Hamilton and Greenbelt Areas

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Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

Cycling along the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail in 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.

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.

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 Country – This 40km route takes in East Mountain and Ancaster and is primarily on paved roads with a short paved trail section.
  • The Brow – On-street shared with motor traffic, this 22km route is mostly paved, except an unpaved portion on the Chedoke Radial Rail Trail.
  • The Falls Run – This 29km route is considered moderate with two escarpment climbs and is primarily on paved roads. Cyclists get great views of Webster and Hermitage waterfalls.
  • Gage and Devil’s Punch Bowl – 12km All paved; 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.
  • Escarpment Expedition –  This 23km 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.
  • Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail through Dundas Valley – 32km of multi-use unpaved trails nestled under the Niagara Escarpment. Enjoy a variety of trails in woodland with sites including waterfalls and creeks.
  • HamBur Loop – 50km loop connecting Hamilton and Burlington through two segments of Waterfront Trails (Lake and Bay) as well as the Red Hill Valley Trail. RidewithGPS)
  • Chedoke Rail Trail – Follow this unpaved multi-use trail 7.5km up or down the escarpment. Connects downtown Hamilton to Ancaster Village Core.
  • Dofasco 2000 Trail – Approximately 12km of multi-use trail riding with some road crossings. 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.
  • Red Hill Valley Trail – 12km unpaved multi-use trail connects to Trans Canada, Waterfront and Chippawa Trails
  • Harbour and Lakeshore Route – A 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.
  • 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. Online resource pending.
    • 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.

    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.

Try Hamilton’s Bike Share system with 825 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.

Destination & Regional Partners

Thank you to our Past Greenbelt Network Area Project Partner: