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Hiking the Hamilton Rail Trail

Getting Exercise on the Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail

Chances are if you are climbing up the Kenilworth Stairs up to the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton, Ontario, you have at least two or three runners working up a sweat running up and down the stairs as well. The Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail is one of the most popular spots in this city for people walking and exercising.

Hamilton Rail Trail

A Workout Via Stairs

At 228 stairs, the Kenilworth Stairs give you a great workout while also offering wonderful views of Hamilton. The staircase up is split into two sections. It’s great to have a moment to catch your breath before continuing up.

A dedicated off-road hiking and cycling trail, the Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail is a natural oasis.

The Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail - Kenilworth Stairs

According to the City of Hamilton website, other stairs leading up to the Escarpment Rail Trail are as follows:

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.

It’s several kilometres long, and in spots has part of the Bruce Trail criss-crossing it.

Bruce Trail runs through the Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail

The Bruce Trail crosses through the Escarpment Rail Trail

Bring your camera for some great shots of the city and nature along the way.

Hamilton Escaprment Rail Trail - view from above


NOTE: Recently there were reports of assaults on the trail. It’s always important to be safe on ANY trail. We’ve always made sure to hike together for safety purposes. An extra set of eyes is better than one. Two people on a trail are better than one. Keep your eyes open to others on the trail and their behaviour. If you see somebody eyeing you or following you, take measures to let them know you are on to them and get to a safe area with more people around you.

Have you checked out the Hamilton Escarpment Rail Trail?

The Hamilton Rail Trail in Fall (blog post)


  1. Some things I would like to point out, the Kenilworth stairs are split into two sections about 200 meters separate them, if you came from the bottom turn left at the top and walk about 200 meters to find the new section.
    The article says that this is part of the Hamilton Brantford rail trail, it is not that is an entirely different trail system further west several kilometers and there are several other trails and stairwells between these two trails none of them connect in any way.
    The Wentworth trail”s surface was created in the early 1960″s and has seen alot of sinking, cracking, land slides, it’s very bumpy. There have been many times through it’s history that it has been not maintained and closed by the city with fences and signs stating to use at your own risk Be cautious on this trail especially in the lower parts.
    I have used this trail to commute several times a week year round for fifty years and have encountered many reckless persons on motorcycles and ATV’s using it. I have only scene a police patrol on this trail twice in the last ten years.

  2. In regards to the previous comment, there is now a focus on improving the trail – the city of Hamilton is putting effort into making it safe for everybody’s use. While there will always be “reckless” people using trails improperly, there are also many who will use them correctly.

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