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Where to start
The Chedoke Stairs are segmented into two lanes that provide plenty of space for you to enjoy the surrounding waterfalls and rugged cliffs. The 289 stairs of Chedoke, as well as the nearby Dundurn stairway, have little teeth on the steps for a more secure grip. But runners beware: these stairs are not maintained in winter months, and if you want to bring a furry friend along, be sure to protect their feet, as the teeth on the stairs can be a little rough.
The Dundurn stairs serve up 326 more steps. Compared to its stair-cousin, this secondary course has only a single lane (and no bicycle trough). The climb starts with several platforms, which are separated by stairs at the bottom, and then ascends with no interruptions from roads, trails or the elements. If you’re feeling tired after the Chedoke Stairs, this section is optional; when you reach these stairs you can turn around and go back.
Along the Hamilton Escarpment, you’ll have a chance to check out some waterfalls. Some, like the Chedoke Falls and Lower Chedoke Falls, will be accessible from the trail’s edge, but getting there can be tough. This mini-excursion off the Chedoke Radial Trail requires waterproof boots and added care, as there’s no designated trail and it’s rugged. You’ll reach the Lower Chedoke falls first, which are beautiful and may be enough of a challenge, especially after all the stairs.
If you just want to the see the falls, they are viewable from Scenic Drive.
Embrace the challenge
Whether or not you’re a runner, this stair circuit is a phenomenal workout and a fantastic way to connect with nature. If you really want an extra challenge, there are five sets of stairs total in Hamilton. Make a day of stair climbing and try them all for the ultimate workout.