Grindstone Marsh Trail Hamilton

Grindstone Marsh Trail Hamilton

Thursday May 26 2011

Grindstone Marsh trail
A Trail For Everyone
The Grindstone Marsh Trail and Bridle Trail (north) and Bridle Trail (south) is at 680 Plains Road West on the border of Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario Canada. At  Plains Rd. West you go over Wolfe Island Bridge to RBG up from that from the York Street area is Beth Jacob Cemetery where you will find the Bridle Trail Loop.  The Bridle Trail is a short loop off the Hendrie Park Gardens, in Aldershot (Burlington).

Graffiti meets nature

The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper says, within the Grindstone Creek watershed you will find five provincially wetlands: Grindstone Marsh, Lake Medad, Medad Valley, Hayesland Swamp, and Flamborough Centre.  The environmental assessment in this area includes 85% of the streams in the Grindstone Creek watershed are designated small riverine management zones.  Nearly 14% of Grindstone Creek is intermediate riverine zone confined mostly to the main branch of Grindstone Creek.  Geographically, Grindstone Creek watershed is located north of Hamilton Harbour.

Sunrise Hamilton Harbour HDR2

The headwaters of this watershed originate near Harpers Corners in North Flamborough.  It traverses the Niagara Escarpment near Waterdown, and winds through Hidden Valley in Burlington before emptying into Hamilton Harbour and Burlington Bay.  Grindstone Creek Marsh and river mouth join Carroll’s Bay in the north-western corner of Hamilton Harbour.  At the  Bridge are trail signs posted at one end of the Boardwalk – Graindstone Marsh Trail and both Bridle Trails.  The trail winds through the centre of Grindstone Creek Marsh and crosses underneath Plains Road.   Here, you will find plenty of birds and waterbirds, such as, the Great Blue Heron.  Grindstone Creek winds its way through the center of the Grindstone Marsh Trail. This has labels of RBG, Trail System, Hendrie Valley – Grindstone Creek Marsh Trail.

Marsh Trail

Grindstone Creek originates above the Niagara Escarpment in Flamborough.  It drains an area of 90 square kilometres making it one of the main tributaries discharging into the northwest-end of Hamilton Harbour.  A 50 hectares Marsh (Grindstone Marsh) lies in Hendrie Valley where the lower end of Grindstone Creek flows.  This highly productive, shallow wetland is northeast of Cootes Paradise providing crucial spawning and nursery and adult habitat for many native fish as well as food and shelter for a variety of birds, mammals, amphibians and insects. The Stewardship of Grindstone Creek comes under the  Halton Conservation Authority Grindstone Creek Watershed Plan.  The Grindstone Creek Watershed occurs in the following municipalities:  Region of Halton, Region of Hamilton, Town of Dundas, Town of Flamborough, City of Burlington.  And the Burlington waterfront communities circumference includes eleven creeks, namely: Grindstone Creek, Falcon Creek, Indian Creek, Hagar Creek, Rambo Creek, Roseland Creek, Tuck Creek, Shoreacres Creek, Appleby Creek, Sheldon Creek,  and Bronte Creek.

Grindstone creek

A River runs under-it

It is evident at Grindstone Creek Marsh an invasive 16 ft. high plant is taking over the bullrushes.  The Wetland Planting Guide for Northeastern U.S. describes several species that are possibly invasive including Eurasion Watermifoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Flowering Rush.  Exotic plants are not native !  Their species are largely present because of intentional or inadvertent human activities.  Invasive refers to species that reproduce so aggressively they displace native vegetation resulting in a loss of floral and fauna habitats and species diversity.  A report by Andy Hagan, Environment Canada, Environmental Conservation Branch, Ontario Region said “Currently the science of establishing vegetation in Canada is in its infancy with limited long-term results.”   Part of the problem is there are few references describing the Canadian experience in wetland restoration.  The ecological restoration is the process of renewing and maintaining ecosystem health.


Source: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Environment Canada
By Jacqueline

Doug Worrall Photographer