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Spencer Gorge to reopen September 19 … but you need to RSVP

Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, which includes Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls, will reopen September 19 with an advance reservation system in place for a 2-hour hike experience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the overwhelming popularity of hiking to the Dundas Peak in the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, Hamilton Conservation Authority has instituted an online reservation system. From September 19 – November 15, 2020, conservation area visitors and HCA membership pass holders, will be required to make a reservation prior to their visit.

HCA Chairman Lloyd Ferguson notes that “Given the high number of visitors from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that wish to come to Spencer Gorge, we need to change our visitor management approach to a reservation system like many other organizations have done during this pandemic. HCA was unable to run the shuttle bus service this year, due to safety concerns for visitors around physical distancing and sanitizing of the bus. This move to a mandatory reservation system will manage visitor numbers for physical distancing and provide a safe and equitable way to enjoy a hike in the area.”

Reservations are made for 2-hour blocks, starting at 9 AM, 12 PM and 3PM both weekdays and  weekends.Separate advance reservations are required for each area, so visitors will choose either the Dundas Peak &Tew Falls hike experience or the Webster Falls hike experience.

Admission fees will be $10 per car and $5 per passenger, plus a $10 reservation fee. HCA membership passholders will receive free admission, but will be required to pay the reservation fee to book. Bookings are rain or shine and must be made online in advance. Plan your hike at least a day ahead as visitors without advance reservation will not be permitted entry. No walk-up or drive-up entry will be admitted without advance reservation.

Municipal Parking Bylaw Enforcement staff will be patrolling the neighbourhoods surrounding the areas to enforce parking restrictions, including tow away zones. Parking tickets in Special Enforcement Areas carry a $250 fine.

All visitors should follow guidelines and measures posted onsite which include:

• Practice physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other users.

• Follow directional arrows on loop trails.

• Remain on marked trails.

• Stay behind fences and barriers.

• Pets are permitted, but must be leashed at all times.

• Pack out what you pack in, do not litter.

Reserve online at https://conservationhamilton.ca/spencer-reservations/

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