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On the Trails: August 2023

July 31, 2023

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 – a result of the high-water levels this spring. Canoe launches can be found at Princess Point and Valley Inn.

Trail User Notes

Cootes Paradise:

  • On the south side of Cootes Paradise, changes to Ginger Valley Trail north connection with the new Churchill Park Path system will be initiated. This will result in the elimination of parallel woodland section of the new park path.
  • 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.
  • The Desjardin Trail may see intermittent disruptions from July to the end of October near Princess Point due to remobilization of equipment to support targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek. See City of Hamilton Communication Updates for further details.

Hendrie Valley:

  • The small parking lot located at Unsworth Ave is permanently closed. Creekside Walk nature trail access remains open and parking is available at Cherry Hill (1101 Plains Rd W.)

Escarpment Properties:

  • Rock Chapel: The Bruce Trail roadside link to Borers Falls is currently being updated and as such for a period, trail visitors will need to climb over the roadside guard rail until modifications are completed to provide an access opening.

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.