Waterdown – MTB / DH Trail

Waterdown / Hamilton
Posted on October 5, 2019
Waterdown – MTB / DH Trail
Listing Types : MTB Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 25
MTB Track % : 30
Double track % : 20
Hiking trail % : 50
Rate Skill Levels : Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : smooth soil, structures, logs jumps, can be muddy, large hills, steep hills, twisty & gnarly, tree roots, rocky patches
Faclities : parking, food close by, lodging
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 25+ km

30% MTB single track
50% hiking trail
20% double track access roads

Elevation – As part of the Niagara Escarpment, trails tend to have steep trail near the top and then they level out with hilly valleys below.

Terrain – Mainly smooth soil which can be slippery if wet. Clusters of rocky limestone located mostly near the top.  Sections have gravel, tall grasses, log hops, roots and a few wooden structures. (Note: some do not look well built, bridges are getting old and unstable.) Downhill ramps and jumps.

Skill – Best for Intermediate and Advanced MTB riders.

Traffic – Mainly hikers and dog walkers; not many riders.

Maps – No signage for MTB riders, so use a GPS app. Some markings for hikers on the Bruce Trail.

Facilities – Parking. Food and services are close by in the town of Waterdown or Hamilton.

Highlights – Not busy, endless XC MTB trail, DH runs and beautiful fall colours with a few lookouts too.

Trail Pass – Free

Phone – None

Website – None

Similar Trails – 3 Stage,  Copland Forest, Kelso

Local Clubs – True Grit Cycling Club

Access – Not the easiest place to find. For an Intermediate MTB ride, park on Rockcliffe Rd. by the small parkette, then take the gravel path leading down the hill. 

For more Advanced MTB and DH riding, enter behind the Wal-Mart by Hwy 6 & Dundas St. E. or the path off Grindstone Way.

 Next to Hamilton, and below the town of Waterdown, MTB trails meander for 25+ km. Mountain bike riders will have plenty to explore, test skills and put their climbing gears to use.

Clappison Woods, Rockcliffe or for some the Black Woods, is a forested area on the side of the Niagara Escarpment offering mountain biking in its raw form.

Tons of trail crisscross every which way through valleys, up crests, and down across creeks in all directions with little signage to sort it all out. 

The paths in here were first cut by hikers, and as such go in rather straight lines with a few crazy climbs (that you may have to walk). Signs of new track designed for MTB  fun occasionally appear, and even some Downhill action can be found.

In general, the Expert track is on the west side of the escarpment, but there are pockets of rocky technical riding elsewhere too. The terrain is very hilly and rock infested closer to the top. 

As the slope levels out towards the lake, riders will find less rock and more smooth dirt track to zoom on. But expect occasional roots, a few old log hops and wooden structures to keep it interesting. 

This is a favourite spot for hikers walking the Bruce Trail (marked by white and blue swatches on the trees) and dog walkers. So watch for them, slow down, and share the trail as you will find more of them than mountain bikes in here. 

This forest area stretches in all directions leaving you to discover (get lost – lol) the many potential routes. Heading down towards the lake offers more riding in another “secret valley” once you cross the train tracks (with caution) and then yet into another valley beyond Snake Road.

As a little known place with no MTB signage (the locals like it that way), you may want to pack a phone to refer to a GPS map. As every trail seems to look the same, you can easily get spun around riding the same routes over again.

Below the mall, Downhill MTB riders can blast down the 35 metre vertical on the Ridgeline run doing big jumps. One of the few places to practice this in Ontario.

It gets rather slick in here and muddy after wet weather. By October the trees put on a show of fall colours and you can start to see the lake. This leaf cover on the trail can get slippery and hide nasty obstacles you need to watch for.

With plenty of variety to get in a day of MTB action and exercise, Waterdown is good fun exploring the interweaving trails as you learn your way around.

Open Street Maps
Waterdown MTB trail map

Waterdown MTB trail map

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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
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