In Hamilton, waterfalls abound in abundance, just like there are a ton of impressive hiking trails. I’ve put together this list of more than 15 top hiking paths in the beginning of your journey in Hamilton hiking experiences there. These are fantastic treks and strolls around Hamilton, each with its special attractions like gorges, waterfalls, or winding woodland trails.
1. The Historic Bruce Trail
The entire 890 kilometres of the Bruce Trail must be hiked by ardent hikers. It extends northward from the magnificent Niagara Falls to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron.
For the rest of us, it’s a good thing that this difficult hiking track can be broken up into manageable chunks. Hamilton is a great beginning place for hikers who want to experience one of this trail’s most gorgeous sections because of its location on the Niagara Escarpment, designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Among all the Hamilton hiking trails, one of the most stunning ones is this one.
Along the way, you’ll pass some of the escarpment’s most stunning waterfalls, including the endearing Canterbury Falls. The Bruce Trail directly crosses the falls, situated in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area a short distance west of Hamilton’s central business district.
2. Sherman Falls
Water from Ancaster Creek flows continuously through Sherman Falls, a curtain waterfall that is 17 meters high. The Sherman family, a well-known local family that formerly owned the property, is honoured by the waterfall’s name. Sherman Falls is a lovely waterfall in the middle of woodland close to the Bruce Trail.
It takes around 4 kilometres to travel from Tiffany Falls to Sherman Falls. On Wilson Street, there is a little parking space close to Tiffany Falls, and Sherman Falls has a larger space. If you want to hike further, continue on the Bruce Trail past Sherman Falls to view Canterbury Falls, the third waterfall.
3. Eramosa Karst
The Eramosa Karst Conservation Area, a notable Province-wide Scientific Interest Area, is home to some of Hamilton’s best walks. In total, 16 separate karstic characteristics, making this one of Ontario’s best examples of karst topography.
Among all the Hamilton hiking trails, one of the most beautiful ones is this one.
Eramosa Karst has 7 km of hiking routes with underground streams, caverns, and forests.
Bridges, Boardwalks, and interpretive panels are all present, providing information on the special features of this area. Although there are many routes, the Karst Features Trail has the greatest number of attractions.
4. Dundas Peak (Spencer Gorge Conservation Area)
The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area in Hamilton is a wonderful area to go hiking.
In one day of trekking in Dundas, you may reach Websters Falls, Tews Falls, and Dundas Peak. You can see for miles in every direction, including the town of Dundas, from the Peak.
5. Take a Waterfront Stroll in Bayfront Park
Over the past ten or so years, Hamilton’s waterfront has undergone a significant revitalization effort. It was often thought of as something of an industrial wasteland because it was once, and in certain sections still is, home to heavy industry.
Bayfront Park, which is located at the western end of Hamilton Harbour and was formerly a dump but has been transformed into one of the city’s most lovely green spaces, is the focal point of this rehabilitation.
A network of flat pathways, some of which are bike-friendly, encircle this delightful area, connecting it to six additional acres of parkland at Pier 4 Park. You can go even further if you keep walking along the Waterfront Trail. The 1,800 metres of beachfront features a kid-friendly sandy beach, a public boat launch (plus a nearby marina), plenty of parking, and a natural fish habitat.
6. The Escarpment Rail Trail
A multi-use route called the Escarpment Rail Trail was built over an old CN railway. The walk leads to the lower city from above the cliff, close to Albion Falls.
Among all the Hamilton hiking trails, one of the most spectacular is this one.
Beautiful views of the lower city, the Hamilton Brick Works, and the Niagara Escarpment can be had from the walk. In 1993, the Region converted the right-of-way into a route for bicyclists and pedestrians.
7. Christie Lake Conservation Area
Weekend summertime hikers to Spencer Gorge can park in a satellite lot at Christie Lake Conservation Area. Christie Lake, though, is a superb trekking location on its own.
Hamilton hiking paths total 10 kilometres at Christie Lake Conservation Area. There are sections of the paths that pass through large meadows and pine forests. There is also a single-track mountain bike trail.
The Round the Lake trek, a 5.6-kilometre loop around Christie Lake, is one of the best walks in Hamilton for hikers. The Christie Lake Conservation Area, which offers activities like swimming, picnicking, and disc golf, is a great place to visit with friends and family (and hiking, of course).
8. Chedoke Radial Trail
One of Hamilton’s best hikes is the Chedoke Radial Trail, a section of the Bruce Trail. The 2.7km trail is appropriate for biking and walking. It’s an intriguing fact that the Brantford and Hamilton Electric Railway’s obsolete railroad track was the foundation for the Chedoke Radial Trail.
It’s a short, straightforward walk up the escarpment that occasionally passes a golf course. Along the way, you can see various little waterfalls. The Chedoke Stairs, which many people use to run up and down for exercise, are connected to the Chedoke Radial Trail.
9. The Main Loop Trail
The Main Loop Trail starts at the Dundas Valley Trail Centre. It is a 3.4-kilometre loop route that takes about 90 minutes to complete. It’s one of the best hiking routes in Hamilton since it puts you close to nature without taking you too far from the city.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the Main Loop Trail is the Hermitage ruins. You can roam through the dilapidated homes and buildings that once made up a spectacular property with 120 acres. The Hermitage was nearly destroyed by fire in 1934.
The single resident, Mrs. Alma Dick-Lauder, set up a tent on the property and constructed a smaller house where she resided until she died in 1942. Since then, the ruins have begun to be reclaimed by the forest. I strongly advise you to read the legend around the Hermitage before going there.
10. Albion Falls & Buttermilk Falls
Albion Falls and Buttermilk Falls are two stunning waterfalls that can be seen along the 3.7 km Mountain Brow Side Trail. Unfortunately, access to Albion Falls’ base is no longer possible, and chain-link fencing somewhat obscures the waterfall’s views.
However, it remains one of the best hiking routes in Hamilton for seeing two (or three!) spectacular waterfalls in a single outing.
Felker’s Falls can be added to your walk, even though I only listed two waterfalls in the header. Three waterfalls must be better than two, right? By continuing on the Bruce Trail to the east, you can hike to Felker’s Falls. The hike is 10.3 kilometres long (including the return trip), and you can begin it near Felker’s Falls, where there is plenty of parking. Felker’s Falls is a 22-meter ribbon waterfall that cascades over a ledge with steep steps.
11. Tiffany Falls
The Bruce Trail in Hamilton passes through a noteworthy area between Tiffany Falls and Sherman Falls, two magnificent waterfalls. The Bruce Trail detour to Tiffany Falls is merely a brief one. It’s one of those places that rewards little effort with great rewards.
Tiffany Falls is a stunning 21-meter-high ribbon waterfall that is visible throughout the year.
12. The Trans Canada Trail Network
The Trans Canada Trail is a cross-Canada network of greenways, waterways, and roads that runs from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. It will be known as The Great Trail between September 2016 and June 2021. The path is now the longest network of recreational, multi-use trails in the world, stretching about 24,000 km (15,000 mi).
The Trans Canada Trail provides a variety of activities across urban, rural, and wilderness settings via greenways, waterways, and roads. Its 28,000 km length represents both the size of our country’s landscape and the variety of our population. You can find an experience that beckons to you whether you’re seeking a spot to walk, cycle, kayak, ride a horse, cross-country ski, or snowmobile.
13. Headwaters Trail and Devil’s Punch Bowl
13.1. Headwaters Trail
A 7 km long, well-liked blue mixed path, Headwaters Trail is situated close to Dundas, Ontario. The main trail of this trek is accessible from both directions and has a moderate physical rating overall with a 290 m blue ascent. This trail can be finished in 24 minutes on average. The Headwaters Trail is an out-and-back with a loop at the trail’s finish that begins from the Main Loop.
Multiple trails diverge, which can significantly lengthen your trip. This double-track route may be used for various activities, so you’ll frequently run into other hikers, runners, or horseback riders. Although it is more peaceful than the Main Loop, weekends nevertheless see a fair amount of traffic. The trail has a few decent hills and is otherwise flat.
13.2. Devil’s Punch Bowl
The Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area’s primary attractions are the gorge’s waterfalls and geologic marvel. The Devil’s Punch Bowl gorge was created when the most recent ice age ended enormous meltwater floods rushed over the cliff. It is possible to see the layers of variously coloured limestone, Cabot Head grey shale, Queenston Formation red shale, and shale dolomite that constitute the gorge.
Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area has two waterfalls. A 33.8-meter ribbon waterfall, The Upper Falls plunges to the ground below. The waterfall is only 3 meters wide at its broadest point, and the best time to see it is right after it has rained. It does occasionally dry up to a trickle. You might see a waterfall that is entirely frozen over during the winter.
Steps from the Upper Falls are a waterfall curtain known as the Lower Falls which is seven meters wide and seven meters high. To hike, start from the Devil’s Punch Bowl’s top to bottom. Some distance down the road, take the Devil’s Punchbowl Side Trail.
14. McCormack Trail
From the main trailhead, move north and cross Governor’s Road to continue on the McCormack Trail. It’s one of Hamilton’s most picturesque treks, and a portion of the Bruce Trail connects to the McCormack Trail. You’ll stroll through the lush hills of the Dundas valley and take in the breathtaking views of the escarpment, the town, and Lake Ontario.
It doesn’t take as long to return to the trailhead because the hike circles back to a part of the Bruce Trail. One way, it’s 7.5 kilometres long. Allocate at least 2.5 hours to finish the trail (and then more to walk time to walk back).
15. Tews Falls
Due to the revocation by the landowners of a piece of private property on the Bruce Trail, Tews Falls and Websters Falls are no longer connected by a continuous trail.
From Tews Falls, you can trek to Dundas Peak and back. Then, a different track will take you to Webster Falls. Tew’s Falls is a stunning waterfall that is only a few meters less than Niagara Falls in height at 41 meters. Johnson Tew, who owned the land and waterfall from 1874 to 1947, is remembered by the waterfall’s name. It is one of the best Hamilton hiking trails.
Hamilton is worth the journey. Your experience hiking in the highlands and close to the waterfalls will be one you’ll never forget. Decide to visit Hamilton and go hiking as soon as you can.
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