Dundas Valley - Recommend a Route Please- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Dundas Valley - Recommend a Route Please

    Well, on thursday, i made the move to Ancaster for the upcoming school year, and will be attending McMaster University for engineering I'm living with family in the Medowlands. I am now just a few km from the Dundas Valley conservation area.

    Today, i went with my cousin for my first taste of the trails. We mostly just rode the main loop.

    Overal, i must say that i am dissapointed. When people told me there was nothing technical, they were not joking. I was at least hoping for dirt, but what i found was mostly gravel. I hate gravel. Also, lots of walkers. But yes, on the positive side, the hills are great. Lots of up down. Almost anywhere is more hilly than Niagara Falls, although the bruce trail does have a few climbs.

    I can see that a road bike would probably be great for the area. It seems my NRS is way overkill. Maybe i should just swap it out with the rigid 18speed at home, and put clipless pedals on it?

    So, can somebody point me towards the best routes in the area?

    Unfortuneately, the long weekend looks mostly rainy, but hopefully i should be able to do some more exploring next week before classes start.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  2. #2
    NormalNorm
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    Dundas has hardly any singletrack. If you cross Mineral Springs road, you will start hitting some dirt(headwater trail). Some really good climbs too. Also, take the Bruce Trail by the Old Mill and you find some dirt. If you stay on the main loop, you will find it boring and watch out for the [email protected]$t...its everwhere.
    http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/A...ailGuide04.pdf

    If you need a fix for some singletrack, head over to Iroquois Heights. It's really close to the Meadowlands. Take Golf links rd. to Mohawk rd. Turn left at Scenic drive. Follow it down to where turns right. This where the trail starts(there is some hydro towers there). The trails are on your left. The rail trail is on your right.

  3. #3

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    Many routes but...

    like you have already seen nothing really technical. But I still do like to get a ride in Dundas and there are a ton of ways to get in and out of the valley. My advice is buy a Dundas Valley map (and maybe a city of Hamilton map) and make a loop out of it.
    If you want to make it a little more fun you can try some of the routes I usually do... these are longer than just doing the main loop but more fun...

    1. Go to Chedoke Golf course and park in the parking lot and start making your way up the Chedoke Rail Trail which is right there (can't miss it). Better yet, further down there is a park where the rail trail starts. You can park there and there is a little bit of singletrack (Bruce trail I think?) at the top where the soccer field is- actually this trail starts right from the East end of Hamilton. Fun little singletrack but not that technical, it will eventually meet with the rail trail again.
    Once you make your way up to the top of the Rail trail you will find some short single track trails on your left. Again nothing very technical, but a little fun and not gravel- explore. You can keep going on the rail trail and then cross the bridge that goes over Hwy403. Cross the bridge and hang a LEFT. You will get into Ancaster where there is another little rail trail if you cross Rosseaux St. Or just follow Rousseaux until you hit Wilson St. From here there are many entrances into Dundas Valley...

    2. One of my favourite routes is to head up Wilson Street until you hit Jerseyville Rd. Follow Jerseyville Rd until you get to the Ancaster Arena (you will go down a fast little hill but then go up again). Once you get to the arena make your way to the soccer fields at the back (stay to the RIGHT of the arena). You will have to cross the field and there is a single tack entrance there (have to look for it a little but its not hidden, on the right side of the field). Go down this trail and you will hit a fun downhill there. There are lots of side trails, so stick to the main one and left- or explore. These trails will eventually meet with Hill Top trail. If you have a map you will see that the trails around the arena are not on the map, but Hill top trail is.
    From here its up to you..... you can follow Hill top to Headwaters trail which then goes to the Main Loop, then head towards the Heritage trail and follow that out. It will take you to the Old mill Restaurant. Make a right and your right back at Wilson/Rousseux St and you can head back to Chedoke (length of this loop will vary depending how fit you are, usually takes me ~2hrs). If you have the Dundas valley map, look at the bottom and you will see Wilson, Jerseyville, Rousseax and Golf links Rd on the map and plan from there.

    There are many many side trails, most of which I haven't explored yet. My advice is try to stay off the main loops and explore. Most small trails loop back to the main ones. For instance, the Bruce trail that goes off Heritage trail, you can take it which is one of my favourites (in Dundas) and it will loop back to the Heritage trail (doesn't look like it in the map, but when you get to the bridge and waterfall, hang a right up the hill and it will take you back). Come to think of it you can get to Dundas right from Meadowlands if you go left on Golf links and follow it till the end (to the golf course), hang a right and it will take you right to Wilson St close to Jerseyville Rd (go left on Wilson and cross the street). In fact, you will also see a little rail trail as you head towards Wilson (where the grave yard is...), take it LEFT and you will come out on Wilson. Then you can follow Jerseyville (as above) and enjoy!

    Lots of trails and loops you can do. You do have to explore a bit to find the better trails but there is some. For more technical, sorry but you have to go elsewhere. Anyways... enjoy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by norm
    If you need a fix for some singletrack, head over to Iroquois Heights. It's really close to the Meadowlands. Take Golf links rd. to Mohawk rd. Turn left at Scenic drive. Follow it down to where turns right. This where the trail starts(there is some hydro towers there). The trails are on your left. The rail trail is on your right.
    Actually to get there you don't have to go along mohawk to scenic to get there. There is a trail that runs from behind the houses down in the gully beside the highway. There is some single track up in there, some jumps made by some kids, and some steep short rocky downhills onto the main rail trail. You can also just take the main gravelled trail you entered on right to the rail trail but that isn't as fun. Once you are on the main trail you can go off exploring the single tracks. If you are going towards the highway (and the pedestrian bridge) most of the single tracks are to the right in the open are and wooded area. This is part of my normal run as it is only about 10 minutes from my place.

    Kind of hard to explain where the entrance is for the trail is. Send me a pm and I could add you to messenger if you use it and give you more details. You are really close to that area and would probably be more what you are looking for then dundas conservation area.

  5. #5
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    Waterdown is also a stones throw from Mac.. VERY technical and once you figure out the routes, its worth it. If you have access to a car, Kelso, Hilton Falls and Guelph lake are within 30 mins.

    Good luck and dont party too hard for frosh week. Engineers are notorious for their strong drinking arms.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by superlightracer
    Waterdown is also a stones throw from Mac.. VERY technical and once you figure out the routes, its worth it. If you have access to a car, Kelso, Hilton Falls and Guelph lake are within 30 mins.

    Good luck and dont party too hard for frosh week. Engineers are notorious for their strong drinking arms.
    Don't really have a car to use.

    "welcome week" kicked off today, and it was a long day. So many people to meet. McMaster has great school spirit. All of the reps were just overflowing with energy. the week is pretty crammed with activities.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  7. #7
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    Hm i remember welcome week at Mac, it was a few years ago for me.

    To add some biking content, yeah Dundas valley is not technical, but good hills, but Iroquios Heights is technical enough to be fun, just not very long. The loop i usually make from camus is head out the rail trail into dundas valley, take the main loop, then the Herritage trail. From where it comes out, ride down Rosseaux st. and take the last left before Mohawk becomes the Linc. Ride down there, and take the path on the right that leads to the bridge over the 403. Just down that trail you get to Iroquios Heights and the single track. From there its down the Chedoke rail trail, down through the golf course (on the road) and back to mcmaster through the train yard.

    Also you should check out the bike co-op at mcmaster. With a $5 membership you can use their full shop and tools and they have some at cost parts (tubes and other simple things only). Their shop is in wentworth house, under the patio of the phoenix, although i heard they might be moving into the new athletic building.

  8. #8
    Economy Stimulator
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    Ryan,

    you are pretty right about dundas valley...the NRS is way past overkill too. there is some singletrack but you must know where it is...its hard to find and they are closing or paving more and more of it...headwaters, although not single track, is very hilly and a good work out. Iroquois heights as mentioned has some decent single track...sadly nothing like the works of Marv in St kitts. Waterdown is hella fun, although a guide is a almost necessary to avoid getting in the shitty areas that are way at the bottom. Anyways, if you want to go riding, lte me know. welcome to the 'armpit' of ontario. have fun at school, play nice with teh kids in the sandbox and ride your bike when you can.

    trevor

    ps. congrats on the 3rd at the 8x12

  9. #9
    Hack Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    Don't really have a car to use.

    "welcome week" kicked off today, and it was a long day. So many people to meet. McMaster has great school spirit. All of the reps were just overflowing with energy. the week is pretty crammed with activities.

    That school spirit quickly dissapears once you realize your profs are incompetent and you flunked your first midterm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    That school spirit quickly dissapears once you realize your profs are incompetent and you flunked your first midterm
    thanks for the encouragement

    Ya, school will kick my a$$ but all i need to do is get through it, and have just a little fun inbetween the misery . I kinda realise it is time to say goodbye to certain things, and seemingly unlimited riding time.

    A nice random fact, i have seen 10 deer since i moved here on thursday. that is 5-10x more than i have seen all year.

    Maybe next time i go home i will pick up the rigid bike, for the few rides i will be doing. That way i can use it as transportation too if i want, since i would not need to worry about locking it somewhere.

    Trevor, thanks for the congrats. I had a great time at the 8x12.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  11. #11
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    Well folks, thanks for the tips. I went on a 2h exploration ride. I headed down scenic drive to the chedoke rail trail. there is a nice bit of trail in that area. mixed with gravel, i ended up at the bottom of the escarpment. i decided to take the bike friendly stairs all the way back to the top! that was great excercise.

    so i continued along the bruce trail. upon exploring, i found some really gnarly spots on the bruce. tons of hilton falls esque rocks. some parts were awesome, but sometimes it just got too crazy, so i had to turn back.

    eventually i ended up down by mcmaster. took main/wilson back. upon going up wilson, i saw a bruce entrance, and took that for a bit. there was some fun trail down there. way technical. had to dismount fairly often, but the parts between were nice and challenging.

    at the niagara end the bruce trail is very bike friendly terrain wise, but at this end, it often shows that it is a hiking trail.

    just grinding up wilson street is a nice challenge.

    it will take a few more rides to put together a solid route, but, i will only have limited time anyways. by the time i figure things out, the season will be wrapping up.

    as for school, it is sure to be insane. after two days worth of classes, i have gotten a small glimpse of the madness to come. i have done hundreds of pages of reading already. this certainly is not highschool.
    Last edited by rkj__; 09-10-2006 at 05:10 PM.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  12. #12
    RvB
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    I'd be very interested to see what route you come up with.

    I did the conservation area today, but couldn't really find the trails. Mostly boring gravel.
    I ended up on Old Dundas Road, which was my plan, but on other rides (with someone who knew the area) I was able to get there by actually riding single track, not gravel :-(

    I also printed out this thread to try some of the suggestions listed next time I get out.

    Rob.

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