Do you find yourself staring longingly out your office window at trees in the distance? Have you recently changed your smartphone’s alert tones to chirping birds and babbling brooks? Does your bike seem to veer off paved paths as if it’s searching for a more rugged route?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, perhaps your brain is sending you some serious signals that it’s time to schedule in some outdoor fun. The good news is that in Hamilton Halton Brant there are dozens of experiences geared toward people who may feel like they need a little extra guidance when it comes to exploring outdoors. Here are some activities we think you’ll love.

  • 1

    If you like scenic shorelines...

    Start your day with a leisurely paddle at the Burlington Waterfront. Watercrafts are available for hire, including kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards and paddle boats.

    Next up, grab your bikes for a pedal along the seamlessly smooth Waterfront Trail that connects Burlington and Hamilton. This trail is perfect for parents with trailers and kid seats, as well as little ones learning to pedal on their own. Enjoy scenic Lake Ontario shorelines, playgrounds, beaches, attractions and restaurants as you make your way into Hamilton along the 10 km trail.

    Stop at Confederation Park for an afternoon of fun. Kids will love the water park and the activities and attractions of Adventure Village. Just be sure to save a little bit of energy for the ride back.

  • Brant
    Grand River, Paris
    Brant
    2

    If you'd like to give paddling a try...

    Enjoy scenic views, wildlife and lush Carolinian forest on a kayaking experience along the Grand River. Grand River Rafting will provide the equipment you need, a map and a quick lesson before you head out, so you can feel confident as you paddle downstream. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the picnic area stop-off, complete with facilities for your convenience.

    Learn about our nation’s rich heritage in a comfortable 12-passenger voyageur canoe as you paddle along the Grand River, a Canadian Heritage River. This guided six-hour paddling experience takes you downstream where you’ll learn about wildlife in the surrounding Carolinian forest and the history of the river.

    Local outfitters Grand River Rafting and Grand Experiences have canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and tubes for rent and offer guided and self-guided experiences. You can also rent a canoe or kayak from Brant Park Conservation Area and get a 2-for-1-deal if you have a membership.

    Grand River Rafting in Paris has mapped out a great route on the Grand River for people eager to try stand up paddleboarding. They’ll provide a lesson before they send you off on the 9-12 km trip so you can feel confident on the water. You’ll pass by amazing scenery and a picnic area complete with facilities.

    If you’re looking for a full day paddle, try Grand Experiences’ Seneca Run. The 20-km route gives you plenty of time to enjoy the amazing scenery of the Grand River, as well as some exciting low-key rapid action.

    For a Great Lake paddling experience, check out Royal Botanical Gardens‘ three-hour paddling experience that takes visitors to Lake Ontario’s Cootes Paradise Marshland to explore and discover wetland plants and wildlife.

  • Brant
    Hiking in Brantford
    Brant
    3

    If it's about time you took a hike...

    Enjoy a guided half-day hike through Royal Botanical Gardens‘ diverse trails and landscapes. The moderate hike combines physical activity with nature and learning and can be tailored to complement desired interests. Or explore on your own, Royal Botanical Gardens’ Cootes Paradise offers nature lovers access to a 320-hectare river-mouth marsh, glacial plateaus, 16 creeks and 25 km of shoreline through its 18 km trail system. The Marsh Boardwalk provides access to the Spencer Creek Delta, one of the largest creek deltas on Lake Ontario.

    Conservation Halton‘s seven parks boast a combined 87 km of trails ranging from easy to difficult. At each park you’ll find something special, including a Meromictic Lake, amazing wildlife, or some of the best views in the province.

    Hamilton is a hiker’s paradise boasting a vast trail network and over 100 waterfalls that are easily accessible from the city’s core. The Bruce Trail, an interconnected network that spans 800 km from Tobermory to Niagara Falls, cuts through the city highlighting many remarkable features of the Niagara Escarpment.

    The 2 km Six Nations of the Grand River Nature Trail in Ohsweken is a great option for young hikers. The trail takes hikers on a journey through one of Ontario’s last remaining Carolinian forests. Interpretative signs along the route help create an appreciation for the largest single block of Carolinian woodland in Canada.

    Families will also love the ease of Brant Park Conservation Area’s grass trails along the river bank that take you through natural areas for wildlife viewing. The park also runs along the SC Johnson Rail Trail that connects Paris and Brantford. The SC Johnson Trail will take you along the Grand River as well as through a rare Prairie Grass habitat. Glenhyrst Art Gallery is just steps off the trail and offers amazing garden tours.

    Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a great place for an outdoor adventure with little ones. Day trippers have access to four scenic hiking trails that are 3 km or less in length, plus a 1.8-acre pond-shaped pool, complete with life guards and a wading area. The park’s Playbarn and petting zoo are also a hit!

  • Brant
    Grand River, Paris
    Brant
    4

    If you'd like to give fly fishing a try...

    Enjoy a Grand River fly fishing experience with Fly Water Guiding, a local outfitter in Paris. Fly Water Guiding offers introductory fly fishing and casting courses for beginners to master the techniques, set-up and safety of the sport while fishing for steelhead, rainbow trout and brown trout.

  • 5

    If you prefer to pedal...

    Halton’s Leather Town Spin cycling route is perfect for recreational riders looking for a day of fun. The 37 km route takes you along rural roads from the hamlet of Glen Williams near Georgetown, passing through farms and wetlands before taking you into the quaint town of Acton. Have a bite to eat before looping back and be sure to stop at points of interest along the way.

    Breathtaking views of rich agricultural land and the Niagara Escarpment are everywhere on this 31 km route. Park at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre (Milton Velodrome) then head over to Bell School Line and down into beautiful rural Burlington. Cycle under the impressive rock face of the escarpment on Walker’s Line. You’ll eventually wind your way back up to the Village of Kilbride.

    You’ll find great mountain biking trails at Kelso Conservation Area, Hilton Falls Conservation Area and Mountsberg Conservation Area.

  • Hamilton
    Birding
    Hamilton
    6

    If you're a budding birder...

    Royal Botanical Gardens provides easy access to some of the most diverse birding in Ontario.

    Mountsberg Conservation Area‘s Douglas G. Cockburn Raptor Centre is home to 15 different birds of prey, each with their own unique story. Birds of Prey shows are held daily in the summer and on weekends and holidays the rest of the year.

  • 7

    If you're in need of nature and lift...

    Parkbus, a GTA bus service, runs day trips throughout the season to Conservation Halton’s Rattlesnake Point. The service offers pick-up and drop-off points in Toronto, making it easy for car-free adventurers to enjoy the great outdoors. Rattlesnake Point offers a diverse range of activities and experiences, including climbing and hiking, not to mention some of the best views in the province.

  • 8

    If you think geology rocks...

    Spend a day discovering the fascinating history and geological features of Eramosa Karst Conservation Area. As one of southern Ontario’s last glaciers slowly began to melt about 13,000 years ago, the impact of the dissolving ice on stone created a series of sinkholes, disappearing streams, caves and valleys known today as the Eramosa Karst.

    Check out the Devil’s Punchbowl, a wondrous ribbon waterfall that cascades 33.8 metres in the air. It’s a spectacular sight any day of the year, boasting a great view of Stoney Creek and the Hamilton Harbour from the lookout, not to mention the view down into the seemingly bottomless gorge.

  • 9

    If snow makes you smile...

    Embrace the flake with awesome activities like skiing and snowboarding at Kelso’s Glen Eden.

    Winter wanderers will love snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Pinehurst Lake, Crawford Lake, Mountsberg, Hilton Falls, Christie Lake, Valens Lake and Dundas Valley conservation areas. Crawford Lake also offers sunset snowshoe hikes for families and moonlight snowshoe hikes for adults every Saturday during the winter season.

If you are looking for more outdoor adventure inspiration, click here

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru December 31

Road to the Ridge: Taste of the Escarpment

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This tour is a 4.5 hour all-inclusive self-guided tour with all food, sips,...

September 1 - October 31

Pick Your Own Apples at Brantview Apples and Cider Farm

Brantview Apples and Cider Farm

225 Howell Road, St. George, ON, N0E 1N0

Dates: September 1st to October 31st Times: Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm, Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm

Now thru January 1

Woodland Cultural Centre – Virtual Museum Tour

Woodland Cultural Centre

184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON, N3T 5V6

Now thru October 20

Grand River Rafting: Paris to Brant Park (Self-Guided)

Grand River Rafting Company

119 Jennings Rd, Brantford

Date & Times: Various across Seasons and Days Price: Ranges from $40 to $100 depending...

Now thru June 26

Trivia Nights at Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

65 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON, L9H 0C1

Dates & Times: Every Wednesday (Unless otherwise), 7:00pm - 8:30pm Free but reservations are recommended

Now thru October 15

Grand Overnight Camping Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Dates and Times: Offered every day - book ahead! Price: Varies depending on boat choice

Now thru December 31

Brant Eats

Brant Tourism

31 Mechanic St, Paris, ON N3L 1K1

For your enjoyment all-year round!

Now thru November 15

Grand Experiences: Grand Voyageur

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Dates and Times: Offered every day, starting at 9:00am or 1:30pm - book ahead! Price:...

Now thru January 1

Museums Burlington Online Galleries

Joseph Brant Museum

1240 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington, ON, L7S 1C5

Now thru June 30

Winter Staycations in Brant

Brant Tourism

31 Mechanic St, Paris, ON N3L 1K1

Some winter activities but enjoy others all year round!

Now thru October 29

Grand Experiences: 4-Hour Guided Tour

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Date & Times: Every day, starting at 9:30am Price: varies depending on choice of boat

Now thru November 15

Grand Experiences: Big Creek Eco-Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Date & Times: Every day, starting at 9:00am Price: varies depending on choice of boat

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