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On the Trails: August 2022

August 4, 2022

The next generation of life fills the sanctuaries, birds are numerous, new fish abound in the wetlands, and butterflies and dragonflies are on the wing. August wildflowers are highlighted by wetland species such as Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Lobelia), woodland species such as Helianthus strumosus (Woodland sunflower) and meadow species like Campanula americana (Tall Bellflower).

Take a break from the summer heat at one of the many observation platforms overlooking the water. These lookouts provide views of our most spectacular areas including South Pasture Swamp, Spencer Creek Delta and Hopkins Wood Special Protection Areas.

The Anishinaabe Waadiziwin Trail below the Nature Centre is a great addition to a relaxing trip to learn about Indigenous use of plants and can also be found on Geotrails.

August also means many northern birds have begun their southern migrations, with waterfowl and shorebirds now appearing in Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh. Heron species of all kinds are also appearing to feast on this year’s bountiful supply of young fish with Cootes Paradise hosting an increasing number of Great Egrets each year.

Water levels are below average with creek delta mudflats starting to appear. Associated trails and observation points are accessed through either the Cootes Paradise north shore (Arboretum) or Hendrie Valley.

Trail User Notes

  • Trails associated with Churchill Park will be temporarily rerouted or partially closed. Access to Churchill Park from the Princess Point and Ginger Valley trailheads in the north end of the park will be closed during construction, but the trails will continue along the forest edge. This is related to Churchill Park reconstruction that will create a network of loop walkways and will improve accessibility through the park. This work is expected to be completed by November 2022.
  • The Ray Lowes side trail connection from Rock Chapel to Arboretum ends at York Rd and does not connect to Cootes Paradise. This relates to the Bruce Trail Conservancy head office having moved from the Arboretum, now located in Dundas via another side trail from the escarpment.
  • Addition Bridle Trail Loop will be closed in August for 2 days for replacement of the bridge deck and railing at the crossing of Grindstone Creek. Date is based on weather conditions and will be posted on social media and at the entrance to the Hendrie Valley Trails.

For Your Safety

  • Please note that all use is at your own risk. Most of our trails are hilly and the trail surfaces are natural soil. Consider your footwear as during winter surfaces can be icy or muddy depending on the weather.
  • High numbers of visitors will be encountered at times and our trails are narrow; please bring a mask to wear when you cannot physically distance from others.
  • Please stay on the marked trails to avoid trampling regenerating shrubs and trees or buried roots of understory plants such as trilliums.
  • The nature trail system is considered closed during extreme weather event notifications from Environment Canada.
  • Mountain bikes/fat bikes are not allowed as our trails are not designed to accommodate these activities.
  • Please be aware ticks, including those carrying Lyme Disease, are found throughout the Hamilton/Burlington area and are active at temperatures above 0°C. Protect yourself by staying on marked trails. RBG does not accept ticks for testing. For inquiries regarding ticks, please contact the Region of Halton or City of Hamilton Public Health.

Explore RBG’s Trails

RBG’s nature sanctuaries feature more than 27 km of nature trails! Find maps, guided hike schedule, and more.