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  1. #1
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    Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail

    I am taking 3-4 people out for a ride. While they are fit, they are not technical riders. I have been looking at maps of the H-B Trail around Dundas Valley. As you go west, there are a number of other trails like the Headwaters just south of it. I am looking for 20 Km or so portion for a total of 40 kM there and back. Looking for recommendations on where to begin and end to catch the most scenic and wooded portions. I don't want to bake them in the sun for hours. Any recommendations are appreciated. I am sure they can handle some single track as long as there aren't too many rocks or roots or techy stuff. Will all have proper mountain bikes. 3 of them mine.

    thanks.
    Burnt Norton

  2. #2
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    Headwaters trail is 10km from the main trail and back. Rail trail to the train station from the beginning is 5km. It's all pretty well wooded - out of the wind and lots of shade. I like to park in the city parking by the Chedoke golf course (43.251448, -79.907001), that adds about 2 km.
    If you went up the rail trail to the train station (5 to 7 km), then onto the main trail to the Headwaters trail (around 2 km?) one short steep climb on gravel), around Headwaters (10km, some climbing but easy trails, mostly gravel), continue on the main trail back to the train station (3km?). Then carry on either direction on the rail trail to make up your mileage.
    For variation you could come down Martin Rd from the Headwaters trail and along Mineral Springs Rd for a short way to the rail trail.
    Or Powerline to Slote and onto the rail trail, backwards to the Paris Ancaster route.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. It sounds like we are safe wandering those trails. I'll play it by year at to the distance. What are the trails like at Christie? Are they ok for real beginners?
    Burnt Norton

  4. #4
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    Great, nothing technical, no killer climbs, very twisty. A few rooty spots but not bad. One optional spot that might scare a newbie. Lot like the Pines at Puslinch. The single track is only about 11 km if all the trails are ridden both directions. You can add 3-4 km on the double track around the lake.
    $9 to get in though. I've got a pass but rail trail/Dundas Valley is free for ride in.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    Thanks. It sounds like we are safe wandering those trails. I'll play it by year at to the distance. What are the trails like at Christie? Are they ok for real beginners?
    Slash linked up a great route.

    As for Christie singletrack, I would say it depends on their level of adventure. The trails are pretty tame, especially at slow speed. If they are confident on a bike, fit and have a sense of adventure (aka they don't mind trying out MTB) Christie is a great spot to go. Highly recommended.

    You can also exit Christie on the east end, following the double track and hit the Optimist trail at Cramer road with runs along Crooks Hollow, then eventually under Brock Rd. It will lead you generally to Websters falls, which is a great view! Optimist trails will have a couple sections a beginner might want to walk, but generally pretty tame. And the destination is a great adventure.
    Straight outta Rossland

  6. #6
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    These are all pretty fit people, not MTB'ers. Looking at the map, the route Slash picked, works really well. It is what I had in mind, but was not sure what the terrain was like in so far as trees and shade. I don't particularly like baking in the sun either. This will also keep us away from bugs for the most part. I was at Agreement Forest yesterday from around 12:30 to just past 3:00 and the bugs were incredible. I don't think I remember it ever being that buggy. I also found a whole new section in there which was totally cool.
    Burnt Norton

  7. #7
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    Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail-christie.jpgHamilton-Brantford Rail Trail-dundasvalley.jpg

  8. #8
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    That's awesome. Many thanks. My instincts tell me to make them do a couple of circuits of Christie, cause I want to ride it, but I will see how they do and can always shoot up there if they are feeling adventurous.
    Burnt Norton

  9. #9
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    Christie would be more fun, you're right, could just go around the lake, hit a couple of singletrack trails and then around the lake again. The eastern trails are easier, the western one has more climbing and roots.

  10. #10
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    I will see how it goes, and head over there this weekend and pre-ride a bunch of this by myself or with my wife. She can handle all of it. She has never forgiven me over the time I lost us in the Agreement Forest. She was less than pleased.
    Burnt Norton

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This map cracks me up. It looks like we just built a bunch of spaghetti!

    I think your friends will have fun at Christie and if you do go, I'm looking forward to their feedback. We tried really hard to make the trails fun for riders at all levels.

    Slash5 is right though, there is one spot where your friends might crap their pants if they're not expecting it. There is a warning sign so keep an eye out for it.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just noticed Slash5, why no love for Devil's Punchbowl (Black trial)?
    Straight outta Rossland

  13. #13
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    Are you telling me I've been missing a trail at Christie all this time?

  14. #14
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    Looks like...

    Here's the map (not current - missing the G-Out):

    Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail-hcc-2013-trailhead-design-web.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Looks like...

    Here's the map (not current - missing the G-Out):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Man...you guys have been busy....
    Strava made me do it....

  16. #16
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    I am hoping my Black Floyd fat bike tires come in this week. This would be an awesome adventure on semi- slick fat tires on the Beargrease.
    Burnt Norton

  17. #17
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    Well, I know what I'm doing tomorrow after work.
    Looked up those Black Floyd tires - wow, motorcycle tires. Look like the tires I had on my 1970 BMW R60/5.

  18. #18
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    Yeah, they are big. They make my 2.25 tires look ride tires side by side. I am hoping they are nice and smooth and fast. I did not enjoy the fat bike as much as I thought I would for regular trail riding, but I think it will do nicely for rail trail adventures with some road, real smooth single track, or bombing around the city on multiple surfaces.
    Burnt Norton

  19. #19
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    x2 on Christies its been great for getting my youngest (8) into MTB , Finally one of them likes it. Last week we took his buddy and dad who doesn't mtg bike , they both liked it we did a few loops wandering for an hour and both have asked to go back , nothing to technical and the flow and berms make it fun.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Looks like...

    Here's the map (not current - missing the G-Out):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The G-Out (aka Runway) is kinda there. It's the Black squiggle near the middle.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  21. #21
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    We plan on beginning the ride at Christie and heading over to the falls. We will then ride down to the rail trail and meander around some. No real rush or plan. Just fun exploring.
    I expect to be there around noon on my carbon tallboy, or preferably my cruiser styled fatbike should the tires come in today or tomorrow. My wife will be riding a vintage carbon cannondale raven. Say hello if you spot us. Much thanks for the guidance.
    Burnt Norton

  22. #22
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    I believe (could be wrong) you can park for free on Middletown Rd. - there is an entrance to Christie right there.
    43.278076, -80.036505

  23. #23
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    I believe (could be wrong) you can park for free on Middletown Rd. - there is an entrance to Christie right there.
    43.278076, -80.036505
    Lots of people do that. It's not strictly kosher, but the level of checking is not high.

    You could also park where you were planning to end your ride and bike into Christie from there (again, not strictly kosher).

    Or you could support a great Conservation Area, and pay the entrance fee.

  24. #24
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    this looks pretty sweet. Worth the drive from Mississauga? Might do a change up and try it out, weekend's looking good.
    On a carbon Tallboy as well, orange.
    cheers

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmto View Post
    this looks pretty sweet. Worth the drive from Mississauga? Might do a change up and try it out, weekend's looking good.
    On a carbon Tallboy as well, orange.
    cheers
    Christie as a destination is borderline worth it in my opinion. The trails there are great, so much fun, lots of work has gone into them, but at this point there is only about 5km of singletrack. But if you ride it all both ways, plus you'll want to ride G-out 2-3 times as it will put the biggest smile on your face, then roam around the double track, then maybe head out to the optimist trail and down to Websters falls, you can turn it into a great adventure (The Spencer Adventure!!! - if you go, you'll get that reference).

    If you go, pay to get in, then only ride the singletrack once when you are used to doing 20+ km rides, you might be disappointed.

    I'm an HCA member, luckily there is a load of trail leading into Christie from, then back to Dundas, so I just tend to make a big old ride of it.

    But in saying all that, I think the work of people like Nerdgirl and GarageMonster needs to be spread! Come out and support the trails and it will only strengthen the resolve to get more built and more support from the HCA.
    Straight outta Rossland

  26. #26
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    We rode Christie, and the trails are well groomed, and certainly good for all levels. Nicely laid out, and did not feel like the spaghetti on the map above. Certainly better than what they did at Puslinch in places. Kudos have to go to all who have groomed this. The monsters must be out there with a vaccum. We ended up on the Spencer adventure to the two falls. Then we picked up harvester to Sydenham. I wanted to check out this famous hill. We even stopped at the Clara Hughes plaque. We came down it and had no desire to climb it on mtb's. Ended up at the Dundas Busquerfest. We then picked up the hb trail into dundas valley and rode around for a while. We exited at sulphur springs road and headed north and then picked up weir road. Way too narrow twisty and hilly for non regular cyclists. I now have a good feel for the area and am going to put together a nice route.
    Burnt Norton

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    We rode Christie, and the trails are well groomed, and certainly good for all levels. Nicely laid out, and did not feel like the spaghetti on the map above. Certainly better than what they did at Puslinch in places. Kudos have to go to all who have groomed this. The monsters must be out there with a vaccum. We ended up on the Spencer adventure to the two falls. Then we picked up harvester to Sydenham. I wanted to check out this famous hill. We even stopped at the Clara Hughes plaque. We came down it and had no desire to climb it on mtb's. Ended up at the Dundas Busquerfest. We then picked up the hb trail into dundas valley and rode around for a while. We exited at sulphur springs road and headed north and then picked up weir road. Way too narrow twisty and hilly for non regular cyclists. I now have a good feel for the area and am going to put together a nice route.
    Sounds like a great ride. As a future note, Middletown road is a bit better to climb out of Dundas and will put you at the Western edge of Christie. Still a big climb, but generally less traffic and for the most part straight and wider.
    Straight outta Rossland

  28. #28
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    Thanks again for all the suggestions. We did end up having a great time exploring the area. I like taking my wife on these rides as she forces me to slow down and appreciate whats on offer. I tend to ride feature to feature on a trail without a lot of regard to what's around. It's typically a ride I would have never done as I would be going to an MTB specific place. This was a nice change of pace. Ended up taking the fat bike out to my local trails yesterday afternoon and ripping around. The fat bike is quickly becoming the most fun bike I own.
    Burnt Norton

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