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Bike Trails in Hamilton

31 August 2004 No Comment
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I just spent a week in Dundas (near Hamilton, Ontario) and got to cycle on a number of paths and bike trails. I was certainly impressed with these trails. Several abandoned railroad right-of-ways have been converted to excellent shared use trails, many of the streets and highways have well marked bike lanes and there are many mountain biking trails (both maintained and bushwacked). There is a trail map available.

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Webster’s Falls

Located just west of Dundas, off of Highway 8, Webster’s Falls is located in the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area. Although the water level was a little low, it was still a very picturesque and quaint region. Although Highway 8 is a little busier than I’d like, the crazy road up the escarpment was a lot of fun to cycle!

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Highway 8

This is the view from the top of escarpment on Highway 8.

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Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail

Despite years of pollution from the industries of Hamilton, the Hamilton Harbour has improved quite a bit. There is a pleasant Waterfront Trail that runs along part of the harbour that has been reclaimed for the environment. The trail is a paved shared use trail that runs along the southwestern shore of the harbour.

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Chedoke Rail Trail

This rail trail runs along the escarpment for West Hamilton, and it is probably the most scenic trail. It’s not very long, and the climb up the escarpment is very gradual and easy to do. The end of the rail trail links up with the Bruce trail, which becomes relatively inaccessible to bikes.

Escarpment Rail Trail

The Chedoke Rail Trail covers the escarpment for West Hamilton, and the Escarpment Rail Trail heads along eastern Hamilton to the Red Hill Valley. The scenery is decidedly more industrial and a little less interesting, but the Red Hill Valley at the end is nice (at least until the freeway is built.)

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Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail

I believe this is the longest trail, running 35 km between Dundas and Brantford. You pass through a number of wooded areas and along several farms. The gravel surface is easy to ride on, but the lime in the dust really coats your bike. Have some extra chain oil handy.

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The Hermitage/Dundas Conservation Area

The Dundas Conservation Area has an extensive network of trails for the hiker and biker. Some paths are relatively easy, some are a little daunting, and some have horses…. All are very fun. The trails go through a number of different arboreal regions, including reforested white pine and unique Carolinian forest. On the left is a picture of my brother and myself at the ruins of the hermitage, an old manor house owned by one of Ontario’s early wealthy settlers.

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The Headwater Trail

I swear this is day time! but the density of trees and the impending thunderstorms made these pictures a little dark. This trail had the most challenging terrain that my bike could handle. There were dozens of side trails to explore as well. Be aware that you will be sharing the trail with horse riders!

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My brother (that’s his back) and I went and did some fairly hilly trails on the muggiest day of the week. So thirsty! It was a pretty dark day as you can tell.

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Sometimes you can ride.

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Sometimes you can’t! (That hill is really much steeper than it appears)

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