Dundas Valley Conservation Area
Address: 650 Governors Road, Dundas, ON, L9E 5E3
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.
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 40-kilometre trail system developed and maintained by the HCA and the 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 important walking, cycling and equestrian routes (it's also part of the Trans Canada Trail). Links to Cambridge and Paris extend this trail another 80 kms. Click here for the Dundas Valley Trail Map.
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.
Current Trail Conditions: For up-to-the-minute trail updates, please call 905-627-1233. Alerts will be posted online for trail closures.
Note: Because of rugged terrain, Dundas Valley trails have limited accessibility. Wheelchair and scooter users are encouraged to use the Rail Trail.
The Dundas Valley offers more than 30 exciting outdoor environmental education adventures for students in Grade 1-12. To learn more, visit our education webpage.
The Stacey Meadow Pavilion can accommodate up to 80 people. Its pond side 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.
A replica of a Victorian train station, the Dundas Valley Trail Centre is the hub of the valley's trail network.
Weekends: 8:30 AM to 5 PM
Weekdays: 8:30 AM to 3 PM
Off-season Hours: Thanksgiving to Victoria Day
Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday to Friday 8:30 AM to 3 PM
Saturday and Sunday 8:30 AM to 4 PM
*Off season hours in effect from Thanksgiving weekend to Victoria Day weekend.
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.
The Hermitage Ruins, located just off the Main Loop Trail, is a popular spot to visit while in the area.The Ruins are a beautiful and picturesque place to stop while on a hike. Click here for more information on the Hermitage Ruins and Gatehouse.
In 2015, construction on the ruins began to stabilize and restore the crumbling structure. More information on the Hermitage Ruins Stabilization and Restoration Project.
Giant's Rib Discovery Centre
Located in the Dundas Valley Trail Centre, visitors can enter the Discovery Centre and learn all about the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere 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.