In the Crawford Lake/Rattlesnake Point area there are several walks of various lengths and difficulties. Most of them have great views that merit carrying a camera. For avid hikers, especially those who have an interest in biology and geology, it is hard to separate these two conservation areas from one another. My favourite loop is from Crawford Lake to Rattlesnake Point and back (or vice versa) with a round trip distance of about 16 km. First, something about an outlier.
What is an Outlier?
In its geological use, the word "outlier" refers to a portion of stratified rock separated from a main formation by erosion. Many years ago a channel was cut through the escarpment in this location. On the east side of that channel is the Milton Outlier. Today part of the channel is known as the Nassagaweya Canyon where Limestone Creek (43.479705,-79.945028) flows.
The image below shows the Milton Outlier on an outdated topographic map.
The image below shows the Milton Outlier in Google Earth.
Another depiction of the Milton Outlier.
Conservation Halton Website & PDF Trail Guides
As I prepared this Crawford Lake & Rattlesnake Point Walks web file in late fall 2013, Conservation Halton
was reformatting its website. Some of the updated PDF trail guides and maps
are available online. The Conservation Halton Hiking web page provides a summary of hiking possibilities at the various areas.
Hdere are links to:
a) PDF trail guide of Crawford Lake and b) PDF trail guide ofRattlesnake Point.
Crawford Lake/Rattlesnake Point Hike Options
Crawford Lake C. A. is located at 3115 Conservation Rd, Milton, ON (43.471982,-79.950907) on the main Niagara Escarpment west of the Milton Outlier. Crawford Lake is a meromictic lake located in Crawford Lake Conservation Area. There is a 15th century reconstructed Iroquoian Village and the staff offer education programs for schools & groups. The main entrance is located at coordinates 43.466843,-79.953423 at the intersection of Guelph Line and Conservation Road (formerly Steeles Ave East) - Google Maps Streetview. For more information check the Crawford Lake C. A. website. Crawford Lake C. A. contains various trails that range from a 1.4 km loop around the lake on a boardwalk (great for families with young children) to longer and more challenging walks if one wishes to hike within Crawford Lake or walk from Crawford Lake to lookouts at Rattlesnake Point C. A. and back (~ 16 km).
The Rattlesnake Point C. A. is located at 7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON (43.471967,-79.911808) on the Milton Outlier (see "outlier" notes above). There are five lookouts (Buffalo Crag Lookout, Nassagaweya Lookout, Nelson Lookout, Pinnacle Lookout and Trafalgar Lookout) along the edge of the cliffs and about 12 km of trails.
- Crawford-Rattlesnake 16 km walk information - 4 pages (PDF)
- Crawford Lake C. A. Trails - schematic in nature, 1 page (PDF)
- Crawford Lake Trails Map - 2 page PDF
- Crawford Lake C. A. Trails available from the Bruce Trail Conservancy
- Rattlesnake Point Trail pamphlet - 2 page PDF
- Rattlesnake Point Trails Map - may be outdated, 1 page (PDF)
- Lookout Landmarks Diagram for Rattlesnake Point - 1 page (PDF)
- Image of Nassagaweya Canyon trail junctions - (JPG)
16 km Trail in Google Maps
Map Images and GPS Tracks for Download
The following two screen captured images show the track in Garmin's Map Source using Topo Canada maps (outdated) followed by Google Earth. Below the last image you will find the various tracks for download.
The image below shows the 16 km walk (red).
The green segments depict the main Bruce Trail coming in from Mt Nemo into Crawford Lake and out of Rattlesnake Point continuing on to Kelso. The red sequence 002, 003, 004, 005, and 007 to 010 is also the main Bruce Trail (white blazes). The sequence 007, 008, 009 is the Rattlesnake Side Trail of the Bruce Trail (blue blazes).
CLICK HERE for LARGER IMAGE