If you’re looking for a chance to get outdoors in Hamilton, here are 10 of the best trails for kids in Hamilton. Most are even stroller friendly!
Red Hill Valley Trail
Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail is a 13.8km trail that follows the Red Hill Creek down to Lake Ontario. The trail starts at Pritchard Road (near Albion Falls) but is steep in sections towards the beginning. There are numerous other entry points, including Rosedale Arena, and King St, Barton St, Queenston Rd, and Lawrence Road just off the Red Hill Valley Parkway. The trail is not paved but several sections (by Rosedale Arena) are stroller friendly, while the other sections are kid-friendly but may be steep. There’s several spots where a side trail leads down to the creek. This is hands-down our favourite trail! View the map here.
Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail
Starting in the west end of Hamilton, this 32km trail runs from Ewen Road through the Dundas Valley Conservation Area and all the way to Brantford. It’s a popular cycling trail, as the full trail has some challenging ascents (a total 240m climb!) but many families choose to do a portion of the trail starting at points through West Hamilton and Dundas. There are kilometer markings along the path, although the 2km mark is tricky to see. The trail is stroller-friendly and popular with runners, walkers and even families out for a bike ride. View the map here.
Sassafrass Point Trail
Part of the Cootes Paradise Trails, the Sassafrass Point Trail is an easy tree-lined trail starting in Westdale and ending at Princess Point with some great views of the marsh at Coote’s Paradise. The path is kid-friendly but there are a couple of short, steep hills. As you walk, you’ll see plenty of birds and other wildlife in the surrounding trees. It’s a great walk in the spring, fall or summer, although the spring can be a little wet (as many trails are). View the map here.
Bayfront Park is at the foot of Harbourfront Drive (just east of Bay Street North). There is a 1.5km paved loop through Bayfront Park with numerous benches and a large grass area for kids to burn off some extra energy. To the other side of the parking lot is another Waterfront Trail winds along the edge of the Harbour, providing views across the water and access to the water’s edge. The path continues to Desjardins Canal and then to Cootes Paradise. Just past the parking lot on Bay Street is a Hutch’s, serving snacks and great ice cream! View the map here.
Hamilton Beach Trail
Hamilton Beach Trail, also known as Van Wagner’s Beach, is located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The paved trail stretches 16km along the beach, with great views across Lake Ontario – on clear days you can even see Toronto in the distance. The path reaches from the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge under the Skyway Bridge to Confederation Park at the other end. Many people use this path to walk, rollerblade or cycle. Stop for fish and chips or an ice cream at Hutch’s or cool off at Lakeland Pool and Splash Pad (the splash pad is free but there is an entrance fee to the pool). This trail is also part of the Great Lake Waterfront Trail, which stretches over 3600km along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes region. View the Confederation Park portion of the map here.
The Escarpment Rail Trail
The Escarpment Rail Trail stretches for 8.2km along the escarpment, on the site of the old CN railway line. The trail heads north from Mohawk Road to the Red Hill Parkway and south to the Wentworth Stairs. Although the trail is long, you don’t have to do the entire trail! We tend to park at Mohawk Road and walk down to the Kenilworth Stairs and back (it’s not too much of an incline on that section). There’s some great views over the city at the top of the Kenilworth Stairs. The trail is not paved but is stroller friendly! View the map here.
You can access the trail at the bottom of the Wentworth Stairs (or Corktown Park where there is a parking lot) or multiple points along the trail, including the parking lot at Mohawk Road and Mountain Brow, behind the Mohawk 4 Ice Center, or the Kenilworth Stairs (although you will have to climb the first set of stairs to access the trail) or the Margate Stairs (where you will have to climb down a fairly steep set of stairs to access the trail). For anyone with strollers or young kids, the parking lot at Mohawk is the best entry point.
Pier 4 Park Trail
Pier 4 Park Trail is a 2.5km trail that extends from Williams Coffee Pub on Discovery Drive to Pier 4 Park. Part of the trail does go along the street, but you can also just do the paved loop in Pier 4 Park instead. The trail at Pier 4 Park provides great views across Hamilton Harbour, including the sailboats and yachts docked nearby. There is also an 80ft tugboat play structure and splash pad that kids will love and is a great way to finish the walk. View the map here.
Dofasco 2000 Trail
The Dofasco 2000 Trail begins at the Devil’s Punchbowl and extends for 6.5km through the countryside of Stoney Creek. Close to Eighth Rd East, there’s a 1.7km boardwalk section that passes through the Vineland South Swamp. The trail is not paved but is kid friendly. It’s an out and back trail, which makes it great for kids – just turn back when they start to get tired! There are many side trails that connect this trail to the Bruce Trail, Devil’s Punchbowl and Battlefield House in lower Stoney Creek, but these side trails are not all kid-friendly. More information and a map can be found here.
Chedoke Radial Trail
The Chedoke Radial Trail can be accessed from several different spots but the best place, especially if you have strollers or small children is from the Chedoke Golf Course. You can also access it from Scenic Drive parking lot but then you’ll have to descend the stairs to get to the trail – it’s ok to do with 5 year olds, but not the best for younger children or strollers.
The Chedoke Radial Trail is part of the Bruce Trail and winds along the escarpment, passing several waterfalls, including the Chedoke Waterfalls. The trail is fairly wide, perfect for walking with strollers or young kids. It’s quiet, cool and a perfect way to get outdoors in the middle of the summer. If you’re hiking in the spring, the waterfalls are at their best! View the map here.
Located just off the Red Hill Valley Parkway in Upper Stoney Creek, Eramosa Karst is Hamilton’s newest Conservation Authority. Karsts are geological formations caused by water draining through rocks like the limestone formations that are found in the Niagara Escarpment. Karsts typically include sinkholes, caves and underground drainage.
The Eramosa Karst Conservation Area is a perfect spot to hike and escape from the city. Filled with underground caves and streams, meadows and forests, there are over 4km of trails. The trails are kid-friendly and it’s a popular spot for families to walk and hike (most of the trails are stroller-friendly). There is a fee to park, unless you have a HCA pass. View the map here.
Do you know of any other trails for kids in Hamilton? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re interested in exploring of Ontario, you might like these 15 Natural Wonders in Ontario – quite a few are close to Hamilton!