Looking for ways to help your family unplug and release some pent up energy this summer?

Hamilton makes it easy with these stunning trails - all easy to tackle and within minutes of downtown.

Add these six kid-approved hikes to your summer daytrip bucket list.

1. Waterfront Trail

Catch some rays along the Hamilton waterfront as you follow the paved trails west from Pier 8 to Pier 4 and onto Bayfront Park. Along the way, you’ll stumble on plenty of food options, places to stop and play, and photo-worthy landscapes. The paved paths are easy to follow.

Kids will love:

From the roller skating rink at Pier 8 (bring your own skates as rentals are temporarily closed), to the splashpad at Pier 4, to Hutch’s famous milkshakes at Bayfront Park – this hike is guaranteed to banish summer boredom.

Parents will love:

The green spaces and shoreline offer a peaceful break from the daily grind and lots of space for the kids to burn off some steam. If the kids get tired, hop aboard the open-air Hamilton Waterfront Trolley that travels the 12 km trail.

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2. Westfield Heritage Village

While the historic buildings at this living history museum remain closed, this 130-hectare site in the country is open to visitors looking for a charming, rural escape. The area is bordered by beautiful woodlands, meadows and trails, perfect for peaceful hikes.

Kids will love:

The vintage train permanently parked onsite is always a hit with young explorers.

Parent will love:

The 'wildly' popular African Lion Safari is just minutes away and open for drive-through experiences. Round out your daytrip with a visit they're sure to remember.

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3. Tiffany Falls

Enjoy a short but beautiful hike over bridges and streams through the forest with a great payoff in the end. After a short ten minute walk, you'll come to a 21-metre cascade waterfall with cliffs on either side. Please be sure to enjoy the view from the safety of the viewing platform. There’s access to the Bruce Trail for a longer hike, but the ease of visiting this beautiful waterfall is part of the charm for those looking for a short hike with no time for complaints.

Kids will love:

The cool bedrock surrounding the waterfall and the forested area made up of all kinds of trees. Make a game out of spotting species such as hemlock, sugar maple, and red oak trees as the waterfall tumbles into the ravine.

Parents will love:

The walk from the parking lot to Tiffany Falls is a quick 10 minutes, making the trip manageable with small kids. Post-hike, step into Ancaster Village for Purple Pony ice cream or some pastries and treats at Caniche French Bakery.

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4. Devil’s Punchbowl

Formed millions of years ago on the Niagara escarpment, this multi-coloured gorge is a fascinating history lesson in geology. Look over the cliff from above, or up from below – both offer fascinating views. The 11.5 km Dofasco 2000 Trail begins here and leads to the Vinemount Wetland swamp forest featuring several bird species.

Kids will love:

The unique colourful layers of rock that make up this deep gorge are unique and beautiful. They’ll love hearing how this was a result of multiple Ice Ages – now that’s cool!

Parents will love:

The 10-metre high steel cross that lights up nightly is a Hamilton landmark, plus the view of lower Stoney Creek is pretty awesome. Make sure to visit the Punch Bowl Market and Bakery for nostalgic toys, fresh produce, gourmet foods and unique gifts.

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5. Sassafras Trail

Accessible via McMaster University campus, the Sassafras Trail is part of Royal Botanical Gardens‘ (RBG) largest sanctuary, Cootes Paradise. The trail leads to the Sassafras Point Lookout as well as Princess Point, where you’ll find one of the two RBG canoe launch points.

Kids will love:

Spotting birds and other wildlife and skipping stones over the still waters of Cootes Paradise.

Parents will love:

Wander into the nearby Westdale neighbourhood and refuel after your hike with some delicious take-out or on a patio.

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6. Christie Lake Conservation Area

This lakeside conservation area has something for everyone in the family. Hiking here is easy on the eyes and on little feet, with more than 10 kms of trails that wind past meadows and towering forest.

Kids will love:

Cooling off with a swim in the lake and playing on the sandy beach.

Parents will love:

Pick up picnic items or groceries on your way home at some of the nearby farm stores including Mordern's Organic Farm Store or the Tiny Shop Bakery specializing in fresh fruit pies and tarts.

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