Parks, Trails and Beaches

Trails Listing

Come explore Hamilton's trails!

There are many wonderful trails in the City of Hamilton for both the serious hiker as well as for those who wish to enjoy a leisurely afternoon outside. Find information on local area trails, as well as links to long distance trails such as the Bruce Trail and Trans Canada Trail.

A scenic trail, with many wildflowers growing along the path. This trail joins the Bruce Trail. To access this trail go to Battlefield Park, 77 King Street East, Stoney Creek. Parking is available at the south end of the park; follow the Creek (west side) to the path. This trail is not accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, due to rocky surface and upward slope. 

Bayfront Park, one of Hamilton's waterfront parks, is located at the foot of Harbour Front Drive east of Bay Street North (by Simcoe Street West).

The park boasts a number of features including a multi-use asphalt pathway 1.482 kilometres in length by 6-metres wide. The path - popular for rollerblading, cycling, walking, and jogging - connects with the nearby Pier 4 Park by the Macassa Bay walkway, and the new Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail. Users enjoy views of the surrounding harbour area and access to the water's edge, naturalized areas of wildflowers, shrubs and trees, a free public boat launch, numerous benches and picnic tables, a natural grass amphitheatre, a parking lot and public washrooms. An expansive lawn area makes this park ideal for special events. Please use the trail responsibly and with caution. Cyclists and in-line skaters must yield to pedestrians and give audible warning when passing.

Accessibility: trail, ramp at boat launch, public washrooms across gravel parking lot (limited hours), drop-off area at plaza, drinking fountain.

Officially opened on August 20, 1993, Bayfront Park is the result of a remediation of formerly vacant lands, approximately 25 acres of which were landfill, and obtained by the City in 1985.

Until 1995, this site was known as Harbourfront Park, a name coined by staff during the conceptual and development stages. The Steering Committee of the West Harbourfront Development Study decided to link the naming of the park with the public input process being implemented as part of the study. A "name the park" contest held by the City and the Hamilton Spectator garnered over 900 entries; a 5-member panel reviewed the names and selected "Bayfront Park." Council approved the renaming of the site on August 29, 1995.

The Breezeway Trail (maintained by the Hamilton Conservation Authority) is located along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. This asphalt-surface trail extends along Hamilton Beach from Beach Boulevard to Grays Road, and is approximately 3 kilometres long by 3.5 metres wide.

Features along the trail include Lakeland Pool, Confederation Park, Wild Waterworks, and an excellent view of Lake Ontario. The trail forms part of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail, which stretches along the shore of Lake Ontario linking Hamilton to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Numerous parking areas are available (some require parking fees); public washroom facilities are available at Confederation Park (limited hours).

The Chedoke Radial Recreational Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle pathway developed on the former right of way of the Brantford and Hamilton Electric Railway. It is part of the Bruce Trail. Beginning at Hillcrest Avenue, the trail runs for 2.7 kilometres southwest, crossing the Chedoke Golf Course and traversing the escarpment to Scenic Drive. Here, the trail links with a Hamilton Region Conservation Authority Trail that crosses the Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area and ends at Highway 403.

Trail Entrances
Trail entrances are located at Hillcrest Avenue (just east of Dundurn Street South), Chedoke Golf Course, and at Scenic Drive (at Upper Paradise Road). The escarpment stairs located at Dundurn Street south and at the Chedoke Golf Course also lead to the trail. The stairs have a bike trough.

Trail users experience the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment, and take in a magnificent view of the west end of Hamilton and the Dundas Valley. The trail is considered accessible for those in wheelchairs or those pushing strollers, however the variation in slope (2 to 5%) may present some difficulties. The portion of the trail between the Chedoke Golf Course clubhouse and the Dundurn Stairs is flat and has an asphalt surface.  The rest of the trail has a fine granular surface.

For many years, electric interurban or "radial" railways provided passenger and freight service between Hamilton and the neighbouring communities of Ancaster/Brantford, Grimsby/Beamsville, Burlington/Oakville, and Dundas. Four lines, totalling 78 miles of track, extended outward from Hamilton. The Chedoke Radial Trail was developed on the former right of way of the area's fourth and final radial line, the Brantford & Hamilton (B&H) Electric Railway.

Construction of the B&H line began in 1906 under the Cataract Power, Light, and Traction Company. Hundreds of tons of rock were blasted from the face of the escarpment to create a ledge for the track.  Some of the rock was used to fill the Chedoke Falls ravine. The line extended from Main and Hess Streets, extended along Hess, continued along a private right of way just beyond Herkimer Street, then climbed the mountain.

The B&H was completed to Ancaster in 1907 and extended to Brantford in 1908 by the Dominion Power & Transmission Company, which took over the radial railways from Cataract in 1907.

Competition from automobiles, buses, and trucks brought an end to the radial system and, in 1931, the B&H made its final run. The tracks were removed in 1932, and some consideration was given to converting the right of way into a highway. The wall that was erected along the trail remains. It was placed there to protect passengers from bullets ricocheting from the rifle range below the escarpment. The right of way eventually came under the control of Hamilton's Board of Park Management, which sold some portions for housing in the 1950s.

On February 23, 1993, Council gave approval to developing the pathway from Hillcrest to Scenic Drive. In 1995-1996, the heavily used existing pathway between Dundurn Street and the Chedoke Golf Course was extended, and seating areas were built at the bottom of the Dundurn Stairs and at the parking lot on Scenic Drive. Funding for this development was shared equally between the City of Hamilton and the Province of Ontario (through the Waterfront Regeneration Trust)

It was considered appropriate to officially open the Chedoke Radial Trail on May 25, 1996, to coincide with the first anniversary of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. On this date, the Honourable David Crombie kicked off a Waterfront Trail Relay at the City of Trenton, the most easterly section of the Waterfront Trail, and at the same time, relay participants in Stoney Creek started, proceeding through Hamilton along the Hamilton Beach area, en route to Toronto.

The Chedoke Radial Trail has received the Ontario March of Dimes Award of Merit for Barrier-Free Design for 1999. This is an annual award issued for facilities designed or renovated with special regard to accessibility. The Ontario March of Dimes Award was specific to Pier 4, Bayfront, the Escarpment, and the Chedoke Radial Recreational Trail.

Parking and Washrooms
Parking is available at the Scenic Drive entrance and at the Chedoke Golf Course clubhouse. Washrooms are in the clubhouse with limited hours. Though the washrooms are accessible, the clubhouse building has stairs.

The Cootes Drive Trail is a multi-use asphalt trail extending between Sanders Boulevard (Hamilton) and Dundas/Thorpe Street (Dundas). The trail is 3.5 metres wide and runs for 2.5 kilometres, and can be accessed from Sanders Boulevard (where there is a signed level crossing of Cootes Drive to McMaster University), just south of the McMaster University bridge across Cootes Drive, Olympic Drive, King/East Street and Dundas/Thorpe.

The Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing to the families of children who require hospitalization outside of their hometowns, is located at the southern end of the site, at the corner of Main Street West and Cootes Drive.

The path is signed and marked. Parking is available on adjacent side streets (restricted time limits). There are no washroom facilities. 

Accessibility: the trail is smooth and is accessible from the access points, however, approximately 250-m of the southbound portion of the trail has a 3-4% grade.

At one time, this property would have been part of 200 acres of land purchased in 1802 by James Forsyth from Robert Hamilton, father of George Hamilton, the city's founder.

The Cootes name comes from Cootes Paradise (the Dundas Marsh), which was one of the early names for the town of Dundas. Captain Coote was an English soldier who was known for hunting at the marsh.

The Desjardins Recreational Trail is a 1 kilometre long trail extending from Kay Drage Park access road, along the Chedoke Creek to Cootes Paradise, across the creek then on to the Desjardins Canal.  Work on the southern portion of the trail was undertaken and funded by the City of Hamilton in 1996 and the trail construction was a component of the bank stabilization work on Chedoke Creek.  The northern portion, funded through the Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project, was developed as a construction access road for the fishway located in the Desjardins Canal and now serves as a maintenance road/trail to the fishway.

The trail was officially opened on May 25, 1996 to coincide with the first anniversary of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. The Waterfront Regeneration Trust provided funding assistance for trail construction.  The trail links with the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail, officially opened July 1, 2000.

Parking is available at Princess Point and Kay Drage Park (off Macklin Street North).

The Escarpment Rail Trail is a multi-use trail developed on an abandoned CN line. The trail extends from above the escarpment near Albion Falls, to the lower city.

Trail entrances above the mountain are located at Arbour Road (Albion Falls parking lot), Limeridge Road East and Mohawk Road East (just east of Mountain Brow Blvd.). The trail follows the former CN right-of-way along the escarpment, crosses over the Kenilworth Access, then continues to Wentworth Street South (near the bottom of the Wentworth Street stairs). Upon crossing Wentworth Street South, the trail continues through the lower city ending in Corktown Park located near Ferguson Avenue South and Young Street. The section of the trail from Albion Falls parking lot to Wentworth Street South has a tar and chip surface. At Wentworth Street South, the trail changes and becomes an asphalt surface.

The Escarpment Rail Trail offers beautiful views of the lower city, the Niagara Escarpment, and the Hamilton Brick Works.

During the mid 1800's, the City of Hamilton supported the development of two railway lines to meet the city's growing transportation needs; the Great Western (east/west) and the Hamilton & Lake Erie (north/south). The Escarpment Rail Trail was developed on a portion of the former route of the Hamilton & Lake Erie.

During 1835, a charter was granted to the Hamilton & Port Dover Railway (H&PD) to construct a line between the two communities. Funding was not available and the project remained inactive. In 1853, the charter was revived and the H&PD was officially incorporated. The H&PD succeeded in making the cut in the escarpment face but incurred enormous costs in scaling the Hamilton mountain. Construction of the remaining lines was postponed and the company later succumbed to financial difficulty.

In 1869, the Hamilton & Lake Erie Railway (H&LE) was established, which extended the line to Jarvis by 1873. In 1875, the H&LE amalgamated with the Hamilton & Northwestern Railway (H&NW) and extended the line to Port Dover by 1878.

The H&NW merged with the Northern Railway of Canada in 1879, and became known as the Northern and Northwestern Railway (N&NW). In 1888 the N&NW was acquired by the Grand Trunk Railway System. The Grand Trunk had previously acquired the Great Western Railway and numerous other small rail lines. The Grand Trunk went bankrupt in 1919; the Canadian Government placed it under the management of the Canadian National Railway (CN). In 1923, CN assumed control and became the largest railway in Canada. CN maintained active operations on this line for years, and after a period of abandonment, sold the right-of-way to the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth. The Region developed the right-of-way into a pedestrian/bicycle trail in 1993.

Developer Build to be completed in the spring of 2015.  The multi-purpose asphalt trail is approx. 800m in length and will become a part of the trail system of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust of the GTA.  Provides look out points to Lake Ontario and naturalized plantings and seating areas.

Update: The Hamilton Waterfront Trail (between Confederation Park and the Burlington Lift Bridge) and The Waterfront Trail between Princess Point and the floating bridge at the Desjardins Canalis are now open.

The City of Hamilton and its partners officially opened the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail and fish and wildlife habitat enhancements on July 1, 2000. The 3.4 kilometre long multi-use trail makes its way along the shore from Bayfront Park to Princess Point, and through the Desjardins Canal with a floating walkway paralleling the boat channel.

The trail connects to the Trans Canada Trail, the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail in Burlington, and the Desjardins Canal bordering Cootes Paradise. Special attention has been given to ensure universal accessibility, and to provide residents and tourists with focal points to observe natural, historic, and cultural features such as Cootes Paradise, Dundurn Castle, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

This trail project allowed residents and visitors alike to appreciate our past and look to the future as the City and its partners continue working on the principles of sustainability and enhancing our overall quality of life.

Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Most harbour fish spend part of their life within the marshlands of Cootes Paradise and the Mouth of Grindstone Creek. The shoreline of the harbour's western basin is a corridor connecting these marshlands to the rest of the harbour. A corridor "trail" for fish and other shoreline wildlife has been enhanced as part of the project.

Underwater structures marked by vegetative outcrops, "mini islands" provide permanent near shore protection and incorporate fish habitat features into the design.  Landscaping techniques and the use of natural materials make the structures visually attractive. The habitat requirements of native piscivores (Bass, Pike, Yellow Perch), specialists (Alewife, Gizzard Shad, Logperch), and generalists (Minnows) have been considered in the selection and configuration of the habitat structures. Many of the habitat structures will benefit several species simultaneously, owing to the overlap in habitat requirements of species.

The planting of trees and shrubs enhance the shoreline. A willow trench has been dug along sections of the shoreline and overhanging branches create shade for fish, perches for birds, and cover for waterfowl. Marsh pockets have been restored to the near shore in the Strachan Channel along with spawning beds for Bass. In total, an area of approximately 26 hectares has been improved for harbour fish and wildlife along the trail corridor.

Plant Material
Native plant material that is diverse and site-appropriate was incorporated into the design of the trail. Tree species including indigenous varieties of Maple, Birch, Serviceberry, Ash, Poplar, Cherry, Oak, Willow, Pine, and Cedar were planted by volunteers, City staff, and contractors. Additional plantings of indigenous shrubs, ground covers, perennials, and vines were also included in the project.

Points of Interest

  • Bayfront Park - Bayfront Park existed originally as a former industrial landfill site under private ownership. In 1984, the City of Hamilton expropriated the land for use as a public park. In 1992/93, the site was remediated and transformed into a versatile public green space. Park features include a 1.5 kilometre multi-use asphalt pathway, naturalized areas of shrub, trees and wildflowers, a public boat launch, grass amphitheatre, beach area, expansive lawn area, and a parking lot with an elevated observation desk. Since its opening in 1993, this site has become one of the City's most popular parks.
  • CN Marshalling Yard - The CN Marshalling yard is located on Stuart Street between Bay and Queen Streets. The arrival of the railway in the 1850's and 1860's led to industrial growth and residential development in this area. The railway, in conjunction with Hamilton's shipping industry, provided Hamilton with an efficient, effective transportation system and encouraged firms to move to Hamilton. The rail yard once included extensive maintenance and repair facilities, machine shops, warehouses, docks and offices, but, over time, these have been discontinued at this location. Opportunities exist to recall these important activities through interpretive panels.
  • Dundurn Park - Located between the CN Marshalling Yard and York Blvd., Dundurn Park features Dundurn Castle, the Hamilton Military Museum, and Cockpit Theatre, and the Coach House Restaurant. The land, once owned by Richard Beasley, was sold to John Soloman Cartwright in 1832, and then in the same year to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, one of Canada's first Premiers. MacNab commissioned Robert Wetherell, an architect, to design the castle. The castle was constructed over the foundations of Beasley's home and was completed in 1835. In 1899, the City purchased the estate and maintains the Castle to depict the lifestyle of the original inhabitants. Plaques mark the importance of MacNab's career and the Dundurn Estate, which is designated as a National Historic Site. In addition to the Castle, Robert Wetherell designed two adjacent buildings for MacNab: the Gardener's Cottage and Castle Doune.
  • Harvey Park - Harvey Park is located next to Dundurn Park on York Blvd., and was formerly known as Burlington Heights Park. The park was renamed Harvey Park in 1894 after Sir John Harvey, a British Soldier who distinguished himself during the War of 1812 and the Rebellion of 1837. Records show that Richard Beasley was among the first settlers in this area and arrived around 1785. Beasley built the first log house in the district in the area known as Burlington Heights, constructed a wharf, and traded to newcomers and would-be settlers. In later years, he built a brick house on Burlington Heights, which was later incorporated as part of Dundurn Castle.
  • Floating Structure - The floating structure consists of eight (8) floats measuring 16.76 metres x 6 metres. Each float is constructed with expanded polystyrene encased in 100-150mm of concrete with steel mesh and parging on the bottom. Approximately 20cu meters of concrete was used in each section. One float weighs approximately 80 tonnes. The sections attached to ramps have extra flotation. The sections are connected by a cabling system and the complete walkway is hinged to concrete footings. This floating structure is designed to carry emergency and maintenance vehicles and will fluctuate with water levels up to 3m, or greater than 100 year storm conditions.
  • Desjardins Canal/High Level Bridge - The gap spanned by the High Level Bridge is not a natural feature; it was cut in the early 1850's to provide a new route for the Desjardins Canal when the railroad came to Hamilton. The canal was opened in 1837, allowing Dundas, the local centre of commerce, to be accessed by hundreds of boats and barges. The decision was made to run the railroad into Hamilton instead of Dundas, but it meant that the tracks would have to cross the "Heights". Rather than maintain swing bridges across the canal route, railway engineers felt it was simpler to fill in parts of the old canal channel and make a new cut through the Heights. A high bridge was built to span the gap, eliminating the need for swing bridges. When the cut was made, Mastodon and Giant Elk bones were found fossilized deep in the bar. Burlington Heights is a giant sandbar formed at the end of the last ice age, when Lake Ontario was about 35 metres higher than present. During its formation, a lagoon formed to the west, submersing all of Cootes, its north shore, and much of the area now occupied by the Westdale Neighbourhood.
  • The Fishway - The Fishway is located on the Desjardins Canal between Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise, under the McQuesten (High-Level) Bridge on York Blvd. The primary function of the Fishway is to prevent the spring migration of adult carp from Hamilton Harbour into the marsh. The Fishway is equipped with a series of baskets to capture fish and pass them over the Fishway.
  • Desjardins Trail- The Desjardins Recreational Trail forms a 1 kilometre long link between Cootes Paradise, Hamilton Harbour, and Kay Drage Park on Macklin Street North. The Trail was initially developed as an access road to maintain the Cootes Paradise Fishway located at the historically significant Desjardins Canal.
  • Cootes Paradise- Cootes Paradise Marsh is part of the Royal Botanical gardens (RBG). This area was once an extensive cattail marsh, and the RBG, in conjunction with partners including the Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project, the Bay Area Restoration Council, McMaster University, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, are working to restore this sanctuary. Over 20 kilometres of hiking trails surround the marsh, with access to the Bruce Trail. An exhibit outlining the story of Cootes Paradise, its history and restoration, is a feature of the Nature Interpretive Centre, located in the RBG Arboretum on the north shore.
  • Parking and Washrooms- Parking is available at Bayfront Park, entry off Bay Street North at Simcoe Street West. Washrooms are located in the parking lot  and are open April to November from 7 am to 10 pm daily, with portable units along the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail.

Funding Contributions- The Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail has received generous financial and service-in-kind support from the following Government Agencies, the Private Sector, and the Citizens of Hamilton.

  • Millennium Partnership Program
  • Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project
  • Waterfront Regeneration Trust
  • Dofasco Inc.
  • Bay Area Restoration Council
  • Hamilton Harbour Commissioners
  • Hamilton Naturalists' Club
  • Regional Tree Planting Program
  • Columbian Chemicals
  • CN
  • Berminghammer Foundation Equipment
  • Hamilton-Wentworth Land Stewardship Council
  • Canusa Games - Hamilton Branch
  • City of Hamilton
  • Public at large

The Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail is supported by the City of Hamilton, Canada Millennium Partnership Program, Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project, The Waterfront Regeneration Trust, and the community at large.

Harvey Park is located on the west side of Hamilton Harbour adjacent to Dundurn Castle and Park, and across the street from Hamilton Cemetery.

The park provides a nice area for walking or picnicking; a 160 metre long by 3 metre wide asphalt trail extends from Dundurn Park to the High Level Bridge. The site also has considerable historical significance. A set of stairs is located near the High Level Bridge linking Harvey Park Trail to the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail. Other features include Dundurn Castle and Park, the High Level Bridge, historical plaques, picnic tables, benches and excellent views of Hamilton Harbour. The trail is close to the Royal Botanical Gardens, located on Plains Road in Burlington.

Parking is available at Dundurn Park. Washrooms are available at Dundurn Castle (near the Castle Gift shop, and in the pavilion) but are open limited hours.

Samuel Mills (1806-1874), a businessman, politician, president of the Gore Bank, and founding director of the Bank of Hamilton, presented this land to the City of Hamilton on May 23, 1867. (An additional portion of land, known as Kent's Paradise, was granted to the City for $1 by Joseph Kent in 1876). Although Mills intended the site to be used as a public cemetery, Mills' heirs allowed the property to become park land in 1899.

Formerly known as Burlington Heights Park, the site was renamed Harvey Park on June 11, 1894, after Sir John Harvey (1778-1852), a British soldier and colonial administrator who was appointed to Upper Canada. Harvey distinguished himself during the War of 1812, particularly at Lundy's Lane, the siege of Fort Erie, and, most notably, the Battle of Stoney Creek. In 1813, the British army expected to repel the American forces camped on the Gage family farm at Stoney Creek from Burlington Heights; however, Harvey planned a surprise attack at night on the camp. His troops, approximately 700 men, forced the retreat of over 3500 American soldiers. Harvey's strategy was somewhat of a gamble, but it would result in one of the most decisive battles of the war. He was knighted in 1824.

The Burlington Heights site also played a role in two other events of the war. On September 28, 1813, there was a battle between the British and the American fleets off York (Toronto). The British fleet, under the command of Sir James L. Yeo (1782-1818), withdrew to the safety of Burlington Bay and the Heights. This event would be known as the Burlington Races. In December of 1813, General John Vincent led his troops from the Heights to recapture Fort George.

Just west of Harvey Park there is a plaque denoting the use of Burlington Heights as a mass grave for Hamilton's victims of the cholera epidemic of 1832-33.

Burlington Heights came under the jurisdiction of the Parks Board in March of 1927. On November 24, 1987, the site was officially named Harvey Park. In 1993, a 2-year grant from the Ontario Heritage Foundation was received for archaeological research to verify and locate military features.

The Keddy Access Trail project was facilitated by re-purposing a vehicular travel lane on one of the city’s busiest mountain access corridors in order to provide a high-quality active transportation connection between the lower City and Mountain. 

Spanning a distance of 2.7 km, The Keddy Access Trail spans between Hunter Street and West 5th Street, with side connections at four locations (including an entry point at Hunter Street and Claremont Access) These connections are three-metre wide asphalt trails, located at:

  • West Avenue (near Wellington Street)
  • St Joseph’s Drive
  • North and south sides of Arkledun Avenue / Jolley Cut
  • Tanner Street through Southam Park

The trail is wheelchair accessible.

Safety reminders:

  • Cyclists and pedestrians are reminded to share the trail.
  • As a cyclist, do not exceed 15 km/hr on trails, slow down to pass others and yield to pedestrians.
  • Cyclists are advised to keep right and pass on the left.
  • Trails will be maintained and salted throughout the winter months. Plan your travel according to weather conditions.

The Park Corridor is an asphalt trail developed on the south side of the Lincoln Alexander Expressway. The corridor extends from T.B. McQuesten Park (Upper Wentworth) to Upper Ottawa Street. Corridor entrances are located at T.B. McQuesten Park, Upper Sherman, Upper Gage and Upper Ottawa Streets, as well as others within the subdivisions.

The corridor was developed as a component of the Red Hill Creek Expressway project and is intended to provide a pedestrian/bicycle linkage across the mountain. Future plans include extending the corridor and connecting it to the Escarpment Rail Trail and the Red Hill Valley Trails.

Parking is available at T.B. McQuesten Park and on adjacent side streets near corridor entrances. Accessibility: the surface is dry, however, the ride would be rough for wheelchair users.

Pier 4 Park is located on Bay Street North at Leander Drive. The park features a multi-use asphalt trail 349 metres in length and 4 metres wide which provides barrier-free access to all areas of the park and linkages with the surrounding harbourfront precinct.

Pier 4 Park is charming and picturesque waterfront park. Its main features include an 80-foot tugboat play structure, oriented to provide children with a full view of the water; a curved boardwalk with a pavilion and benches; and the Gartshore-Thomson Building, which contains public washrooms and meeting rooms. Additional features include a shoreline promenade, an open lawn area, a parking lot, picnic tables and benches, and a wheelchair access ramp extending from Bay Street North.

Originally owned by the Hamilton Harbour Commission, this property was donated to the City for park purposes in 1984. In 1989, it was decided that Hamilton's west harbour would be established as a public waterfront and open space area. In 1993, the site underwent extensive improvements, which were approved by Council and citizens' groups with an interest in the site. Funding was received from three levels of government, and donations, including a building and a tugboat, were received from various sources.

Pier 4 Park was officially opened on July 23, 1993. The washroom building (c. 1900) was donated by the Fracassi family. It once served as the office of the Gartshore-Thomson Pipe and Foundry Company (established in 1870), one of Hamilton's leading industries and the largest pipe manufacturer in the country, known for its cast-iron water and gas pipes. The building was relocated from its former home at Stuart and Caroline Sts. and was renovated to house public washrooms and meeting rooms. On February 22, 1994, Council approved designating the building as property of historical and architectural value according to the Ontario Heritage Act of 1983.

The name "Pier 4" was derived from the Harbour Commission's pier plan for the Hamilton Harbour. Along with Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park is the City's first initiative in enhancing Hamilton Harbour and providing public access to the waterfront.

Beginning at the top of the Niagara Escarpment (Mud Street, adjacent to Kings Forest Park), the Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail traverses the escarpment and runs northeast through the Red Hill Valley to its end at Brampton Street, south of the Queen Elizabeth Highway and Lake Ontario.

Trail entrances are located at Mud Street, Mount Albion Road, Greenhill Avenue, Dundonald Avenue, Hixon Road, Lawrence Road, King Street East, Reid Avenue and Queenston Road.

The trail is approximately 10.5 kilometres long by 3 metres wide, and includes bridge crossings of the Red Hill Creek, entrances from streets and/or parking lots , and a 1.1 kilometre long barrier-free section (with a tar and chip surface) accessible from Greenhill Bowl through Kings Forest Golf Course.  Most of the trail is not wheelchair accessible due to steep grades.

Funding for the Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail was provided by the Province. The trail was officially opened on May 25, 1996 to coincide with the first anniversary of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail.  Users will enjoy the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment, Albion Falls and Buttermilk Falls. Future development will connect the trail to the Escarpment Rail Trail.

Parking is available at Red Hill Bowl, Rosedale Arena, Greenhill Bowl, Mt. Albion Road and along Mud Street.

Accessibility: Most of the trail is not wheelchair accessible due to steep grades, however, a 1.1 kilometre section from Greenhill Bowl through King's Forest Golf Course has a tar and chip surface and is accessible.  Accessible washrooms are located at the golf course and Rosedale Arena (limited hours).

This 3 metre wide asphalt trail connects the City owned lot at 52 Shrewsbury Street to the asphalt playground at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Elementary School. The trail allows students to safely access the school grounds. 

This 2.5 kilometre footpath runs from Ogilvie Street bridge over the Spencer Creek, and west to the Mill Street bridge. From there, sidewalks link to the Bruce Trail near the CN overpass on Highway 8.

The Trail is, at present, a natural footpath which is not accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

There are signboards at all access points, including McMurray Street and Creighton Road, as well as yellow diamond markers along the trail. Parts of the trail are on private land and the eastern portion of the trail is not yet complete.  Across Cootes Drive, the Royal Botanical Gardens trails continue along the south shore of Cootes Paradise to McMaster University, Westdale, and Princess Point.

A 350 kilometre trail along the shores of  Lake Ontario, presently extending from Stoney Creek to Quinte West. Part of it runs through the City of Hamilton from Stoney Creek alongside Lake Ontario to Burlington. The Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail links to the Red Hill Valley Trail at Centennial Parkway. The trail passes through Van Wagers Beach, Confederation Park, Windermere Basin, and the Beach Strip, to the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge, and then through Bayfront and Pier 4 Parks to the Desjardins Canal.  

The surface is asphalt with small sections of gravel (by Millen Avenue), and is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Entrance Points

  • Millen Avenue and Green Road
  • Frances Avenue and Confederation Park. 
  • Also along residential areas (i.e. Lakegate Drive, Lawrence P. Sayers Park)
  • Van Wagner's Beach
  • Bayfront and Pier 4 Parks
  • Desjardins Trail.


  • Confederation Park
  • Van Wagner's Beach beside Lakeland Pool


  • Confederation Park (limited hours)

Distance in Hamilton

  • Millen Avenue to Confederation Park 2km
  • Confederation Park to Canal Lift Bridge 10.5km
  • Bayfront Park to Desjardins Canal 3.4km