Thursday, December 1, 2011

MacTrack Running Roots - Radial

Welcome to the very first Running Roots. Running Roots are a series of videos that aim to showcase and describe running routes around McMaster University in Hamilton. They are set to Canadian folk music (often called root music).

This first route is a personal favourite of mine, starting from Mac and heading up the Niagara Escarpment. It offers a tremendous outlook over the West end of the city. Half of the run is along the Cheedoke-Radial trail.

Running Roots Video

Full Google Earth Fly-Over  
(you may need a Google Earth Plugin)

Trail Map

Elevation Profile

Check out the link here
Watch the McMaster tour here

Hamilton is known as the city of waterfalls with 126 waterfalls or the Waterfall Capital of the World

The following is from the hamilton trails site:

Chedoke Radial Trail

The Chedoke Radial Recreational Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle pathway developed on the former right of way of the Brantford and Hamilton Electric Railway. It is part of the Bruce Trail. Beginning at Hillcrest Avenue, the trail runs for 2.7 kilometers southwest, crossing the Chedoke Golf Course and traversing the escarpment to Scenic Drive. Here, the trail links with a Hamilton Region Conservation Authority Trail that crosses the Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area and ends at Highway 403.

Trail Entrances

Trail entrances are located at Hillcrest Avenue (just east of Dundurn Street South), Chedoke Golf Course, and at Scenic Drive (at Upper Paradise Road.) The escarpment stairs located at Dundurn Street south and at the Chedoke Golf Course also lead to the trail. The stairs have a bike trough.

Trail users experience the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment, and take in a magnificent view of the west end of Hamilton and the Dundas Valley. The trail is considered accessible for those in wheelchairs or those pushing strollers, however the variation in slope (2 to 5%) may present some difficulties. The portion of the trail between the Chedoke Golf Course clubhouse and the Dundurn Stairs is flat and has an asphalt surface. The rest of the trail has a fine granular surface.


For many years, electric interurban or "radial" railways provided passenger and freight service between Hamilton and the neighbouring communities of Ancaster/Brantford, Grimsby/Beamsville, Burlington/Oakville, and Dundas. Four lines, totaling 78 miles of track, extended outward from Hamilton. The Chedoke Radial Trail was developed on the former right of way of the area's fourth and final radial line, the Brantford & Hamilton (B&H) Electric Railway.

Construction of the B&H line began in 1906 under the Cataract Power, Light, and Traction Company. Hundreds of tons of rock were blasted from the face of the escarpment to create a ledge for the track. Some of the rock was used to fill the Chedoke Falls ravine. The line extended from Main and Hess Streets, extended along Hess, continued along a private right of way just beyond Herkimer Street, then climbed the mountain.

The B&H was completed to Ancaster in 1907 and extended to Brantford in 1908 by the Dominion Power & Transmission Company, which took over the radial railways from Cataract in 1907.

Competition from automobiles, buses, and trucks brought an end to the radial system and, in 1931, the B&H made its final run. The tracks were removed in 1932, and some consideration was given to converting the right of way into a highway. (The wall that was erected along the trail remains. It was placed there to protect passengers from bullets ricocheting from the rifle range below the escarpment.) The right of way eventually came under the control of Hamilton's Board of Park Management, which sold some portions for housing in the 1950s.

On February 23, 1993, Council gave approval to developing the pathway from Hillcrest to Scenic Drive. In 1995-1996, the heavily used existing pathway between Dundurn Street and the Chedoke Golf Course was extended, and seating areas were built at the bottom of the Dundurn Stairs and at the parking lot on Scenic Drive. Funding for this development was shared equally between the City of Hamilton and the Province of Ontario (through the Waterfront Regeneration Trust)

It was considered appropriate to officially open the Chedoke Radial Trail on May 25, 1996, to coincide with the first anniversary of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. On this date, the Honourable David Crombie kicked off a Waterfront Trail Relay at the City of Trenton, the most easterly section of the Waterfront Trail, and at the same time, relay participants in Stoney Creek started, proceeding through Hamilton along the Hamilton Beach area, en route to Toronto.


The Chedoke Radial Trail has received the Ontario March of Dimes Award of Merit for Barrier-Free Design for 1999 (this is an annual award issued for facilities designed or renovated with special regard to accessibility.) The Ontario March of Dimes Award was specific to Pier 4, Bayfront, the Escarpment, and the Chedoke Radial Recreational Trail.

Parking and Washrooms

Parking is available at the Scenic Drive entrance and at the Chedoke Golf Course clubhouse. Washrooms are in the clubhouse (limited hours.) Though the washrooms are accessible, the clubhouse building has stairs.


  1. Beauty Clarke.

    Yorke, Taylor, Cory and Mike.

    PS. Nice Intro.

    ...Might need a rework...
    - T-Bone

  2. I believe it is written "Running Routes" not "Running Roots"