Cycling Route #4: Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail
by: Sara Mayo
This rail trail is an exceptionally scenic and almost entirely off-road 32km trail. This trail is part of the Trans-Canada Trail and runs through the heart of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. The trail has some self-guided interpretation panels to explain the natural history of the valley. The Dundas Valley is one of the most spectacular and diverse spots along the Niagara Escarpment. The valley’s 1,200 hectares of Carolinian forest, fields, cold-water streams and stunning geological formations are home to an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife. The Niagara Escarpment has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Dundas Valley has a 40-kilometre trail system. Some of the trails are
open to cycling.
Stone dust/fine gravel, off-road, multi-use, generally flat (except for one climb up the escarpment).
0.0 km to 2.7 km
The Hamilton to Brantford Rail
Trail trailhead & parking area is located at the corner of Main St. and
Ewen Rd. just west of McMaster University. (Grid D-6 on Bikeways map)
2.7 km to 3.3 km
Careful as you cross Old Ancaster
Rd./Ogilvie St. This point is also an access point to the trail
from the bike route on Ogilvie St.
3.3 km to 5.5 km
Sanctuary Park (rest area &
washroom in season). Another 0.4km along the route is an access point
from Bridlewood Dr.
5.5 km to 6.0 km
Dundas Valley Trail Centre
trailhead & parking area (Grid F-3 on Bikeways map) This is the hub of
the valley’s trail network. The centre, a replica of a Victorian train
station, is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and weekends 8:30 a.m.
– 4:30 p.m. in the winter season and summer hours are weekends 8:30 a.m.
– 5 p.m. and weekdays 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. washrooms, interpretive hikes
and programs in season – historic train displays).
6.0 km to 6.6 km
Two interesting historical sites
off the trail on Sulphur Springs Rd. are the Hermitage Ruins and the
Griffin House. (Grid G-2 on Bikeways map).
Along the Way (on Dundas Valley Conservation Area trail system):
Main Loop Trail from Visitor Centre
Hermitage Ruins & Gatehouse
Heritage Falls (short hike)