Kelso Conservation Area Hiking – Not Sure How I Feel About This One :)

Today we hiked 7km in Kelso Conservation Area located in Halton Ontario which is part of Conservation Halton. Kelso has numerous, well maintained, hiking and biking trails from easy to expert. The beautiful trails run through forested areas, rock crevices and lookout points to enjoy the beautiful cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.

Having hiked many parts of the Bruce Trail I am really not sure how I feel about the part of it in Kelso Conservation Area. Some of the bikers really need to read my Trail Rules, Tips and Etiquette blog as they wiz by you at top speed without letting you know they are behind you or passing you and can also be found on the Escarpment Trail which is clearly marked as a hiking only trail. These same bikers do not realize that the unstable ground and tree roots can easily make them lose their balance and place them in a dangerous situation along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment or rock crevices. There are a number of spots where caution tape has been places, but a better idea would be to block access to bikers to this area by maybe placing stiles or a gate which would make it harder for them to get through.

Aside from that, Kelso really is a beautiful conservation area, but don’t expect a quiet hike as the noise of the 401 can be heard throughout.

Check out the photos below …

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6 thoughts on “Kelso Conservation Area Hiking – Not Sure How I Feel About This One :)

  1. I can assure you the majority of the mountain bikers at kelso are aware of how unstable and un even the ground is. This is why we spend $2000 and up on mountain bikes that can help us navigate the “treacherous” trails of Kelso.

    Maybe you met some bad eggs on the trail, but most mountain bikers at kelso are friendly and call all their passes for their safety and the hikers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kevin

      Thanks for your comment ….. As I said “SOME” although yesterday there were a few and they were also going at a full speed coming towards us. I do realize that there are lots that follow the rules of the trails but when you encounter a few you end up being worried going around corners where a biker can be coming at you at full speed making it hard to enjoy the hike.

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  2. Interesting perspective on Kelso, I am glad to have read this.

    The comment I would have is that the “caution tape” is not actually caution tape, but markings for the weekly mountain bike race that is held at Kelso throughout the summer. It is one of the largest MTB races in Canada and is a weekly series of very skilled riders.

    I always slow down, and announce my presence to hikers. Most riders do, but it is always the few that can colour a group. Hopefully you get a chance to hike Kelso again, because it is beautiful.

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    • Thanks for the info Dave as I didn’t know that is why the caution tape was placed there. The tape we saw was placed in areas that can be seen as a dangerous part of the trail. I would suggest that the tape stays there all year round as I can see it helping other riders as well.

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  3. Couple things come to mind here; what may seem like a “biker approaching at full speed” is probably a biker who has already slowed down because he or she has already seen you. As a biker, it also makes no sense that someone would attempt to pass without somehow signalling their presence (in most cases it wouldn’t be possible).

    The other side of this coin is that Kelso has a LOT more trails that have been created, used, and honed by mountain bikers that are now swarmed by hikers due to the local population increase (even long before there were signs on those trails!). What was once a hidden cycling gem, is becoming a foot-traffic infested park.

    Kelso needs to start making certain trails directional, as well as more clearly signing hiking & biking only trails.

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    • Yes clarity is key for the safety of all, but I can assure you 3 of the bikers we encountered passing us did not signal us at all and we only noticed them in the last second.

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