Cycling Route #1:
Escarpment Rail Trail
by: Brad Tyleman
This route runs from downtown Hamilton to Albion
Falls, which is located at the southern edge of Red Hill Valley on the
east side of Hamilton. This route follows an historic railroad up
the face of the escarpment and is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
Moderate - a slow steady climb up the face of the escarpment.
Hard surface, primarily a multi-use trail with a short section on quiet city streets.
0.0 km to 0.7 km
Start at Ferguson Station (corner
of Ferguson Ave. & King St.) in downtown Hamilton
(notice the mural
on the wall of the building on Ferguson Ave. in memory of a rail
derailment during the steam era. (Grid C-9 on Bikeways map). Continue toward the
“mountain” (southerly) along the shared-use path. As you cross over Main
Street the path becomes Ferguson St. Continue along Ferguson St. and go
through the tunnel under the railroad tracks. On the south side of this
tunnel you are at the edge of Corktown Park, where you can pick up the
paved path (note the Corktown Pub if you want to take a break!).
0.7 km to 1.8 km
Follow the path easterly skirting
the park and railroad tracks until you come to Wentworth St., cross
cautiously as there is a blind curve with motor traffic approaching from
1.8 km to 7.5 km
After crossing the street, the
next 7 km you will be climbing the escarpment on the abandoned rail bed
that you have been following for the last kilometer. Along the way you
will have the opportunity to see the vistas of eastern Hamilton - the
steel mills, Lake Ontario, and the first glimpses of the Niagara Fruit
Belt. There are several rest stops along the trail with railings made
from the old ties of the former Canadian Pacific Rail line.
7.5 km to 8.5 km
Near the top of the escarpment the
trail turns south through a cut in the shale & limestone. The trail
passes through the center of the Mohawk Sports Park to Limeridge Road.
8.5 km to 9.5 km
Cross Limeridge Road and follow
the continuation of the trail to the parking lot at Albion Falls. Take a
few minutes to descend the stairs across the road to view the falls from
within the gorge (Grid F-12 on Bikeways map). You can return to downtown by re-tracing
Along the Way: