Sulphur Springs Trail
One of the best places to hike around Hamilton, in my opinion, is the Sulphur Springs Trail in Ancaster. It is part of the Dundas Valley Conservation Authority. The entrance is at 540 Sulphur Springs Road, in Ancaster Ontario.
As soon as you drive through the entrance, towards the parking area, you are taken back in time. A beautiful historic building sits at the entrance to the trail. Built around 1855, it was the home of the gatekeeper of the Hermitage, the mansion that was located on the property. Behind the Gatehouse is a small waterfall called the Hermitage Cascade.
Upon entering the trail you can go one of two ways on what is called the Main Loop. As its name indicates, it loops around the trail. What takes my breath away every time are the magnificent trees. My guess is that these trees may be at least 100 years old and some maybe older. It’s an enchanted forest. It is so peaceful. I used to take my kids here when they were younger and we would spend hours, never tiring of its splendor.
One of our favourite spots is the Sulphur Creek, which runs though the property. A small wooden bridge takes you over the creek.
The Sulphur Springs
Located just across from the Sulphur Creek is the Sulphur Springs. You know when you are getting close to the the Springs as there is a smell of rotten eggs or sulphur in the air. This water is suppose to have very therapeutic properties as it is very high in minerals.
Located on the trail are the ruins of the once grand building, the Hermitage, that was built in 1855 by George Gordon Browne Leith and his wife Eleanor. There was an original Hermitage, built in 1830, which was owned by the Reverend George Sheed. The history of the original home brings a tale of unrequited love and a suicide by hanging. When Leith purchase the property he built a stone mansion, many out buildings, barns and the Gatehouse. The building was eventually ravaged by a fire and all that is left is a shell of a building. The stonework that is left is amazing to see and explore.
There are Ghost Walks held at the Hermitage during the summer months.
Creepy Canada did an episode in 2010 about the Hermitage Ruins.
You could spend a whole day exploring at Sulphur Springs- so pack a lunch. You will want to take lots of photos too. It is a great place to spend time during any season.