Trip Rating: 4/5
This post is an extension of my Hamilton Harbour post. The Grindstone is a creek that flows into the Burlington side of the Hamilton Harbour. The creek winds through the Royal Botanical Gardens to the Great Falls and has its headwaters in Flamborough. This area has a surprising variety of wildlife to find. If you are lucky, you will see beavers, muskrat, minx, turtles, deer, heron, osprey, or bald eagles. I have done this trip more than ten times and I am never disappointed. If ever a new kayaker asks me to take them out, this is the place I take them.
In addition to the Pier 4 launch at Bayfront Park, you can launch off Spring Gardens Road and shorten the route to 5 km from 10 km. A good idea on weeknights or for beginners. The launch is a concrete dock with limited free parking. There are no washrooms at the launch. However, five minutes up the road is the RBG main pavilion and a few small restaurants. This site is extremely popular with bird watchers and train spotters, so prepare to have to park up the road at the larger lot at the Laking Garden and walk to the launch.
To find this location, enter 43.289446, -79.885885 into Google Maps.
Trip Length: A warning about this trip. The currents in the spring are very strong on this creek. It is very easy to scout this by walking the trail upstream before you launch. I highly recommend you do this if you are not familiar with the area.
The trip is approximately 5k and will take 1 hour.
Difficulty: This is a fairly calm area, be mindful of the currents in the spring. Please be careful and use the right gear when paddling.
Another account from a fellow blogger, click here.
The Royal Botanical Gardens: After your trip I very much recommend going to Easterbrooks for a hotdog and then the RBG for a walk. The RBG is is the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site.
- Protects and restores 2450 acres of nature sanctuaries containing environmentally sensitive habitats, where approx. 50 listed species- at-risk have made their home;
- Teachs the public and educates school children about the importance of plants and nature, and how to be environmental stewards in their community;
- Creates display gardens which beautify our region landscape and teach people how to transfer best practices into their own backyard;
- Hosts events that celebrate our landscape and highlight our conservation activities (Fishway demonstrations, nature sanctuary guided tours, children’s winter exhibits); and
- Engages in research projects and networks to pursue environmental sustainability;
Did you know that RBG?
- Leads a province-wide “Back to Nature” Network to help kids reconnect with the outdoors;
- Manages one of the largest freshwater marshland restoration projects of its kind in North America;
- Since 2006, has been appointed Canada’s ‘National Focal Point for the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), part of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity;