by Becky Dumais
There’s no question that exercising outdoors beats being confined to a studio or gym. Spending a day or two biking along the Hambur Trail will get your heart pumping, stream fresh air into your lungs and the vistas will appeal to your sense of wellbeing.
While the trail’s name might seem obvious, what you might not know are the many points of interest along this 50km recreational route. Everything’s rolled into a cyclist’s dream: an easy (on the eyes) trail featuring stunning lookouts, waterfront views, restaurants for repast, and hotels for rest.
The trail passes through three parks: Spencer Smith Park, Beachway Park and Dieppe Veterans Memorial Park. The trail also winds along Burlington and Hamilton’s waterfronts, through Royal Botanical Gardens and a portion of downtown Hamilton. The route also happens to closely follow the Hamilton Marathon route, which is the oldest marathon in North America.
The path is suitable for all riders, including families who have bikes equipped with wider touring or hybrid tires. The route is mostly off road, touring existing pathways and rail corridors, with approximately 8km of gravel to traverse.
If you plan on doing the course with kids, or aren’t keen on doing the whole loop in one fell swoop, set a distance goal ahead of time and head back once you’ve reached your destination. Another option is to break the route up into sections; then you can spread your adventure over several weekends, exploring a different area – or your favourite part – each time. Tired travellers can extend their trip over a weekend since there are hotels (and even a B&B) along the route. With that said, if you’re ambitious, you could certainly complete it in a day.
However you choose to spend your excursion and get your wheels in motion, remember that half of the fun is making frequent stops to appreciate the view, exploring your surroundings and enjoy a well deserved meal along the way.
Did You Know?
According to healthyhikes.ca, one of the best ways to improve your mental wellbeing is simply spending more time outdoors. If you have green space within 1km of home you’re 30 per cent less likely to suffer from anxiety and 25 per cent less likely to suffer from depression.
Places of Interest Along the Trail
Places to eat
The Corktown Pub
Pepperwood Bistro & Brewery
Easterbrooks Hotdog Stand
694 Spring Gardens Rd., Burlington
Scoops Ice Cream
Pier 8, 47 Discovery Dr., Hamilton
Baranga’s on the Beach