Built on the surviving rail bed of the former Hamilton and Lake Erie Railway, this groomed rail trail runs for 24.3 km from north of the city of Caledonia to the lower city of Hamilton via the Chippewa Trail and the Escarpment Rail Trail. This route begins north of the Reserves of the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, and runs through the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe First Nations.
Starting at Haldimand Road 66 at the Southern Terminus of the Chippewa Trail, this route cuts through the countryside between Caledonia and Hamilton, passing the Killman Zoo, and reaching the Northern Terminus of the Chippewa Trail at Stonechurch Road. Here the route is cut through by the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway, but by turning right on Stonechurch Rd for 500m and left on Arbour Rd, runners can use a footbridge to cross the Parkway and catch the continuing course of the old rail bed. To do this, after crossing the Parkway turn left into the Albion Falls parking lot and continue past the Southern Terminus of the Escarpment Rail Trail, following the route cut through the prominent Niagara Escarpment by the Hamilton and Fort Erie Railway in the 1850s. The route ends at the foot of the Escarpment next to the still-in-use Canadian Pacific railway at the north-western corner of Corktown Park at Young Street and Ferguson Street.
With the 2020 Seaton Soaker Trail Race officially cancelled, due to the global pandemic, I am most likely going to go after the Hamilton & Lake Erie Rail Trail FKT (May 9, 2020)
My proposed route, May 9, will be an out & back, commencing at the corner of Young St & Ferguson Ave S (Corktown Park), and running the Escarpment Rail Trail to Haldimand 66. Upon reaching Haldimand 66, I will turn around and retrace my steps, back to the starting point. The goal is to establish a FKT, for the 48.6k route. 1.4k will be added on to the route, by circling Corktown Park, upon my return, to make it 50k, total.
If I were to run the Chippewa Trail, May 9, it would be considered trespassing 🤬 (there are signs at Rymal Rd E) ... so, this FKT is off the table, for now ... going to dream up another route for the Seaton Soaker Virtual Race (registered for 25k). Any suggestions (Hamilton, ON)?
It’s official ... I currently hold the Fastest Known Time (unsupported), for the Hamilton & Lake Erie Rail Trail. I ran the route (24.3k), in both directions (starting from, and finishing at Corktown Park), May 9, 2020. Unfortunately, the FKT route, acknowledged, is only from Haldimand Rd 66 to Corktown Park (Young St & Ferguson Ave S). In my opinion (and from a logistics standpoint), I believe this FKT, should be an out & back (48.6k), of which the FKT is 3:37:30 (from Hamilton 1:47:25 + from Haldimand 1:50:05), or at the very least, have a FKT for each direction of travel.