Hamilton’s Trails

When my grown-up kids are home for a visit, we love to hike local trails together. As a family activity, hiking is so easy, economical, and adaptable to children of all ages. We try to see a new trail every time but I think it will take awhile to see all the trails Hamilton has to offer.

It’s been a long time since I blogged (big understatement!) so today’s post will cover a few hikes.

Smokey Hollow and Grindstone Creek
On Thanksgiving weekend, we drove over to Smokey Hollow in Waterdown and first saw Great Falls from the viewing deck right next to the parking lot. I had been there in 2014 for an article I wrote on Hamilton’s Waterfalls. What I hadn’t realized then was how easy it is to take the trail down the slope and see the waterfalls from below. You can follow Grindstone Creek downstream for several kilometres and more fabulous views.


This is a shot from the upper trail in 2014. You can see the viewing platform on the top right.



The beautiful cliffs are deeply coloured. Here we see a bit of a debate among the family as to why that it so.


The trail along Grindstone Creek has fabulous views.



Near the base of the waterfall, it was relatively easy to walk on the rocks into the centre of the stream. But at this point, maybe a kilometre away, the rocks are huge and not easy to walk on at all. As my son found out when he tried to get back from this position – yes, he got a bit soaked.


Borer’s Falls
Here’s a hike that went on waaaay longer than we thought it would and I’ll take the blame. I had done part of the trail weeks earlier with friends and didn’t realize how much farther it would take to get to the actual water falls. Which I don’t have a picture of. Sigh.

We started off on York Road in Dundas, near the dog park at Valley Road, but if you want a much shorter route, drive up the escarpment to Rock Chapel Road and park there although you will be missing some amazing views through the forested escarpment. You can find out more about this conservation area here.


I seem to like taking photos of my kids as they are taking photos. 



The forested valley is absolutely full of gorgeous views.



At this point, we’re about ten minutes from the waterfalls and the escarpment face is close to the trail so you can see across Dundas Valley.



The views from the waterfalls were great, all the way over the valley to the west mountain of Hamilton.


Here we are, heading back to the car, through the field that parallels the waterfall.

Crooks’ Hollow Conservation Area
In April when my son was home after finishing his school exams, we explored the trail along Spencer Creek up in Greensville. This area recently went through quite a transformation when a dam was removed for several reasons that you can read about on the conservation authority’s website.

There was some controversy about removing the dam but as we walked along the trail on that beautiful spring day, I could only appreciate what a wonderful place we were in and gave no thought as to how it got to be that way. The sound of the rapids was particularly helpful to de-stress both of us.




This is the view from a large pedestrian bridge about ten minutes walk from the parking lot on Crooks’ Hollow Road.



Same bridge, other direction, where we noticed there were quite a few people quietly fishing!

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