I was introduced to the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail by a group of walking buddies who walk with me on Saturday mornings.
The trail begins from Ewen Road, off Main Street West in Hamilton. Although the sign at the entrance is almost covered by the foliage this season, the rider on horseback is still visible–yes, this trail is open to horseback riding. Don’t be surprised, therefore, when you encounter the excrement of horses in the country section of the trail. Better still, train your discerning eyes for hoof marks. I am still waiting for the occasion to share the trail with a horse and its rider. The trail is surfaced with stone dust, hence bike friendly. I have never seen anyone on roller blades, isn’t this nice?
The trail I have walked so far have distance marking every kilometre. Between the 5K and 6K mark, already in the grounds of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, you’ll see the old railway track and a rail engine. Fill your water bottle or use the washroom NOW. If you miss this facility, you have to use only what nature can offer.
In the section close to the city, there are signs indicating the intersection with the main road. I never feel lost.
My most recent visit to the Rail Trail was for a casual walk. My mind was not on my workout. I allowed myself to bathe in the shade, pause to savour the colours of the wild flowers,
and study this curiosity piece–half a grapefruit cleverly balanced on a branch to feed the birds. Mind and body are relaxed.
I have walked different sections of the trail, but have yet to complete the entire distance. Even though a motto of mine is “Never say never”, it is unlikely that I shall ever walk the Trail out and back, from Hamilton to Brantford and return. This will be an Ultra distance of 65 K. However, with proper planning, I may still be able to complete this trail in sections, or walk the entire trail one way.