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Sunset at Christie's

Natural Areas

Hamilton boasts over 81 environmentally significant areas – that serve important ecological functions and contain rare plant or animal species and or unique topography or geologic features –ranging from wetlands, marsh, and hardwood forests to prairie, alvar and escarpment habitats.

We have highlighted 10 of the best natural areas within and surrounding the Hamilton area (and various others) for you to explore. These areas offer diverse ecosystems and attractions from caves and karst formations to gorges, waterfalls and sprawling ravine valleys.



The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is the largest of its kind in Canada and is a National Historic Site. Covering over 1100 hectares the RBG has 4 distinct formal gardens.


Cootes paradise - RBG south shore

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, Ravine Rd Trail, Princess Point

Bird eating from hand

Cootes paradise – RBG north shore

Several trails can be accessed from McMaster property and will take you down to the shores of the marsh and even into the harbour:Arboretum, Burlington Heights

Harbour Artwork


The Hamilton Harbour Waterfront is just as beautiful as its Waterfalls. Managed by the Waterfront Trail and the Hamilton Waterfront Trust, the area offers various amenities from scenic waterfront trails, parks, boardwalk shops and diners and pier side ice skating and rollerblading rinks.

Rock Chapel

Escarpment Sanctuaries: Borers / Rock Chapel

Located on the Niagara Eescarpment, just north of RBG, you will find Borers and Rock Chapel nature sanctuaries.

Spencer Gorge conservation area

Perhaps the most scenic of Hamilton's natural areas, Spencer Gorge spans the escarpment and contains 2 of Hamilton's most well-known waterfalls, Webster's and Tews, as well as Dundas Peak.

Dundas Trail

Dundas Valley

Dundas Valley Conservation Area covers over 1200 hectares of lush Carolinian forests, colourful meadows, cold water streams and a variety of geological formations. The conservation area contains 40 Km of trail systems developed by the Hamilton Conservation Authority and boasts Canada's first inter-urban rail trail which spans 32 Km from Hamilton to Brantford.

Albion / Eramosa

Albion: One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Hamilton is Albion falls.

Eramosa Karst Conservation Area: One of Hamilton Conservation Authorities properties, the karst is filled with underground caves – including a 335 metre long cave that is 10th longest in all of Ontario – , streams, meadows and forests.

Dundas Peak


Vistas are areas that provide spectacular views of an area from a higher elevation. Surrounded by the Niagara Escarpment, Hamilton is home to several amazing vista's and views which are readily accessible.

Finshing Pond

And more

Hamilton has lots to offer for those looking to get out and explore. Along with those areas highlighted above, there are several other conservation sites, parks, and nearby counties that offer everything from rock climbing to canoeing.