Do You Wanna ‘Run This Town’?
If you have been kicking around Hamilton for a short period of time, you probably have become familiar with a few of the unexpected gems that the city and its surrounding regions have to offer. After 3 years exploring the surrounding McMaster community, I have been fortunate enough to trip upon a few of these gems myself. Whether beautiful, unique, historical and informative or ridiculously fun, each new finding boosts my pride for the Hamilton community.
One of these gems that I have tripped upon recently is the 12 formal nature trails that are located all around Hamilton; by the water, around the escarpment, old rail trails – the diversity is endless. Whether you run, rollerblade, bike, skateboard or just want to take a beautiful walk/roll in nature, these trails are yours to use. Revitalize an old passion or pick up a new hobby – its yours for the taking in the present moment – what will you choose?
Below is a list of the 12 formal trails, as well as a small descriptor of distance, accessibility and location (the site source is accessible below this list):
Battlefield Creek Trail
Location: Access this trail In Battlefield Park, 77 King Street East, Stoney Creek.
Accessible: Not for wheelchairs and strollers.
Bayfront Park Trail **Favourite
Location: Bayfront Park, one of Hamilton’s waterfront parks, 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. The path – popular for roller blading, cycling, walking, and jogging – connects with the nearby Pier 4 Park by the Macassa Bay walkway, and the new Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail.
Accessibility: Yes. Asphalt trail, ramp at boat launch.
Distance: 1.482 kilometres in length by 6-metres wide
Location: The Breezeway Trail is an asphalt-surface trail extending along Hamilton Beach from Beach Boulevard to Grays Road.
Accessibility: Numerous parking areas are available (some require parking fees)
Distance: Approximately 3 kilometres long by 3.5 metres wide.
Chedoke Radial Trail
Location: Beginning at Hillcrest Avenue, crossing the Chedoke Golf Course and traversing the escarpment to Scenic Drive.
Distance: 2.7 kilometers southwest.
Cootes Drive Trail
Location: The Cootes Drive Trail is a multi-use asphalt trail extending between Sanders Boulevard (Hamilton) and Dundas/Thorpe Street (Dundas).
Accessibility: Accessibility: the trail is smooth and is accessible from the access points, however, approximately 250-m of the southbound portion of the trail has a 3-4% grade.
Distance: 2.5 kilometers
Desjardins Recreational Trail
Location: Kay Drage Park access road, along the Chedoke Creek to Cootes Paradise, across the creek then on to the Desjardins Canal
Accessibility: 1 kilometer
Distance: Parking is available at Princess Point and Kay Drage Park (off Macklin Street North).
Escarpment Rail Trail
Location: Trail 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.
Accessibility: The section of the trail from Albion Falls parking lot to Wentworth Street South has a tar and chip surface. At Wentworth Street South, the trail changes and becomes an asphalt surface.
Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail
Location: Makes its way along the shore from Bayfront Park to Princess Point, and through the Desjardins Canal with a floating walkway paralleling the boat channel.
Distance: 3.4 Kilometers
Location: The Park Corridor is an asphalt trail developed on the south side of the Lincoln Alexander Expressway. The corridor extends from T.B. McQuesten Park (Upper Wentworth) to Upper Ottawa Street. Corridor entrances are located at T.B. McQuesten Park, Upper Sherman, Upper Gage and Upper Ottawa Streets, as well as others within the subdivisions.
Accessibility: Parking is available at T.B. McQuesten Park and on adjacent side streets near corridor entrances. Accessibility: the surface is dry, however, the ride would be rough for wheelchair user
Pier 4 Park Trail
Location: Pier 4 Park is located on Bay Street North at Leander Drive.
Distance: The park features a multi-use asphalt trail 349 metres in length and 4 metres wide.
Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail
Location: Beginning at the top of the Niagara Escarpment (Mud Street, adjacent to Kings Forest Park), 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.
Trail entrances are located at Mud Street, Mount Albion Road, Greenhill Avenue, Dundonald Avenue, Hixon Road, Lawrence Road, King Street East, Reid Avenue and Queenston Road.
Accessibility: Most of the trail is not wheelchair accessible due to steep grades, however, a 1.1 kilometre section from Greenhill Bowl through King’s Forest Golf Course has a tar and chip surface and is accessible. Accessible washrooms are located at the golf course and Rosedale Arena (limited hours).
Distance: 10.5 kilometers
Spencer Creek Trail
Location: Runs from Ogilvie Street bridge over the Spencer Creek, and west to the Mill Street bridge.
Accessibility: The Trail is, at present, a natural footpath which is not accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
Distance: 2.5 kilometer footpath
Keep It Real.