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Best Places to Exercise in Hamilton

By September 13, 2017 No Comments
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With the weather starting to cool down and the leaves beginning to change, it’s the perfect season to be exercising outdoors at some of Hamilton’s top fitness spots. In Hamilton, we’re lucky to have waterfront access as well as escarpment trails and natural surroundings. Our city is the perfect blend of urban and rural, combining inner-city fitness with exercise opportunities off the beaten path. These hidden (and not so hidden) gems make Hamilton the best place to exercise outdoors. Whether you’re training for an ultramarathon or enjoying a scenic day with the family, we promise you’ll enjoy exploring these top fitness spots.

  1. Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park offers a number of features that are perfect for fitness and exercise. The wide paved pathway provides the perfect opportunity to run, walk, jog, bike or rollerblade the scenic waterfront and enjoy the views of the surrounding harbor area. The Hamilton Waterfront Trail and the Hamilton Beach Trail are expanded trail systems that allow easy access from Cootes Paradise to the Red Hill Valley. There are easy routes for you to take that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy! QR code exercises are marked along the trail, encouraging people to take a step beyond their walk/run/cycle and incorporate some body strength training into their day as well.

The empty fields of green lend themselves out for the perfect game of ultimate frisbee or a pick-up game of ball. So, next time you’re looking for plans on a Saturday in the fall, gather some friends for a game of touch football down at Bayfront Park. We promise it won’t disappoint.

  1. Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail is a hiking trail that goes from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory. The main trail is over 890km long and there are over 400km of associated side trails – many of which can be found in Hamilton. The Trail travels through Hamilton from the west end to the east end, passing many waterfalls en route. It connects the Dundas Valley trail system, Radial Trail, Escarpment Rail Trail, and King’s Forest Trail.

Right now, Coach Ubaldo is in the process of hiking the Bruce Trail end to end. When he’s not coaching, he heads out to a new destination along the trail and hikes as many kilometres as he can.

“You can hike the Bruce Trail through Hamilton in a weekend,” says Ubaldo. “My biggest piece of advice is to follow the blazes. The Trail is always marked with white or blue blazes, which help to keep you on the right path.”

 

“Always bring enough water and food to keep you hydrated and fueled for the day. Even though you’re hiking the Bruce Trail in Hamilton, you’ll often go hours without quick access to food or water. Lastly, make sure you have the right hiking gear – your feet will thank you later, trust me. I suggest a great pair of hiking boots and socks, as well as a good walking stick.”

Follow Ubaldo on Instagram to stay updated on his Bruce Trail adventures and tips!

  1. Escarpment Stairs

Hamilton is home to 5 sets of city-built stairs that travel up the escarpment. They’re located in high-traffic areas to serve the community both for commuting as well as exercising. Most of the escarpment stairs have bicycle tire troughs to help cyclists transport their bike up or down the escarpment rather easily. Each set of stairs range in size (lanes), number of stairs, incline, and difficulty level. We tested them all out and did our counting to rate the level of difficulty for each set.

 

Stairs Number of Steps Lanes

Difficulty Level

Chedoke

289 Two  3 / 5

Dundurn

326 One  2 / 5

James St

227 One 2 / 5

Wentworth

498 One  5 / 5

Kenilworth

387 Two

4 / 5

Bonus: Uli Stairs 305 Stone path, handmade

2 / 5

 

If you’re looking for a great stair workout, you can join Coach Darren’s Climb Club at the Kenilworth Stairs on Wednesdays at 6:45pm. Located close to our Ottawa Street location, it’s a great opportunity to get connected to our other members in the east end while enjoying a heart pumping sweat session.

  1. Rail Trail

The Escarpment Rail Trail is a 32km trail developed on an abandoned CN line used by dog walkers, runners, cyclists and the like. The trail goes from above the escarpment near Albion Falls, down to the lower city ending in Corktown Park. The trail offers beautiful views of the lower city and the Niagara Escarpment. The Hamilton Region developed the old CN line into a pedestrian and bicycle trail back in the 90’s, and it’s been incredibly popular ever since. With a combination of gravel and paved surface, the Rail Trail is the perfect place to train for longer runs or walks in preparation for a fall race.

  1. Hamilton Conservation Areas

Hamilton’s conservation areas make it easy for new explorers and avid adventurers alike to access the city’s stunning natural landscapes. Hamilton boasts 14 conservation areas with beach front views, grassy knolls, waterfalls and spectacular trails for hiking, biking, geocaching and horseback riding.

If you’re looking for a place to do it all, then Christie Lake is the place to be! While you’re there, you can swim, fish, hike, paddle, picnic and even play a round of disc golf! During the winter, get involved in skiing, snowshoeing or even ice climbing at a local Conservation Area. Any takers?

  1. Waterfalls

We’re very lucky to live in the Waterfall Capital of the World. With over one hundred waterfalls just minutes from the downtown core, Hamilton is believed to have the highest number of waterfalls of any urban area of its size. Some of the more popular waterfalls are Albion Falls, Sherman Falls, Tiffany Falls, Websters Falls, Tews Falls, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls and Chedoke Falls.

If you’re looking for the perfect activity day that includes a hike to a waterfall, we recommend visiting the Chedoke Falls. Located along the Chedoke Radial Trail (which links to the Rail Trail and is part of the Bruce Trail) it’s next to the Chedoke Stairs and it’s the perfect place to spend an action-packed day filled with adventure and exploration.

It’s good to note that the Chedoke Falls include an upper and lower set of falls. From the bottom, you can access the falls from the Chedoke Civic Golf Course. From the parking lot at the golf course, follow the Chedoke Radial Trail to the most easterly ravine on the east side of the golf course, then follow this ravine upstream for several hundred metres. There is no trail and you’ll need waterproof boots. You’ll pass both Lower Chedoke Falls and Denlow Falls before you reach Chedoke Falls, but the view is worth the trek.

  1. Tim Horton’s Stadium

Not only is Tim Horton’s Field home to the Hamilton Tiger Cats, it’s also home to a number of community health and fitness initiatives for people of all ages and fitness levels. Both annual and regular weekly events are held at the Stadium. However, they all share a common goal of empowering people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

We’re active supporters of the Climb for Cancer, which is at Tim Horton’s Field each year in May. It brings thousands of people together to step in front of cancer. The money raised from the Climb goes towards the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and 2018 will be their million-dollar year. The Pop Up Climb for Cancer will be on October 11, 2017 at 6:30pm. Registration for the Pop Up Climb can be made here.

There are a number of other activities for people to participate in, in addition to the annual health and fitness events that are held at Tim Horton’s Field. The City of Hamilton sponsors free fitness programming at the field including Hip Hop, Yoga, SportsBlast, Cardio Dance, and more. Registration is open to the community, and drop-ins are welcome. With all of these activities, there’s never a dull moment at Tim Horton’s Field!

This is only a list of our top 7 places to exercise in Hamilton, but the opportunities to populate this list are endless. We encourage you to explore the city and check off each item from this list. Over time, you’ll slowly begin to make a list of your own favourite spots to exercise in Hamilton. We’d love to hear what you come up with!