Hamilton's Big Melt: Trail conditions may be slippery

Some trails are closed as the city undergoes a major thaw after this week's deep freeze. Here is an update from the authority on list trail conditions.

City of Hamilton issues flood warning as snow and ice melt

Hamiltonians endured the coldest Jan. 7 ever in the city on Tuesday, as temperatures plunged to around -24 C. People on King St. did everything they could to bundle up in the record cold. (John Rieti/CBC)

The Hamilton Conservation Authority is advising the public of trail and conservation area closures due to rising water levels caused by warmer weather melting the ice and snow. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 9 C with a combination of 10 to 30mm of rain. Here is an update from the authority on list trail conditions: 

  • Trails at Webster’s Falls and Tews Falls have been inspected and all are open except for the Glen Ferguson side trail of the Bruce Trail which runs parallel to the trail that leads from Tew’s Falls to the Dundas Peak.
  • Spencer Adventure Trail is closed
  • The Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail is open from Dundas to Old Highway 99, but closed from Old Highway 99 to Highway 52
  • Dundas Valley Conservation Area trails from Martin’s Rd east to Old Ancaster Road are generally open. McCormick Trail north of Highway 99, Governors Rd has not yet been inspected
  • Dofasco Trail has not been inspected yet. Boardwalk section is closed
  • Trails on south side of Christie Lake Conservation Area and all trails at Valens Lake Conservation Area are expected to be open next week depending upon the amount of tree fall
  • Westfield Heritage Village trails have not been inspected yet
  • Eramosa Karst Conservation Area trails open
  • The trail conditions are currently snow and/or ice covered. With the warmer weather conditions and rainfall forecast for the weekend, all trails are likely to be very slippery if not impassable Conditions should improve once additional snowfall covers the ice that is expected to be exposed and formed due to the weekend’s thaw

Other areas:

  • Ponds and lakes that presently suitable for skating should be considered off limits after the rain starts this weekend. Water levels will rise and currents may weaken ice near inlets and outlets of water bodies. Gate staff will be able to provide day to day information to the public by phone or in person seven days a week. Ice fishing is open at Valens. Heated washroom facilities are available in all conservation areas. City staff and the conservation authority continue to monitor water build up
Crews are working proactively to clear catch basins and inspect flooding hot spots across the city.- Kelly Anderson, Hamilton public works

The city also provided some tips on how homeowners can prepare ice melt over the weekend.

  • Keep catch basins clear of snow, ice and debris and uncover fire hydrants near your home
  • If your home has a backwater valve installed on the sewer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to ensure that it is functioning properly
  • Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly
  • If your home or area is prone to flooding you may want to consider ensuring any valuables are up off of basement floors
  • Keep your eaves troughs clean. When your eaves troughs are blocked, the rain will pour over the edges landing on the ground next to your home. If you have cracks in the concrete wall of your basement or problems with your weeping tile, this water could enter your home


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