Written By: Robin Ashton, Marketing Specialist
There’s something about hitting the trails during this time of year that makes living in this part of the world so special. The sight of majestic colour palettes, the sound of leaves underfoot, the scent of crisp autumn air, the feel of warm wool sweaters… are all part of what many call a “quintessential fall experience.” This weekend provides many opportunities to activate your seasonal senses with the start of Conservation Halton’s Fall into Nature festival. It runs at all seven of our conservation areas on October 4 and 5, and continues over Thanksgiving weekend, October 11 to 13.
Thanks to the Niagara Escarpment, there are many different vantage points in many of the parks from which to enjoy the autumn foliage with spectacular lookouts. Look for “Scenic Lookout” markers and follow them to some of our most popular scenic lookout points. Remember to pack your camera to capture that perfect portrait with friends or family.
Some event highlights from each park are below.
Crawford Lake feels like taking a step back in time. It is located south of Campbellville off Guelph Line. The reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village provides a glimpse into the area’s past. Rustic longhouses, tools and animal hides help you imagine what life was like for Ontario’s First Peoples. Check out the now open Deer Clan longhouse and be sure to catch the First Nations dance performances on October 4 and 5, and Chief Topleaf on October 11-13. Take a stroll on the accessible boardwalk that surrounds the quiet waters of the rare meromictic lake.
Follow Appleby Line north, just north of Derry Road to Rattlesnake Point, which has some of he most inspiring natural vantage points found in the area. The Pinnacle and Buffalo Crag lookouts offer expansive views of the countryside and bold rock faces. The beauty of this location even helped inspire an impromptu wedding ceremony at the 2012 Fall into Nature event! Introductory rock climbing sessions will be available all five days, and be sure to check out the Halton Forest Festival on October 4 and 5, which will offer exciting activities such as lumberjack shows, archery, and tree climbs.
Located on Cambellville Road, just east of Guelph Line, Hilton Falls is a wooded oasis with a beautiful 10-metre waterfall inside. With 33 kilometres of trails to choose from, Hilton Falls is a veritable hiker’s heaven. Autumn is a great time of year to visit, when the area is ablaze with a fiery colour palette. Hilton Falls offers fantastic mountain bike trails for beginner to expert. Bring the family for a wagon ride through the woods on October 4 and 5.
Kelso is an outdoor playground with excellent hiking and mountain biking trails. It is located just west of Tremaine Road and south of the 401. Take a chairlift ride up the Escarpment and hike out to two marked lookout points along the Escarpment edge. You might recognize the view from this Pan Am/Parapan Games commercial. Visit on October 4 from 11:30-1:30pm to meet PACHI, the official mascot of the Games. The kids will also enjoy reptile shows and getting their faces painted by our favourite clown, running all five days.
Located on the border of Hamilton and Milton (about five minutes west of Cambellville on Milborough Line), Mountsberg is home to some of North America’s most majestic birds of prey including owls, eagles and falcons. For those of you who are all about pumpkins this time of year, Mountsberg is the place for you. Learn all about them through the educational Pumpkin Passport to Discovery, use your imagination in carving the perfect jack o’ lantern, and explore the pumpkin patch. Hop on a wagon ride through the bison compound and watch some traditional country dancing.
Mount Nemo is situated in one of the most pristine cliff ecosystems on Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment. And it’s located right off Guelph Line, a little south of Britannia Road. Our recommended scenic lookouts are the Brock Harris Lookout and North Loop Lookout (exercise caution with this one as there is no retaining wall). On a clear day, you can see as far as the CN Tower!
Fall Into Nature is perfect for friends and family alike to explore Halton Parks and dive into Nature. Make the day into a road trip to Halton Region, ride a chair lift at Kelso, and sign up for a photography workshop at Mountsberg. Maybe you’ll discover a family tradition to visit every year to view the beautiful autumn colours.