This trail, located in Waterworks Park, can be accessed off Grand River Ave. near Sunset Ave. The parking lot is beside the Brantford PUC and Bus Garage Building. This section of the trail is a 6 km loop that is easy to walk and cycle. Waterworks Park has numerous interconnected trails and paths with a variety of surfaces. Accessed from the parking lot, the main trail (which is part of the Trans Canada Trail) is on top of a dyke built by the GRCA in response to the flood of 1974. The trail, which has wonderful views of the Grand River, is made of tar and chip and leads 3 km to the Wilkes Dam.
From Wilkes dam the trail returns along a dirt path beside the intake canal for the Water Treatment Plant. Care should be taken while on this path. In spring, the hard-packed dirt section of this trail may be muddy and difficult to traverse. There are side trails branching off the main trails, especially in the last two km.

We would also direct you to read our DISCLAIMER and our TRAIL USERS CODE.

Nearby towns and cities:
Trail feature tags:


Length: 15 km
Difficulty: Moderate (Trail classifications)
Trail surface: Compacted soil/hard packed and Natural
Trail use: Hiking
Wheelchair accessible
Accessibility Notes: Wheelchair accessible
Fees: None reported

Flora & Fauna:

The variety of habitat along the Gordon Glaves Pathway includes a conifer area, mixed deciduous, coniferous and grassland forest mix. Carolinian species are also present to add variety to the forest cover. The area between the trail and river is floodplain and there is also an area with a wide variety of wild flowers and other plants. There is a portion of remnant prairie habitat adjacent to the trail where big blue stem, prairie dock and flowering spurge can be seen. Be sure to look at ground level from time to time to benefit from the area’s full offering.

Birding along the trail will be rich during all seasons. One of the major birding features of this trail is the top-of-dyke section where the treetops are closer to eye level. This makes it much easier to spot top foraging species such as warblers and flycatchers, and treetop perching species such as Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager.
Many migrants will pass through in spring and fall, both through the forest cover and along the riverbank adjacent to the Grand Valley Trail (GVT) footpath that runs adjacent to the Gordon Glaves Pathway in this area. This is located in the floodplain and in winter and spring the GVT can be quite hazardous.
In spring and summer, the resident forest birds will include a variety of insect eating warblers such as the Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Nashville, Magnolia, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat. Wood Thrush and Veery, House Wren, and Great Crested Flycatcher have been identified. Baltimore Orioles are also regularly observed. Cardinals and Blue Jays are year round residents.

A grand variety of water birds can be seen from the river’s edge. Mallards, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls and the ever present Canada Goose are the more common year round inhabitants. The sometimes-unpopular Double-crested Cormorant is sometimes seen in summer, as is the occasional Great Egret. A small winter population of Trumpeter and Mute Swans is sometimes observed. Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead add to the late winter inhabitants, along with the occasional Wood Duck. Migrants include a number of shore birds. Common in the summer are Kingfishers and occasionally Green and Night Herons.

Raptors are present in the area, including Northern Goshawk, Cooper’s, Sharp-shinned and predominantly Red-tailed Hawks. Occasionally the keen-eyed observer will see Peregrine Falcons or Northern Harriers. Ospreys inhabit this reach of the river in summer, although no nesting sites have been observed in the immediate area. Bald Eagles are regular winter residents from early December to mid-March. The Turkey Vulture is an ever-present summer resident.

Great Horned Owls, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, woodpeckers such as Downy and Hairy are also common. Flickers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been observed. Bird counts in the area have exceeded 75 species, so not all of the possible species are contained in this listing.

Amenities: None reported.

City of Brantford

Find it: 379 Grand River Ave, Brantford, ON

GPS Coordinates (main trailhead):
Latitude: 43.1400000
Longitude: -80.2963890