Hamilton has an abundance of accessible options to be active. One of the most common things I hear people wanting to do when it comes to Physical Activity, is the the stairs. There are various stairs throughout the City of Hamilton. They include, Chedoke, Queen, Wentworth, Kenilworth and a few smaller ones that connect throughout what is know as the Rail Trail.
Although the stairs are a fantastic way to be active, I love the Rail Trail for it’s versatility. I grew up close to it, I remember that at different stages of my life, I used it for different reasons as well as different methods of training.
The Rail Trail has been a project of neighbouring communities for 2 centuries. It was originally an artery of the City. In the early 1800’s it served to meet the demands of the growing City and its transportation needs from the East to West and the North to South end of the city. Over the years, it was owned, operated and maintained by many different Railroad Companies.
In 1993 the region developed what was then known as the CN Line which was abandoned into what is now known as the Rail Trail. It connects Hamilton from Dundas al the way up to Mount Albion which is located on the East Mountain. It stretches over 80KM in what is Ontario’s first interurban hiking trail. Some of the path is gravel, while other areas are paved. The trail offers something for everyone, it is conveniently located close to the Bruce Trail, sometimes even crossing it.
The rail trail offers a path in which you can take your pets for a brisk walk. Even in the summer it offers enough shade that it keeps the path much cooler than being directly in the sun. Same if your running, its a great trail to put in some mileage for your week. If you’re out running the trail, it offers a gradual incline that becomes increasingly challenging as you run up the escarpment. The beauty of it is that as you run back, the same grade that challenged you at first, allows you to pick up speed. This makes the run back much more enjoyable.
I’ve taken my bike up the path, past all of the connecting stairs, past the Mohawk Sports Complex which is also a great place to visit. There is a beautiful view of the Niagara Escarpment on the Eastside of the path and on the other side of Mountain Brow Road. Have you been ? It’s a must see! The Rail Trail leads all the way to Albion Falls, another local waterfall that has great views. Just a bit further it connects to the Red Hill Valley Trail. It too offers a great hiking experience, it also has some pretty dope Mountain Biking Trails as well. You could go up the Rail Trail and down the Red Hill Valley Trail then through the City on a bike.
Hamilton has so much to offer, go out and explore…