Along Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area is located near Milton in Halton region, about an hour drive from Toronto. Despite its name, there are few snakes here – the name originates from the meandering path cut by glaciers in this part of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The nearby Kelso and Hilton Falls areas, managed by Conservation Halton, also exhibit many of the geological characteristics of the Escarpment – limestone caves, exposed cliffs, and waterfalls.

This is a popular area for rock climbing and hiking. There are numerous trails that criss-cross the park, and many of them connect to the longer Bruce Trail that runs from Niagara to Bruce Peninsula. Last weekend, some friends and I decided to explore a 18-km hiking trail – a loop from the park trailhead to adjacent Crawford Lake and back, tracing a path along the cliff edge of the escarpment. This was in preparation for a 10-day excursion in the Canadian Rockies we’ve planned for this summer. In other words, we better get in shape, and fast!

Crawford Lake Conservation Area is located next to Rattlesnake Point, and one of its main attractions is a reconstructed Iroquois Indian village based on archeological findings in the area. The site offers interpretive programs of Iroquoian life and culture in several large traditional longhouses. At the lake itself, a boardwalk has been constructed around the circumference, making this a popular family destination.

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