Hike Ontario Fact Sheet
Best Walking in Conservation Areas
The Regional Conservation Authority system provides numerous opportunities for pleasant short and medium-length walks for the entire family. The trails are generally multi-use, but sometimes offer more rugged sections when long-distance trails run through them. This Fact Sheet lists conservation areas with over 15 km of trail.
For Conservation Authority contact information and a map of locations, refer to list at the end of this Fact Sheet.
1. ALBION HILLS CONSERVATION AREA (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority)
Albion Hills Conservation Area is located on the Oak Ridges Moraine, at the headwaters of the Humber River, north-west of Toronto. The 27 km of hiking and skiing trails pass through a good variety of scenery: there are hills, streams with little bridges, meadows and wooded areas; there is even a lake and swimming beach. There are five trails in all, ranging from 2 to 9 km. A flock of wild turkeys make their home here. The conservation area is on Hwy 50, 10 km north-west of Bolton. The Humber Valley Heritage Trail passes through the area. Camping in summer.
2. KORTRIGHT CENTRE FOR CONSERVATION (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority)
The Kortright Centre is Canada's largest environmental education centre. Located in the City of Vaughan, just 10 minutes north of Toronto, Kortright offers 16 km of hiking trail for you to enjoy throughout the year. You can explore forests and meadows, follow the boardwalk through a marsh or take in the scenery from a lookout. There is a diversity of ecosystems within the 800 acre park including a river valley, marshes, meadows and forests, as well as a visitor centre, green energy exhibits and more! Also offered are guided walks, special events and education programming throughout the year. (905) 832-2289, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kortright.org.
3. CRAWFORD LAKE AND RATTLESNAKE POINT CONSERVATION AREAS (Conservation Halton)
Crawford Lake is a natural environment park with local woodlands, significant Niagara Escarpment Cliffs, a reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village and a small jewel of a lake. An interpretive centre near the main gate at Crawford Lake has information on trails, picnic sites and other features of Halton Region's escarpment parks. There are 14 kilometres of trail, including a section of the Bruce Trail linking Crawford Lake to its adjacent park, Rattlesnake Point. To reach Crawford Lake from Hwy 401, take the Campbellville exit and follow Guelph Line south. From the QEW, take Guelph Line north. Turn east on Steele's Avenue. No camping.
Rattlesnake Point has 5 km of trail ideal for short forest walks or skiing. The area is located on the Milton `outlier', a detached part of the Niagara Escarpment, rising majestically some 91 metres above the surrounding countryside. Skilled and experienced rock climbers may challenge the sheer limestone cliffs at designated sites. The Conservation Authority protects buffalo in a compound which can be seen from the trail system lookouts. To reach Rattlesnake Point from the 401, take Hwy 25 south, then Steeles Avenue west to the Appleby Line and south 3 km on the Appleby Line. From the QEW, take the Appleby Line north. The conservation area is 1 km north of Derry Road on the top of the escarpment. Camping for groups or for through-backpackers only; permits must be ordered from the conservation authority a week in advance.
4. DUNDAS VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA (Hamilton Region Conservation Authority)
Dundas Valley has over 35 km of trail lying within a horseshoe of the Niagara Escarpment and opening onto Hamilton Harbour and Lake Ontario. The trails cross every conceivable habitat in the valley and offer great scenery and interesting history. The Dundas Valley Trail Centre is open on weekends throughout the year and is an authentic reproduction of a Victorian railway station. The centre provides trail maps and other information and has picnic tables, a food concession, and displays highlighting the Valley's natural and historical features. From the QEW, take Mohawk Road West; turn right on Hwy 2; left on Hwy 8; left on Governors Road (Hwy 99) to the main entrance of the conservation area. No camping. Accessible from the Bruce Trail.
5. DALEWOOD CONSERVATION AREA (Kettle Creek Conservation Authority)
The 16 km Dalewood walking trail winds through 318 hectares of greenbelt, north of St. Thomas. The trail loops around Dalewood reservoir and then follows Kettle Creek to Dan Patterson Conservation Area. From the trail one can see many types of hardwoods, as well as pine plantations, walnut groves and wetlands. Dalewood has a number of campsites along the trail and one lookout point. A sidetrail links Dalewood to the Elgin Hiking Trail. From Hwy 401 at London, take Wellington Road south to Country Road 52; turn right after one concession to reach the park entrance. Camping in summer.
6. FANSHAWE CONSERVATION AREA (Upper Thames River Conservation Authority)
Fanshawe Conservation Area has four colour-coded trails totalling 15 km in length. There are pine and spruce plantations and many deciduous trees including black willow, black cherry, aspen and hickory. The Yellow trail follows the lakeshore and passes the Pioneer Village. The Blue Trail is an interpretive trail. Great Horned Owls and up to 50 White Tailed Deer have been seen in the park. From London take Hwy 4 for 3 km, then take Hwy 22 east to Clarke Side Road. Turn south on Clarke Side Road 1.5 km to the park entrance. Camping in summer. Accessible from the Thames Valley Trail.
7. GANARASKA FOREST CONSERVATION AREA (Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority)
Within 4,000 hectares of the Ganaraska Forest lies an extensive trail system on forest trails and logging roads. Twenty percent of the trails are preserved strictly for hiking, while the remainder are multiple use. Trails vary in length from 1.5 km to 30 km. Hiking is for members of the forest only. Daypasses and memberships may be obtained from the Conservation Authority. Detailed forest trail maps can be obtained at the Ganaraska Forest Centre. From Hwy 401, take Hwy 115 to Campbellcroft, Ontario. Group camping only. Accessible from Ganaraska Hiking Trail.
8. GOODRICH-LOOMIS CONSERVATION AREA (Lower Trent Conservation)
The Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area has 208 hectares of land and includes a 2 km stretch of Cold Creek. The Conservation Area has 18 km of trail. Eighty percent of the trail winds through wooded area, the rest through open fields. There are a number of different types of tree within the park, including Eastern White Cedar, Balsam Fir, Red Oak, and Hemlock. The area is known for its substantial population of the pileated woodpeckers. Along the trail, markers provide information about the flora and fauna within the park. To reach the park from Trenton, follow Hwy 30 for 5 km, then travel 3 km north on the 7th Concession of Brighton Twp. No camping.
9. GOULD LAKE CONSERVATION AREA (Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority)
Gould Lake Conservation Area has 1,455 acres of wilderness on the Canadian Shield and contains the headwaters of Millhaven Creek. Gould Lake has approximately 15 km of trails running through rolling and rugged terrain. The Rideau Trail (Rideau Trail Guidebook Map 11) runs through Gould Lake Conservation Area. From Kingston go north 18 km to Sydenham, then follow signs for 8 km to the conservation area. No camping.
10. HILTON FALLS CONSERVATION AREA (Conservation Halton)
There are 16 km of hiking trails and groomed cross-country ski trails at Hilton Falls. The main Bruce Trail goes through this area as well as the `blue' side trails. Named for the picturesque falls where the Sixteen Mile Creek tumbles over the escarpment, Hilton Falls contains the ruins of Edward Hilton's mill built in 1835. Hilton Falls preserves the unique and sensitive natural resources of the property and features Halton Region's largest forest complex, wetlands, beaver meadows, limestone potholes, and an abundance of wildlife. Starting from Hwy 401, take Hwy 25 North to Regional Rd. 9, go west on Regional Rd. 9 for 6 km. Starting from the QEW, take Guelph Line North, through Campbellville to Regional Rd. 9 (just north of the 401); go east on Regional Rd.9 for 4 km. No camping.
The 1052 hectares of land just south of Sudbury provides varied opportunities for the hiker. The five trails, totalling 25 km, give hikers relaxing walks through wooded areas as well as demanding hikes that require a minimum of five hours to complete. Guidebooks are available on request from Nickel District Conservation Authority. From Hwy 69, take Paris St. north; turn right at Ramsey Lake Road, and then right at South Bay Road. No camping.
12. MACAULAY MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION AREA (Quinte Conservation)
Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, containing 172 hectares of diverse woodlands, features a steep eastward escarpment rising 30 to 40 metres above the local terrain. The area has three trails totalling approximately 15 km. A unique feature of the conservation area is the wide variety of birds. The area also boasts a mature Carolinian forest and a large stand of eastern hemlock. There are a few campsites along the trail. From Picton follow Union St. to County Road 8. The conservation area is just past the town limits. No camping.
13. VANDERWATER CONSERVATION AREA (Quinte Conservation)
There are three trails (15 km) that explore a wide range of natural environments from mature cedar forests in the low-lying areas to hardwood and coniferous forests that cover the slopes and high ground. A steep ridge runs the length of the property and several spots along the trails afford scenic views of the land towards the west. There is a 1 km nature interpretive trail, the `Cedar Trail', that begins just south of the demonstration pond. The trail intended for hikers and field naturalists loops through mature cedar and hardwood forests. It is well marked and has several wooden boardwalks over the wet areas. Take Hwy 37 north from Belleville to Thomasburg. The conservation area is three km east of Thomasburg. No camping.
14. WARSAW CAVES CONSERVATION AREA (Otonabee Conservation Authority)
This unique area contains many interesting physical features, including caves, kettle formations and the Indian River Valley. There are three trails totalling 15 km. East of the four kettle formations is the lookout point with a spectacular view of the Indian River Valley; many wildflowers can be observed along the trail. The cave system is extremely long, with seven caves and approximately 400 metres of underground exploration. All the caves can be accessed from the trails. East of Peterborough follow Hwy 7 to Country Rd. 134, north to Country Rd. 4 and east to Warsaw. North of Warsaw, follow signs to the Conservation Area. Group camping only.
15. WILDWOOD CONSERVATION AREA (Upper Thames River Conservation Authority)
Wildwood Conservation Area has 18 km of trail that will take you through rolling hills of coniferous plantations, quiet deciduous forests and scenic views of the reservoir. The trail is marked by orange blazes of the Avon Trail and starts and ends at the Sutherland Visitors Services Information Centre. The trail winds through many sites of old homesteads and overgrown roadways. In addition to the Wildwood Loop trail, there are five other short trails. All the trails are accessible from the main entrance which is 5.6 km east of St. Marys on Hwy 7. Camping in summer.
ONTARIOS CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES
For a map identifying the boundaries of the following Conservation Authorities, visit http://www.conservation-ontario.on.ca/profile/consareas.htm
AUSABLE BAYFIELD CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. #3, Exeter, ON, NOM 1S5
(519) 235-2610 FAX (519) 235-1963
CATARAQUI REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 160, 1641 Perth Road, Glenburnie, ON K0H 1S0
(613) 546-4228 FAX (613) 547-6474
CATFISH CREEK CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. #5, Aylmer, ON N5H 2R4
(519) 773-9037 FAX (519) 765-1489
CENTRAL LAKE ONTARIO CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
100 Whiting Avenue, Oshawa, ON L1H 3T3
(905) 579-0411 FAX: (905) 579-0994
2596 Britannia Road West, R. R. 2, Milton, ON L9T 2X6
(905) 336-1158 FAX (905) 336-7014
CREDIT VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
1255 Old Derry Road West, Meadowvale, ON L5N 6R4
1-800-668-5557 FAX: (905) 670-2210
CROWE VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
70 Hughes Lane, Box 416, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0
(613) 472-3137 FAX (613) 472-5516
ESSEX REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
360 Fairview Avnue West, Essex, ON N8M 1Y6
(519) 776-5209 FAX (519) 776-8688
GANARASKA REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 328, Port Hope, ON L1A 3W4
(905) 885-8173 (905) 885-9824
GRAND RIVER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
400 Clyde Road, Box 729, Cambridge, ON N1R 5W6
(519) 621-2761 (519) 621-4844
GREY SAUBLE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. 4, OWEN SOUND, ON N4K 5N6
(519) 376-3076 (519)371-0437
HAMILTON REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
838 Mineral Springs Rd. Box 7099, Ancaster, ON L9G 3L3
(905) 525-2181 FAX: (905) 648-4622
KAWARTHA CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
277 Kenrel Park Road, R. R. #1, Lindsay, ON K9V 4R1
(705) 328-2271 FAX: (705) 328-2288
KETTLE CREEK CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. #8, St. Thomas, ON N5P 3T3
(519) 631-1270 FAX: (519)431-5026
LAKEHEAD REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 3476, 130 Conservation Rd., Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5J9
(807) 344-5857 FAX: (807) 345-9156
LAKE SIMCOE REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 282, 120 Bayview Parkway, Nemarket, ON
(905) 895-1281 FAX (905) 853-5881
LONG POINT REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. 3, Simcoe, ON N3Y 4K2
(519) 428-4623 FAX: 519-428-1520
LOWER THAMES VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
100 Thames Street Chatham, ON N7L 2Y8
(519) 354-7310 FAX: (519) 352-3435
LOWER TRENT CONSERVATION
441 Front Street, Quinte West (Trenton), K8V 6C1
(613) 394-4829 FAX (613) 394-5226
MAITLAND VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 127, 93 Marietta Street, Wroxeter, ON N0G 2X0
(519) 335-3557 FAX (519) 335-3516
MATTAGAMI REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
100 Lakeshore Road, Timmins, ON P4N 8R5
(705)-264-5309 FAX (705) 268-6544
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 268, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
(613) 259-2421 FAX (613) 259-3468
NIAGARA PENINSULA CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
250 Thorold Road West, 3rd Floor, Welland, ON L3C 3W2
(905) 788-3135 FAX (905) 788-1121
NICKEL DISTRICT CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Civic Square, 200 Brady St, Sudbury, ON P3E 5K3
(705) 674-5249 FAX (705) 674-7939
NORTH BAY-MATTAWA CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
701 Oak Street East, North Bay, ON P1B 9T1
(705) 474-5420 FAX (705) 474-9793
NOTTAWASAGA VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. #1, Angus, ON L0M 1B0
(705) 424-1479 FAX (705) 424-2115
OTONABEE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
250 Milroy Drive, Peterborough, ON K9H 7M9
(705) 745-5791 FAX (705) 745-7488
(Moira River, Napanee Region and Prince Edward Region Conservation Authorities)
RR#2 2061 Old Highway #2
Belleville, Ontario K8N 4Z2
(613) 968-3434 FAX (613) 968-8240
RAISIN REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box429, 6589 Boundary Road, Cornwall, ON K6H 5T2
(613) 938-3611 FAX (613) 938-3221
RIDEAU VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 599, 1128 Mill Street, Manotick, ON K4M 1A5
(613) 692-3571 FAX (692-0831
SAUGEEN CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
R. R. #1, Hanover, ON N4N 3B8
(519) 364-1255 FAX (519)-364-6990
SAULT STE MARIE REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
1100 Fifth Line East, R. R. #2, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6A 5K7
(705) 946-8539 FAX (705) 946-8533
SOUTH NATION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Box 69, 15 Union Street, Berwick, ON K0C 1G0
(613) 984-2948 FAX (613) 984-2872
ST. CLAIR REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
205 Mill Pond Crescent, Strathroy, ON N7G 3P9
(519) 245-3710 FAX (519) 245-3348
TORONTO AND REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
5 Shoreham Drive, Downsview, ON M3N 1S4
(416) 661-6600 FAX (416) 661-6896
UPPER THAMES RIVER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
1424 Clarke Road, London, ON N5V 5B9
(519) 451-2800 FAX (519) 451-1188