Walking the 77km Hamilton-Brantford-Cambridge Rail Trail

I’ve been looking for a challenge to get myself moving… to just get started… point me in a direction… head towards a destination! And accomplish something along the way. See what happens along the way. Discover new sights along the way.

My hope is that as I write about it and share it with you, it may encourage and inspire you too…

In my search I found many local trails for biking and walking (my two favourite exercises 🙂 ) and I chose to start with walking. One trail grabbed my attention as a good place to start, a big yet attainable exercise goal for me.

The Hamilton-Brantford-Cambridge Rail Trail…

77 kms in total. And I figure I can break that down into about 10-11 individual walks over the next few weeks.

Here’s the brochure that led to the idea of a very long walk 🙂

I’ve been walking a route in my neighbourhood for about a year now – and it’s about 4 kms. On a good day it takes me about 45 minutes to complete. So I figure breaking the Rail Trail walk into close to 7 km portions should be fine.

Josh decided to join me as much as he can – this makes it much easier to walk in one direction instead of having to find my way back to the car somehow!

So the plan is Josh drops me off, I start walking, he drives to the stopping point for the day, and walks back towards me on the trail. He tries to meet me half way (he jogs a little too) so he can also achieve the goal of travelling on foot the full distance from Hamilton to Cambridge.

Win-Win.

And so we set out within a few days of hatching the plan…

Over Easter weekend we were able to complete the first two portions of the trail and walk 12.7 kms in total!

I’d love to share some photos of different markers (and some scenery) along the way…

 

Walk #1 – Hamilton to Sulfur Springs

Started right in downtown Hamilton – a strange place to start such a scenic walk – but I never felt much like I was walking in the city. At times there were many houses and buildings just off the trail, but there was always a nice buffer of trees 🙂

My first glimpses of the trail…

Crossing this road I realized I was right near a friend’s house (they moved down from northern Ontario last year, just like we did in 2017). And suddenly the world seemed a little smaller and more cozy 🙂

It was overcast on this day, but spirits were high as we completed the first 5.5km of the trail in just over an hour.

The trail is beautiful for walking or biking – wide, plenty of space for 2-4 people side by side, scenic, and so flat because it was formerly used for trains! The trail floor is hard-packed dirt or fine gravel. Along the sides of the trail are rivers or country homes or rolling hills or forest. I was encouraged by what I saw that first day 🙂

And we stopped at Sulfur Springs – an old railway station that is now a small museum.

It felt so familiar to walk along the wooden railroad ties and see the train cars up close – up north the tracks and trains were my view every day out the back window. I can tell you I don’t miss the rattle of the trains as I’m trying to sleep, though 😉

Walking out to the parking lot there is a mountain bike park…

 

The sign post for Dundas Valley Conservation Area – very well maintained and fun for all ages!

And some glimpses at things to look forward to on the rest of the trail… sounds fantastic… can’t wait!

 

71.5 km to go – Next stop Copetown 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s