagara-On-The-Lake Sailing Club and marina lies the Queenstown Hotel and convention center. The outdoor patio restaurant and bar overlooks the marina and rive where you can enjoy a great meal served from the open grill accompanied by soft music. The surrounding port area has several other bars and shops within easy walking distance.
Fort George lies on the West Bank 0.2 miles south of the Yacht Basin with its fortifications and earthworks. The Fort is well restored and occupies high ground surrounded by tended lawns.
Further up river on the west bank you will find the Smugglers Cove Boat Club which is a private marina approximately 2 miles from the river entrance. Recently there were depths of 24 feet available. An Anchorage Area is located near to Smugglers Cove Boat Club with the NE and SW corners marked by privatly maintained lights.
There are many choices The George III Hotel on Melville Street, on Ricardo Street is the Anchorage Bar and Grill, The Queens Landing on Byron has a wonderful view of the from from its terrace, high up on the hill, where on hot day one may partake of a "cool one" and perhaps a bite of lunch, there is also the Wellington, and Prince of Wales on Picton Street. On King Street you find the Louis House the Buttery. Smaller cafe and eateries may be found on Queen Street.
The United States Shore begins on the eastern bank with Youngstown N.Y. Youngstown N.Y. has a significant yacht club and is a Customs Port of Entry for the United States. There is a special anchorage on the eastern side of the river. Restrictions and regulations are noted in US CFR 11.1 and 110.85 chapter 2. For Canadian vessels please ensure that you comply with the current requirements for reporting and documentation as required by USCustoms and Immigrations, and found in Cruising Ca information [HERE]
Lewestown N.Y. is located on the U.S.A. shore 7 miles from the river mouth and marks the head of the navigatable portion of the Niagara River.
Niagara-On-The-Lake Sailing Club
Smuggler Cove Boat Club