Cootes Paradise – RBG South Shore
Cootes Paradise has a diverse and long history. The original habitants of the area, known as Princess Point people, first established themselves between AD 500 to 1000 and it was not until the early 1700s that Europeans began to arrive and settle in the area. In the 1780's A British naval officer by the name of Captain Thomas Coote spent most of his days hunting the abundant water fowl that were present at the time. It was from this naval officer that Cootes Paradise got its name.
Established in 1927, Cootes Paradise sanctuary is significant as a migratory bird flyover zone and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Featuring over 320 hectares of marshland, 16 creeks and 25 km of shoreline, Cootes Paradise is RBGs largest and most diverse sanctuary. Cootes is also home to a thriving population of mute swans, Red Knots, Cormorants, Great Blue Herons and in recent years Bald Eagles who have made their home in Cootes Paradise.
The Sanctuary is stewarded and managed by the RBG and is often broken up into two major parts, the north and the south shore. The South shore of Cootes Paradise borders McMaster University. Several trails can be accessed from McMaster property and will take you down to the shores of the marsh and even into the harbour:
- Chegwin Trail: Located behind Brandon Hall, Chegwin trail is a short loop that takes you down to a boardwalk on the marsh known as Mac Landing.
- Ravine Rd Trail: Located between Les Prince Hall and the Alpine Tower is Ravine Rd Trail, which will take you all the way to Churchill Park, Sassafras Point, and even down to Princess Point. The Trail can also be used to access the harbour waterfront through Princess Point and the Waterfront Trail.
- Princess Point: Located by the boundary of Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Harbour is Princess Point. A natural gathering and trail hub, the area includes a canoe launch, access to 6 KM of natural trails and connects to Hamilton's Waterfront Trail that leads onto Bayfront Park and Pier 8.
- Trail map Cootes Paradise map: http://www.rbg.ca/Document.Doc?id=120
Cootes Paradise – RBG South Shore Location
Trails from McMaster University:
Please note not to Run or Bike on the trails along Cootes Paradise. To bike to destinations please use city road bike lanes or the Waterfront Trail.