The Dundas Valley is one of southern Ontario's most spectacular natural treasures. Highlights of the 1,200-hectare conservation area include lush Carolinian forests, colourful meadows, cold-water streams, stunning geological formations and an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife.
The area is part of a large glacial valley that spreads out into Lake Ontario. It was excavated by a succession of glaciers that disappeared some 10,000 years ago The landscape that emerged has been shaped by glacial melt water and, more recently, by streams flowing through the valley.
The valley's 1,200 hectares of Carolinian forests, fields, cold-water streams and stunning geological formations are home to an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife. More about Carolinian forests.
The rich natural environment existing here and along the Niagara Escarpment has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The Dundas Valley offers more than 30 exciting outdoor environmental education adventures for students in Grade 1-12. To learn more please visit our education webpage.
Giant's Rib Discovery Centre
Visitors can enter the Discovery Centre and learn all about the Niagara Escarpment WorldBiosphere Reserve. Enjoy works on display from our Artist of the Month, examine fossils found along the Escarpment, and our volunteers can help the kids make fossil crafts! The Giant's Rib Discovery Centre is open weekends from 10 to 3.
The Stacey Meadow Pavilion can accommodate up to 80 people. Its pondside location and fishing bridge which extends out into the water makes it a lovely spot for group picnics and weddings. The Dundas Valley also offers open meadow areas with picnic tables and the trail centre’s attached pavilion is available for group rentals.
The 40-kilometre trail system developed and maintained by the HCA and the world Bruce Trail provides access to almost every part of the Dundas Valley. Organized along three major trails: the Main Loop Trail including several secondary trails branching from it; the Bruce Trail; plus Canada's first inter-urban rail trail - 32-kilometre Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail- which is one of the region's most importan walking, cycling and equestrian routes (it's also part of the Trans Canada Trail). Links to Cambridge and Paris extend this trail another 80 kilometres.
Current Trail Conditions: For up-to-the-minute trail updates, please call 905-627-1233 or visit our Visitor Alerts page.
Share the Path: The trail system is open to hikers, dog-walkers, joggers, cyclists, equestrians and cross-country skiers. Enjoyment and safety among such a diverse group begins with every individual. Being cautious and courteous helps ensure a great trail experience for everyone.
Note: Because of rugged terrain, Dundas Valley trails have limited accessibilty. Wheelchair and scooter users are encouraged to use the Rail Trail.
A replica of a Victorian train station, is the hub of the valley's trail network.
Off-season Hours (current hours):
Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday to Friday 8:30 AM to 3 PM
Saturday and Sunday 8:30 AM to 4 PM
Weekends: 8:30 AM to 5 PM
Weekdays: 8:30 AM to 3 PM
The centre has a food concession, interpretive displays, brochures and maps detailing the Dundas Valley. It is also the starting point for numerous guided hikes and nature-oriented workshops.