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Top 5 trails in Hamilton, according to you

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Top 5 trails in Hamilton, according to you

The Escarpment Rail Trail in Hamilton, Ontario. (photo by Ryan McGreal)

Whether you’re a long time trail enthusiast, a casual, or a newbie, which area trail is your year-round go-to?

With COVID-19 restrictions in full force, Hamilton residents have been forced to find new ways to pass the time and relieve stress.

For many, that means discovering (or re-discovering) all of the scenic beauty that Greater Hamilton has to offer.

We asked and you responded.


5. Escarpment Rail Trail

Stretching 32 kilometres in length, the Escarpment Rail Trail is a multi-use trail developed on an abandoned CN line established in the early-to-mid-1800’s. It extends from above the escarpment near Albion Falls, to the lower city.

The entrances above the mountain are located at Arbour Road (Albion Falls parking lot), Limeridge Road East, and Mohawk Road East (just east of Mountain Brow Blvd.).

The trail follows the former CN right-of-way along the escarpment, crosses over the Kenilworth Access, then continues to Wentworth Street South (near the bottom of the Wentworth Street stairs). Upon crossing Wentworth Street South, the trail continues through the lower city ending in Corktown Park located near Ferguson Avenue South and Young Street.


4. Cootes Drive/Spencer Creek Trail

The trail, which is 2.5 kilometres long and 3.5 kilometres wide, sits on land that was purchased in 1802 by James Forsyth from Robert Hamilton, father of George Hamilton, the city’s founder.

“The Cootes name comes from Cootes Paradise (the Dundas Marsh), which was one of the early names for the town of Dundas,” according to Ontariotrails.on.ca. “Captain Coote was an English soldier who was known for hunting at the marsh.”

The Cootes Drive Trail is a multi-use asphalt trail extending between Sanders Boulevard (Hamilton) and Dundas/Thorpe Street (Dundas). It can be accessed from Sanders Boulevard (where there is a signed level crossing of Cootes Drive to McMaster University), just south of the McMaster University bridge across Cootes Drive, Olympic Drive, King/East Street and Dundas/Thorpe.


3. Bayfront Park Trail

One of Hamilton’s waterfront parks, Bayfront Park Trail is located at the foot of Harbourfront Drive east of Bay Street North (by Simcoe Street West).

The park boasts a number of features including a multi-use asphalt pathway 1.482 km in length by 6 m wide. The path, which is popular for in-line skating, cycling, walking, and jogging, connects with the nearby Pier 4 Park by the Macassa Bay walkway, and the new Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail.


2. Chedoke Radial Trail

The 2.7 kilometres-long trail is part of the Bruce Trail. The Chedoke Radial Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle pathway developed on the former right of way of the Brantford and Hamilton Electric Railway.

“The trail is considered accessible for those in wheelchairs or those pushing strollers, however, the variation in slope (2 to 5%) may present some difficulties,” according to Ontariotrails.on.ca.

Beginning at Hillcrest Avenue, the trail crosses the Chedoke Golf Course and traverses the escarpment to Scenic Drive. It links with a Hamilton Region Conservation Authority Trail that crosses the Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area and ends at Highway 403.


1. Red Hill Valley Trail

Coming in at 10.5 kilometres long by 3 metres wide, the trail begins at the top of the Niagara Escarpment (Mud Street, adjacent to Kings Forest Park). It includes bridge crossings of the Red Hill Creek.

The Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail traverses the escarpment and runs northeast through the Red Hill Valley to its end at Brampton Street, south of the Queen Elizabeth Highway and Lake Ontario.

The trail is also accessible from Greenhill Bowl through Kings Forest Golf Course.

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