Hamilton

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Biking at Felkers Falls in Hamilton. Photo Credit: Tourism Hamilton

Hamilton is a cycling-friendly community offering a vast selection of scenic bicycle routes and trails that combine off-road, multi-use paths and on-street dedicated bike lanes, with varying terrain, hills and degrees of difficulty.

The Niagara Escarpment (‘The Mountain’) and surrounding Greenbelt areas offer incredible landscapes accessible by bike and just minutes from Hamilton’s city centre. Well-signed, GPS-mapped bike routes guide cyclists along Hamilton’s beautiful waterfront, through lush forested escarpment trails, past some of Hamilton’s well-known waterfalls, amidst rural farming communities, and right into the heart of the city. Using cross-regional routes like the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and Greenbelt Routes that pass through the city, cyclists can explore on day trips or multi-day trips the Hamilton area, and beyond to Halton Region, Brant County and Niagara. And with excellent GO Train and bus access from the GTA, it makes the perfect destination to explore car-free.

Bike racks, repair kits/stations as well as local and regional cycling information are all amenities that are found at our certified bicycle-friendly businesses, including restaurants, attractions, breweries and accommodations.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

The following cycling routes are found on the City of Hamilton Cycling Routes & Maps webpage, including an interactive map of all cycling infrastructure and trails throughout the city. They are also found on an interactive map on the Hamilton Waterfalls Guide – Cycling Routes webpage.

See more cycling routes that combine trails and on-road riding under the Regional Cycling Trails dropdown below.

  • The Country – 40km – This route is considered an easy route and takes in East Mountain and Ancaster and is primarily on paved roads with a short paved trail section. Cyclists will get views of Albion Falls, the Red Hill River Valley, and Lake Niapenco.
  • The Falls Run – 29km – This route is considered of moderate difficulty with two escarpment climbs and is primarily on paved roads. the route passes by the historic Griffin House and cyclists will get great views of Webster and Hermitage waterfalls.
  • The Brow – 22km – On-street route shared with motor traffic, this  route is considered moderate difficulty and is mostly paved, except an unpaved portion on the Chedoke Radial Rail Trail. Cyclists will get a number of great scenic vistas including at The Brow, Albion Falls and Sanitorium Falls and pass by shops in Ancaster and Concession St. in Hamilton.
  • Ferguson & West Harbour – 14km – This route is entirely paved and uses a combination of on-street and trails. Route starts in downtown Hamilton and takes cyclists to the Hamilton Waterfront Trail and west across Hamilton Bay to Aldershot.
  • Gage and Devil’s Punch Bowl – 12km – This route is all paved and is mostly on-street (majority with bike lanes) from the Hamilton City Centre to the Devil’s Punch Bowl Falls.
  • There are many more on-road cycling options and routes around Hamilton that combine road and trail riding. Consult published maps below for route options. Along the way, support local businesses (attractions, cafés, breweries, gift shops, etc.) throughout Hamilton and explore the many quaint neighbourhoods and lush parks in between.

Read more about each of the following trails on Tourism Hamilton’s webpage Cycling in Hamilton – A Guide to the City’s Best Biking Trails. 

  • Hamilton Waterfront Trail – The Hamilton Waterfront Trail is split into two sections, the Hamilton Waterfront Trail (west side of Hamilton Harbour) and the Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail (east side). Both trails are majority off-road and paved.
    • Hamilton Beachfront. Photo Credit: Tourism Hamilton

      The Hamilton Waterfront Trail – 7.5km – Trail follows west side of Hamilton Harbour from Princess Point (Cootes Paradise, near the Royal Botanical Gardens) east through Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park, the Discovery Centre and on to HMCS Haida. In west connect with trails in Burlington, and on the east side connect via roads through downtown Hamilton to the Escarpment Rail Trail, Red Hill Valley Trail, and back north to the Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail.

    • Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail – 8km – Trail follows the Lake Ontario shoreline taking riders from Burlington under the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge to Confederation Park in Hamilton and into Stoney Creek. Visit two excellent restaurants, a waterpark and great beaches where you can take a dip into the Lake.
  • Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail – 32km multi-use stone-dust trail that runs from the former town of Dundas in the east (part of City of Hamilton) to Brantford in the west. The Hamilton section follows the scenic Dundas Valley for 18km along the Niagara Escarpment. Connections can be made with the Hamilton city cycling network to downtown and to the Waterfront Trail. On the western end the trail connects with a variety of trails in Brantford and northwest to Paris and Cambridge and south to Port Dover.
  • Dundas Valley Conservation Area Trails – The 40km recreational trail system located in the former town of Dundas provides access to almost every part of the Dundas Valley and is organized along three major trails: the Main Loop Trail, Bruce Trail and the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail. Trails are unpaved, wide and suitable for cyclists, with most more rugged than the flat stone-dust Rail Trail. Explore lush Carolinian forests, colourful meadows, cold-water streams, stunning geological formations and an array of rare flora and fauna. Cyclists are welcome to use the Dundas Valley multi-use trail system and reminded to stay on marked trails. Please note, cycling is not permitted on the Bruce Trail.
    • Discover the Trail Centre right off the Rail Trail which is a replica Victorian Train Station with washrooms, water fountain, and picnic tables.
  • Escarpment Rail Trail – 9km paved trail that follows the top of the Niagara Escarpment (‘The Mountain’) south of downtown Hamilton. Enjoy views atop the Escarpment and visit a number of waterfalls including Buttermilk Falls and Albion Falls.
  • Red Hill Valley Trail – 9km winding unpaved multi-use trail located in east Hamilton which connects the Escarpment Rail Trail and the Chippewa Rail Trail to the Hamilton Waterfront Trail at Confederation Park. It passes through lovely Escarpment lands, the Red Hill Creek Valley and beautiful natural areas including wetlands and bird habitats close to Lake Ontario. At the south end, Escarpment end of the Trail, view Albion Falls, and connect on trails to Felkers Falls (lead photo on this webpage)
  • Chedoke Rail Trail – Follow this unpaved multi-use trail 7.5km up or down the Escarpment. Connects downtown Hamilton to Ancaster Village Core. View Westcliffe Falls, Sanatorium Falls, Princess Falls (5 waterfalls total), Iroquois Heights Conservation Area, and shops in Ancaster.
  • Chippewa Rail Trail – 15km – The stone-dust rail trail travels south from the Chippewa Rail Trail Parking lot (east Hamilton) to Caledonia. After passing through an industrial area the trail opens up into rolling farm land and natural areas. The Chippewa Trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail and from Caledonia connect to the Caledonia – Dunnville Rail Trail.
  • Dofasco 2000 Trail – Approximately 12km of multi-use trail riding with some road crossings on Hamilton’s East Mountain (Escarpment) in the former town of Stoney Creek. The Trail starts in the west at Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area. The trail includes a few kilometres of wide boardwalk meandering through marshes. Trail route can be turned into a 22km loop returning on road or doubling back on trail.

Cycling Routes Incorporating Trails

  • Escarpment Expedition –  23km – This looped route is great way to explore the dramatic Niagara Escarpment in the Hamilton area, cruising along trails and making easy connections into the welcoming communities in the valley and out.
  • HamBur Loop – 50km – Great Lakes to Greenbelt Itinerary – this loop connects Hamilton and Burlington through two segments of Waterfront Trails (Lake and Bay) as well as the Red Hill Valley Trail.
  • Dundas Valley Loop – 56km – Great Lakes to Greenbelt Itinerary – loop around and through the Dundas Valley, with visits to Tews Falls, Christie Lake, and the quiet hills and trails of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
  • Dundas Valley and Westdale – 21km – Route is combination of on-street and trails; unpaved on rail trail in Dundas Valley; paved option between Ancaster and Dundas is Wilson St / Old Dundas Rd. Passes a number of attractions including Dundas Valley Conservation Area, McMaster University, Hamilton waterfront trail, Dundurn Castle and shops in Ancaster and Westdale.
  • Harbour and Lakeshore Route – 16km – route from the Aldershot GO station along the waterfront of Hamilton Beach, ending at the Confederation Park. Half of the route is a paved trail (Waterfront Trail) or optional on-street (Beach Blvd).
  • Ferguson and West Harbour – 14km – route from Aldershot GO station into downtown Hamilton. Combination of on-street and trails with bridge vistas and a stretch through the Grindstone Marsh.
  • Dundas Valley Conservation Area Trails – The 40km  recreational trail system provides access to almost every part of the Dundas Valley and is organized along three major trails: the Main Loop Trail, Bruce Trail and the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail. Trails are unpaved, wide and suitable for cyclists, with most more rugged than the flat, stone-dust Rail Trail. The Dundas Valley is one of southern Ontario’s most spectacular natural treasures. Highlights of the 1,200-hectare conservation area include lush Carolinian forests, colourful meadows, cold-water streams, stunning geological formations and an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife. Cyclists are welcome to use the Dundas Valley multi-use trail system and reminded to stay on marked trails. Please note, cycling is not permitted on the Bruce Trail.
  • Christie Lake – Located in Dundas just north of Hamilton, this 10-kilometre mountain bike area features a network of well-groomed single tracks that suit all skill levels from beginner to advanced. There are four different loops to choose from which are marked at most intersections to make it easy to follow
  • Hyde Tract – Built on a crown land parcel north of Rockton, the area offers 7 kilometres of double tracks with easy to moderate difficulties, which makes it ideal for beginner and intermediate riders. Additional blue and black single tracks will be added later in 2020.

Greenbelt Route – More than 475 kilometres of signed cycling adventures await in the beautiful, protected countryside of Ontario’s Greenbelt. From Niagara to Northumberland, enjoy lush forests, winding rivers, welcoming communities, and family farms as you pedal through some of southern Ontario’s diverse and stunning landscapes.

The Greenbelt Route travels around Hamilton crossing into the Niagara Region in the east through Grimsby and in the west into Halton Region through Burlington.

  • Plan your trip by accessing downloadable and printable paper maps or visit www.greenbelt/cycling
  • Day Trip Itinerary in Hamilton – Escarpment Expedition (23km)
  • Great Lakes to Greenbelt – Showcasing Ontario’s best trails and two signature cycling routes – the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and The Greenbelt Route. Three loops are available in the Hamilton Area, ranging from 50km to 65km.
    • HamBur Loop (48km) – The HAMBUR Loop takes cyclists through Hamilton & Burlington. Perfect for the recreational cyclist looking for a looped tour with stunning lookouts, waterfront cycling, and unique restaurants.
    • Dundas Valley Loop (56km) – A loop around and through the Dundas Valley, with visits to Tews Falls, Christie Lake, and the quiet hills and trails of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
    • Escarpment Country Cruise (65km) – Cycle the shores of the Hamilton Bayfront, through the verdant hills of the Dundas Valley and sun-touched fields of the countryside and back again

    The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3000km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting over 140 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. The fully signed Trail uses the safest infrastructure possible, a mix of both on-road and off-road facilities, and is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads. It can be enjoyed for as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long distance cycling adventure.

    The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail traverses the Hamilton area, following the shoreline of Lake Ontario, with connecting loop around the Bay, as part of the Hambur Loop.

    • Hamilton Waterfront Trail – The Hamilton Waterfront Trail is split into two sections, the Hamilton Waterfront Trail (west side of Hamilton Harbour) and the Hamilton Recreation Beach Trail (east side). Both trails are majority off-road and paved. See link or Regional Cycling Trails tab above for more information

    For information and to access downloadable maps visit www.WaterfrontTrail.org


    Trans Canada Trail (TCT) – A portion of this national trail runs through the Hamilton Region. The TCT is a four-season, multi-use trail system with various surface types and users. The following multi-use trails with various surface types are a part of this trail system. Use the Trans Canada trail locator to find access points.

    • Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail (TCT) – 32km in total. The 7km Dundas Valley Rail Trail is the most well used and easily accessible portion of trail in the Hamilton area.
    • Chippewa Rail Trail (TCT) – 15km, Hamilton to Caledonia crushed stone trail. Trail takes rider from urban to rural surroundings, connecting the escarpment to the Grand River.
    • Escarpment Rail Trail (TCT) – 8.5km of paved trail that gradually climbs or descends escarpment depending on riding direction.
  • Hamilton Bike Map. 2023. City of Hamilton. The Bike Map includes separated cycling infrastructure to help new & less confident cyclists plan more comfortable routes. Pick up a free print copy at a Recreation Centre, Library, Bike Shop or Municipal Service Centre in Hamilton. Map is divided in an Urban Map and a Rural Map. View map online plus 10 cycling routes and trails, each with your own PDF itinerary sheets, with routes ranging from 5 to 40km.
  • Hamilton Cycling Guide – Tourism Hamilton – A local’s guide to the best biking trails in Hamilton. Blog includes trail photos, descriptions, and stops along the way.
  • Cycling Hamilton Waterfalls – Routes. Interactive Map with links to 10 cycling routes (routes shown on Hamilton Bike Map in Hamilton that feature the many waterfalls and vistas throughout Hamilton. Spring and autumn are the best waterfall viewing seasons.
  • Hamilton Conservation Authority– Multiple trail maps and brochures including for Dundas Valley Conservation Area and Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, Chippewa Rail Trail, plus additional trails. Print copies available at Conservation Areas or call (905) 525-2181.
  • Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Great Lakes to Greenbelt Route Maps – Explore Interactive and PDF route maps for all 3 Great Lakes to Greenbelt Itineraries in Hamilton and Greenbelt Areas – Dundas Valley Loop, Escarpment Country Cruise, and the HamBur Loop.

Try Hamilton’s Bike Share system with over 800 bicycles and over 130 hubs, a convenient and flexible way for visitors to explore Hamilton’s downtown area.  Docking stations allow users to pick up and drop off bicycles at any location across the network, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Daily usage rates available.  For more information visit: www.hamilton.socialbicycles.com

* Please note there are many additional map guides for the region that may be of interest and useful to cyclists. New maps and guides are available yearly, and information above may change.

Hamilton – Related Blogs:

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Have an e-bike and willing to travel? Eager to try out an e-bike in a safe off-road environment? With a growing number of e-bike rental companies close to Ontario’s signature trails, it’s easier than ever to plan a day trip exploring our beautiful province on two wheels. An shorter version of the article was published in the 2024 Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide

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While the cultures of coffee and cycling have long been intertwined both here at home and around the world, over the last few years Ontario has seen an amazing growth in bicycle themed cafes, or cafes specifically targeting cycling as their market and community of focus.

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Bikepacking Ontario Style

February 16, 2021|

Over the last few years, bikepacking has become increasingly popular. It allows for some epic cycle touring and while it can take many forms, it often gets riders out on a more challenging experience exploring exciting areas off the beaten track. With its diverse landscapes and large network of old railway lines, trails and gravel roads, Ontario is an ideal location for a bikepacking adventure.

  • 5 Top Trail Rides East & West

5 Top Trail Rides East & West

July 10, 2019|

Trail ride suggestions are something we are often asked for at the shows and events we are at with our Ontario Cycle Tourism Info Centre. Time away from traffic, the quieter and often more natural settings that trails travel through are just some of the appeal. Most likely you are well acquainted with the trails close to home, but the following are some of our top trail suggestions to help you get out there and explore more by bike this summer. Happy trails, as they say.


Destination & Regional Partners: