Cyclists riding on a trail in the woods - a man on a bike, a girl on a bike, and a girl ahead of them on a scooter or rollerblades. A trail sign is visible beside them.

With over 70km of natural trails, Brantford is the perfect destination for hiking and cycling enthusiasts. The serene Grand River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, weaves its way alongside our beautiful trail system providing the perfect backdrop. Your options are endless as The Hub of Ontario Trails connects you to Hamilton, Paris, Port Dover, Cambridge, and beyond.

Trail Access Points

While there are many points in the city in which to access the trails, there are some that are easier to access than others, including:

Visit the main City of Brantford website for more information on our trails, including a map with all of the access points.

Trail-side Attractions

There are many places to stop and see on your adventure along the trail system. Some notable attractions include:

Popular Trails in Brantford
A woman rides a bike away from the camera, on a paved trail in the woods. A trail map is visible next to her, with a small sign on it that says "Grand River Loop."

Image credit: Tony F Photography

Gordon Glaves Grand River Loop – 15.6km

A popular route to explore Brantford. This loop has access points from multiple locations, offering several options for parking. This is great for a bike ride (approx. 60-90 minutes) or a long walk (approx. 3.5 - 4 hours). Some sections of the route are paved and the rest is gravel. A large portion of it is right along the Grand River so you can enjoy some beautiful views.

Brantford to Mount Pleasant Nature Park – 17.4 km

Walking or biking this route utilizes the LE&N and TH&B Trails which would meet up right after the Mount Pleasant Nature Park to go all the way to Port Dover if continuing on. This route can start with TH&B trail all the way to Mount Pleasant Nature Park. To make it a full loop, this route takes the LE&N trail back for some different scenery.  Start at D’Aubigny Park for a good sized parking area and seasonal porta-washrooms. The TH&B section is paved and the LE&N section is gravel.

Gilkison Flats – under 5km

A nice small area to enjoy trails by the river. Can be a very short loop or you can take your time exploring the area. Great for a nice hike or walk, or a short bike ride. Parking can be found near the Steve Brown Sports Complex. The main trail can be found towards the trees and the river across the street. This could also be a great addition to make a route longer, as it does overlap with some of the main trails.

S.C. Johnson Trail to Paris – 11km

A route that follows the Grand River to Paris, Ontario. This trail can then continue on the Rail Trail from Cambridge to Paris. The two trail access points in Brantford include:

Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail – 32km

A fully gravel trail. This route starts in the east end of Brantford and goes all the way to Hamilton. The route can also be extended more into Brantford continuing on the trail going west. There are a few different points on the trail that is recommended to start this route. Depending on where you start it could vary the distance slightly. The main trail access points in Brantford include:

  • Beach Rd.
  • Greenwich St.
  • Mohawk Park – Washrooms available
Major Trails Systems

There are several trail systems that travel through Brantford, with many sections being part of the Trans Canada Trails. Some of the key routes in Brantford include:

  • Brocks Route – This trail travels all the way from Port Dover to Hamilton, making its way through Brantford. This is the route Sir Isaac Brock took during the War of 1812.
  • LE&N Rail Trail – Following the former LE & N Electric Rail Car route, this trail comes through Brantford and continues on through Mount Pleasant and all the way to Port Dover.
  • TH&B Rail Trail – On the former path of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Rail Line, this trail goes from Brantford to Mount Pleasant and links with the LE&N trail all the way to Port Dover.
    Trail Mix

    Explore Brantford’s beautiful trail system while listening to curated playlists by local artists with Trail Mix, a new program from Tourism Brantford. Trail users can look for the Trail Mix signs posted on the kilometer markers along the Hardy Rd. trail entrance spanning 10 kilometers to the River Road/Dike Trail intersection.

    Using your smartphone, scan the QR codes on each sign to gain access to free curated albums featuring three songs per playlist, performed by 21 local artists in a range of musical styles. Residents and visitors are invited to explore Brantford’s beautiful trails while listening to the sounds of local artists and share their experience on social media using the hashtag #BrantfordTrailMix.

Grand Valley Trails

The Grand Valley Trail Association maintains several groomed hiking trails in the Brantford area. Please note that these trails are NOT maintained by the City of Brantford. The below is provided for information only. 

403 Loop – 3.5 km

This trail starts at the Powerline parking lot, which is west of Oak Park Road north of Highway 403. It is a 3.5 km loop going to Highway 403 and back on two routes. Enter the south end of the Powerline parking lot, pass the three rocks and take the white blaze trail to the Highway 403 crossing, then cross the bridge, turn immediately right at the blazes and follow the trail to the junction of the Blue trail. At the junction, turn right and follow the trail which goes along the side of a hill which allows you to see the Grand River in the winter, then continue back to the parking lot. This is a great summer trail as you are in heavy woods and it is cooler on sunny days. It is a single line trail – it has no big hills and undulates along the river bank. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here, or view this hike on All Trails

Big Creek Run – 6.6 km

This 6.6 km round trip trail begins at either 197 Middleport Road or just north of Big Creek on Big Creek Road. Parking is available on the side of the road at each location and look for the GVTA signs and white blazes. There are no highways or major roads nearby so this trail is perfect for a peaceful escape. You will not encounter many hikers but will share the trail with beavers, muskrats, deer, turkeys and foxes that frequent the area. You can also start in the middle of the trail at the southern dead end of Mulligan Road off Highway 54. When starting here, walk west 1.4 km to Middleport Road, or walk east for 1.9 km to Big Creek Road. Starting at Big Creek Road, walk along the stream and the farm field for about 900 m and turn right at the big bridge. Look here for the tree stumps left by the beavers that live along this stretch of the creek. Continue on the trail for about 100 m and veer past the large pond on the right. About 450 m farther, the trail turns right and continues to Mulligan Road. Cross the road and follow the white blazes through the forest, along the creek and past the farm field to Middleport Road. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here, or view this hike on All Trails

Blue Heron Trail – 3.2 km

This 3.2-km return trail starts at the end of Kramers Way which is a dead-end road that begins at Oak Park Road, south of Highway 403. It is generally considered a moderately challenging route due to a few hills along the way. It takes an average of one hour to complete. From Kramers Way, follow the S.C. Johnson Trail for about 700 m and at the gate-post with the Blue Heron sign and the GVTA sign, the trail goes down the hill for about 300 m and turns right onto the trails. Do not continue all the way down the hill. The trail continues on to the Grand River and meets the big oak tree and a stone fireplace. The hike can be made longer by going up or down by the river. Interesting note: some of the trees in this area are the same as in South Carolina. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here.

Grand River Trail – 11 to 20 km

The trail starts at the Powerline parking lot that is west of Oak Park Road north of Highway 403. The trail starts at the south end of the parking lot, follow the blue blazes to the lower trail where you will see the Grand River and meet up with the main trail just south of Highway 403 - or follow the white blazes to cross Highway 403 and immediately turn right and go down to the Grand River. Follow the Grand River until you come to the pedestrian crossing and then follow the S. C. Johnson Trail to the right and continue to follow the Grand River. You may wish to consider using a two car set up. If you park the car at Wilkes Dam, it is 11 km. If you park behind 312 Grand River Road, it is 14 km. If you park at the foot of Scarfe Road, it is 16 km. Finally, if you park at the Lions Park on Gilkison Road, it is 20 km. There are excellent views of the river, its islands, downtown Brantford and wildlife on this route. For more information on the hike, view it on All Trails.

Oak Bank Farm Loop – 6 km

The trail starts at the Powerline parking lot that is west of Oak Park Road north of Highway 403. The 6-km loop offers a wide range of bushes and trees to enjoy. When leaving the Powerline parking lot, head north about 200 metres to the turn-off sign for GVTA, then follow the trail through the woods with high views of the Grand River. Do not miss the garlic leeks growing by the trail! The trail passes a wooden stile, crosses a creek on a stone causeway and runs through meadows to the end of a field. The trail then offers low views of the Grand River and continues to Curtis Ave. At Curtis Ave, the trail runs north through wheat fields and turns right on S. C. Johnson trail and then back to the Powerline parking lot. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here.

Tutela Heights Trail – 4.8 km

The entrance to this trail is at the gate on the north side of Tutela Heights Road opposite 125 Tutela Heights Road. Parking is also on the large gravel area on the south side of the road. This is a 4.8 km return route that starts in a pine forest with a very soft surface of pine needles and meanders and undulates along the high banks of the Grand River, part of a corn field and then in the woods again around a field. It takes about one hour 30 minutes to hike but you will want to allow more time to enjoy the great high views of the Grand River. This is also a very quiet trail as there are no heavy traffic roads nearby. Lots of deer, turkeys and foxes have been seen in the woods around the field. It is also possible to go down the hill and explore the lower levels by the river. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here, or view this hike on All Trails

Waterworks Walk – 6 km

This 6 km round-trip forest walk along the Grand River begins at either Wilkes Dam at Dufferein Street or at the parking lot behind 312 Grand River Ave. Parking is available at either location. If starting at Wilkes Dam, cross over the bridge, turn left and follow the canal until the right-hand turn sign. At the sign, cross over the S. C. Johnson trail and down the hill back into the woods and along the Grand River to the Grand River Road end. There is a large limestone rock at the end of the walk. If starting at Grand River Road, turn left at the limestone, go down the hill and follow the blazes to Wilkes Dam. The deer are known to not be too shy in this area. If you have a water dog they will enjoy jumping in the river as the trail is close by in some places. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here.

Westcast Loop – 5 km

This trail starts at the Powerline parking lot that is west of Oak Park Road north of Highway 403. The 5-km trail is a single lane well-groomed trail that is undulating and curvy with no big hills.

Enter the south end of the parking lot between the three rocks, then take the blue blazed trail down the hill. Take the first trail on your left, at the blue blaze, and this takes you along the river bank under Highway 403 to a large oak tree and fireplace.

Turn left on the Blue Heron trail and then take the second left turn and follow the blue blazes. Just before you reach the S. C. Johnson trail, turn left back to the blue trail by the river and return to the parking lot. There are pine woods, cedar woods, hardwoods, and great views of the Grand River. A great trail for sunny days as it is mostly tree covered and cool. For parking details and more information on the hike, check here.