North Tonawanda's Great Lakes and River Offer Residents Plenty of Water Works

April 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm EST


Feeling landlocked? If so, the cure is North Tonawanda, an area thriving with natural water resources. Nestled between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie along the Niagara River. The area offers many outlets for those who thrive best in water activity "“ from fishing and boating to swimming and team water sports.

Water, Water Everywhere

In the Lake Erie tributaries, anglers fish for steelhead, while Lake Erie itself offers excellent Walleye and Smallmouth Bass fishing. Fisherman's Park in North Tonawanda provides access to prime spots along the Niagara River. And for those die-hard fishermen who don't mind winter weather, Buffalo Harbor is a popular spot for ice fishing "“ provided it's frozen, of course.

Paddlers will find plenty of kayaking and canoeing opportunities on the Erie Canal and the Niagara River, as well as on several smaller tributaries in the area. The Erie Canal also offers several riverboat cruises.

Back on Land

If you prefer to be by the water instead of in it, the Niagara River Recreation Trail, which runs along the Canadian side of the Niagara River, is a 58- kilometer paved path that accommodates pedestrians, joggers and bikers. The trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie.

If rivers and lakes aren't your thing, the Aquatic and Fitness Center in the nearby town of Tonawanda is an excellent facility that offers fitness training (including aerobics, pilates and yoga classes), water sports (individual and team), scuba and kayaking courses, and CPR and lifeguard training.

Plenty of Greens

Of course, not everyone is a water person. For those who prefer green to blue, the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome is the perfect place to tighten up your golf game.

Golf is a year-round sport in the Tonawandas, thanks to the Dome. Owned and operated by the Youth, Parks and Recreation Department, the golf dome has a 3,500-square-foot putting and chipping green, a practice bunker and 48 tee stations.

For those who enjoy golfing on a smaller scale, the dome is home to the 18-hole Brighton Bay Miniature Golf Course, as well as a restaurant and golf shop. Golf clinics are held by pro Marlene Davis.

If you're looking to play 18 holes of the real thing, the Sheridan Park golf course is one of the premier courses in western New York "“ described by the Department as having "tight fairways, rolling hills, and lots of water." For wider fairways, check out Brighton Park golf course.

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