Friday, May 27, 2011

human-powered Hamilton

Hamilton Spectator reporter Jon Wells is doing a human-powered trek around Hamilton, starting in a canoe in Hamilton harbour, moving through Cootes Paradise and into Spencer Creek in Dundas, hiking through Dundas Valley, Ancaster, West Hamilton along the Bruce Trail, and today he is in the Red Hill Valley. You can follow his adventure at the Spectator.

Jon had contacted Dundas Walks prior to his journey, researching if it was possible to hike around and through the city without going on roads. While much of the trip can be on trails, or on the water, there will have to be times where the trail gives way to roads and sidewalks due to the built up city-scape of some areas. But surprisingly for those who have never considered the concept, Hamilton trails provide an easy escape, and you can spend hours walking in the woods away from traffic, forgetting you are minutes away from a city.

While Jon is using a car to get to his destinations each day, groups like Transportation for Liveable Communities have been promoting the idea that you don't need a car to get to some amazing trail heads, with many conservation areas and waterfall destinations located along HSR bus routes, or an easy bicycle ride away from home, work or school.

For anyone planning a hiking or canoeing adventure in some far-away locale, you can train for the task here at home; you may find that you fulfill a need you thought could only be filled by driving several hours away. And with the right interventions, we could choose to have more nature and less roads: in short we could restore the natural beauty of our well-situated city!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rail Trail Green and Dry

The Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail through Dundas is a dry spine passing through otherwise water logged lands. This photo was taken after a morning rain, which seems to only have added to the rich green of spring growth.

Friday, May 6, 2011

blossoms with water

Light rain makes an afternoon commute on the highway into a mess, but on the trail a mess of blossoms entice your attention away from your cares (and cars...)

While the Conservation Areas are muddy, the lower Spencer Creek Trail in Dundas is, as a former rail line, solid and dry, and worth detouring to.

slippery slopes

trout lilies beginning to flower
The Hamilton Conservation Area has posted some trail closures effecting cyclists and equestrians, and slippery and muddy conditions exist for hikers: 

Dundas Valley: Trails remain closed to cyclists and equestrians, until further notice.
The Spring Valley Trail leading from Jerseyville Rd. is closed where it enters onto Conservation Authority land, approximately 500 m. north of Jerseyville Rd. The Hilltop Trail and the Murray Ferguson Way are also closed until further notice. Recent emergency utility repair work has left the trails in unsuitable condition. Once the ground dries out in the spring, repairs will be made and the trails will be reopened. Notices will be posted. The Headwaters Trail is still open. Access to the Headwaters Trail is available from Jerseyville Rd via Marten’s Rd.
Due to current weather conditions trails are extremely slippery and very muddy in areas, caution is advised.