A milestone in the development of the new Saltfleet Conservation Area on Hamilton’s east mountain has taken place with the completion of the first of four wetland areas to be located on the upper Stoney Creek and Battlefield watersheds.
The new conservation area, officially opened last year by Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA), and then temporarily closed for wetland development, will re‐open Friday, September 23, 2022, for public use, including trail access to the Dofasco 2000 Trail.
“This is a key step, we have completed the first of four planned wetland areas that will reduce the impacts of flooding and erosion in lower Stoney Creek,” says HCA Chairman Lloyd Ferguson. “The Saltfleet Conservation Area is a long‐term vision that provides increased natural areas and adds trails and recreation for the public while protecting property and residents downstream.”
A new trail, known as the Heritage Green Community Trust (HGCT) Trail gives visitors a view of the eastern wetland from the berms above them, and connects the area to the Dofasco 2000 trail, a 11.5‐kilometre path for both hikers and cyclists. The trail provides access to the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area and Vinemont Swamp.
Design plans are underway for the second wetland area in 2023 and HCA also recently purchased an additional 50 acres of land near the Devil’s Punchbowl, where the third wetland will be constructed. The fourth wetland is expected to be developed as additional land is acquired.
The Heritage Green Community Trust donated $2‐miillion towards the acquisition and development of Saltfleet Conservation Area and has pledged an additional $2 million over the next four years for further wetland development. The City of Hamilton is also a key partner and donor to the project.
Once all four wetlands are built in the coming years, the area will have the ability to hold the equivalent of more than 200 Olympic‐sized swimming pools.
As the additional Saltfleet Conservation Area wetlands are developed and the Saltfleet Masterplan completed, further trails and interpretive signage will be added to enhance public access, nature appreciation and educational opportunities.