Eventually this blog will become a wonderful story, collaboration and reflection of our journey, education and commitment to how and why we've become vegan runners. At age 40, with two children (Jackson and Nathan), we've discovered something in ourselves that we didn't know existed and the result of this discovery has had an incredible impact on our life, our love, and our family.

This blog is intended to share our experiences as plant based runners. Come on in and join our story...

~ Zoe and Brad

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hamilton - Dundas Valley 30 Km Trail Loop

Looking for a long running route in the Hamilton, Ontario area? This route is about 80% trail, some paved and some dirt, but mostly all away from roads and traffic. 

The route can obviously start and end anywhere. We started at Bayfront Park (great for parking, although we live in the area so we walked down). We went for an early sunrise run to beat the heat on Sunday. We've done variations of this route before. It's a good one!

Starting at Pier 4 Park through to Bayfront park and following the waterfront trail into Westdale (lots of coffee shops and stores if you need a pit-stop) across Churchill Park and South on Dalewood Ave., and across Main Street, we made our way onto the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail where we would run for the next hour. There's a good washroom opportunity at the Fortinoes Supermarket at km 8, but not so great to fill up on WATER. Also, Fortinoes doesn't open until 8am. We were too early this time around! 

 The trail tracks straight through residential Dundas (we get a great view of the backyards that look onto the trail) into the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. It is common for us to see deer, fox, rabbits and other animals along the trail. Today, we spotted a mama deer with her two fawn.

 Drinking water tap at km 14 right where we left the Ham-Brant trail and entered the Main Loop Dundas Valley trail. Today, this was an amazing site. Already, by 8 am it was close to 30 degrees C. 

 This is a truly beautiful area, so we were sad to have to start curling back towards our starting point.
 "The Dundas Valley is one of southern Ontario's most spectacular natural treasures. Highlights of the 1,200-hectare conservation area include lush Carolinian forests, colourful meadows, cold-water streams, stunning geological formations and an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife."
 At the Sulphur Springs parking lot we left the forest and slithered our way into Ancaster by way of a very small shoulder on a mostly uphill Sulphur Springs Rd. At about 18.5 km we hooked up with the Radial Trail (a little tricky to find... behind the tennis club down the dirt hill). Following the bike route signs, this trail brought us down the escarpment to Chedoke Golf course and another water fountain. There are quite a few different options to get back from this point. We chose to continue on to Dundurn Street and zig zag through downtown and back to our starting point, close to Bayfront Park. 

 There you have it, 30 km total, about 20 km of which is off road multi-use recreational trail. That's a pretty good ratio for a very urban downtown start/finish.

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