Why You Should Visit the Hamilton Trails
As the weather begins to warm up, it is important to get out of the house and into your community! Here at Durand Integrated Health Group, we encourage you to get active this summer by using some of Hamilton’s beautiful trails. There are many walking, hiking, and cycling trails scattered in and around the city that is perfect for you and your family to use.
Chedoke Radial Recreational
Chedoke Radial Recreational Trail is located at the top of Dundurn St S and runs 9.5km behind the Chedoke Civic Golf Course. This partially paved trail is perfect for people of all levels and welcomes hikers, cyclists, runners, and pets on leashes. It is covered by many trees and there is an abundance of wildlife along this wide trail. One of its highlights is the Chedoke Staircase that runs just off of the trail. It features 289 steps from the Chedoke Civic Golf Course Clubhouse up to the West Mountain. If that step-count is a little daunting to you, we recommend gearing up with some prescription orthotics before embarking on this trail. This is a great spot to experience nature right inside the city. It captures the beauty of the Hamilton Mountain and has many small trails running off of the main one leading to plenty of great waterfalls and ponds. There is some foot and golf cart traffic through a few sections as parts of the trail are on the Chedoke Civic Golf Course’s property, so be aware of these small sections. There is an unpaved parking lot at the base of the Chedoke Stairs that is free for visitors to the trail. This is a gorgeous and easy walk to do with your kids, friends, and pets and is definitely on the top of my list this summer!
Hamilton Harbour Waterfront
The Hamilton Harbour Waterfront trail is a great and family-friendly walk that features incredible views, parking, wheelchair access, dog on leash friendly, and is fully paved. It runs along Hamilton Harbour and has stretches that are approximately 6km each. This beautiful walk by the water connects the very popular pier 8 roller skating rink, Pier 4 park, Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, Bayfront Park and the HMCS Haida. There are many parking lots along this trail, including the Bayfront Park lot located along Harbour Front Drive and the Pier 8 lot located on Discovery Drive. This walk is great because it has many different stopping and starting points which allow for all ages and skill levels to enjoy their time on a nice sunny day. The paved path is approximately 6 metres wide allowing for safe distancing during this time. Bayfront Park is a large grassy field that is perfect for lawn games, pets on leashes and leisurely strolling along the perimeter path. Following along to Pier 4, there is a great playground, small sandy beach and lookout point. Pier 4 also has public washrooms. Pier 8 features William’s Cafe, Waterfront Grill, and Waterfront Scoops Icecream Parlour. This is a great spot to end your walk and grab a delicious snack! This Waterfront trail is gorgeous and showcases the Hamilton Harbour perfectly. Be sure to check it out this summer!
Smokey Hollow Falls
If you are hoping to get out of the city but not go too far, Smokey Hollow Falls is the trail for you! This trail begins with an opening to the breathtaking view of the 10-metre high waterfall that runs through Grindstone Creek in Waterdown. This gorgeous hike is located on the Niagara Escarpment and is approximately 10km from start to finish. It is extremely easy to get to the waterfall as it is only a short walk from a designated parking lot and is an incredible start to a great hike through the forest. There are many deck like structures along the trail that allow for the wonderful lookout and photo-op spots. This hike is more moderate and is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible due to uneven ground and some small staircases. This trail is great for those with limited hiking capabilities such as physiotherapy patients. To get to this great spot, take the Waterdown Road exit on the 403 and head northbound until you reach the bottom of the hill. There is a designated unpaved parking lot at the bottom of Waterdown Rd which leads you straight to the beautiful Grand Falls lookout.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens are a gem hidden in the Hamilton area and are a must-see this summer. The property spans between Burlington and Hamilton and features 27km of walking and hiking trails between the two cities. This beautiful property is Canada’s largest botanical garden and has over 900 hectares of ecologically sensitive land. It has a vast amount of different plant species and is a sanctuary for wildlife. There are over 700 native plant species, an abundance of different migratory birds, many species of Lake Ontario fish, 37 different mammal species and quite a few amphibian and reptile species throughout the park. Dogs are welcome along the trail but are asked to remain on leash and be picked up after to keep a clean environment along the trails. Unfortunately, bikes are not permitted on trails to ensure the conservation of the land and the safety of hikers. Most of the trails are wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly as well! There is a general admission fee to pay in order to enter the park; however, this fee includes a parking pass, access to all RBG garden areas (seasonally permitting), and any scheduled Discovery Programming events on that day. The prices range from free for children 4 and under, up to $19.50 for adults. There are special fees for students/youth and seniors at $16.50 and $11.50 for children aged 4-12. These fees help to go towards the maintenance of the land and the running of amazing programming and education that the RBG provides to the community. Please note that some trails and garden accesses may be closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, the majority of the park and its trails remain open.
For more information on pricing and events, check out the RBG website at https://www.rbg.ca/plan-your-visit/admission/general-admission/
We are wishing everyone a safe and happy summer! Be sure to check out these awesome trails and tag us in your photos @durandhealth on Instagram and use #DIHG & #durandhealth!