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Conservation Ontario Rattlesnake Point Canada

Halton region hiking trails near Milton Ontario

Conservation Ontario Rattlesnake Point is a good day trip in southern Ontario to this area near the Niagara Escarpment north of  Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Canada. Rattlesnake Point is separate from the Niagara escarpment, and located in Milton, Ontario. Walking trails connect from Crawford Lake Conservation Area with its reconstructed Iroquoian Indian village. It is west of Appleby Line between Derry and Steeles. From Highway 401, take exit 320 south. From the QEW, exit Appleby Line north - though this is a very steep hill. See google map amd drag and drop to design your preferred route.

Rattlesnake Point Halton Ontario Conservation Area orientation map new map board rattlesnake point

I took the southerly route, my usual route from Mississauga, along Derry Road West, turning north (right) on Appleby LIne (Oakville) until I came to the sign for Rattlesnake Point.

The road into the park has one very steep narrow section that made for some anxious moments.

I stopped at the gatehouse near the park entrance, paid my daily fee ($5.50 CAD) and drove the one-way only circular drive around the parking lot to park back near the entrance.

This is the closest access by road to the Point trail. There are campsites near this point.

Rattlesnake Point Hiking trail hiking trail conservation halton canada at rattle snake point

As I was on my own, I hadn't planned to do any long trail walks, but as always, I did carry water and a snack.

The trails are marked and colour coded, and when you pay your admission fee, you are given a brochure with a map.

This map describes each trail accessed from here, and tells you the distance.

Rabbit Run Trail, for example, is marked with blue signs; the brochure informs it begins and ends on the main road, past a goup campsite.

Group camping is availabale by permit only; Dogs are allowed in the park, but must be kept on a 2m (6 ft) leash at all times.

Ancient Cedar Old Growth Forest Rattlesnake Pointrattlesnake point conservation area halton ancient cedar tree in Park

Rattlesnake Point is on the northern boundary of Ontario's Carolinian forest zone.

This park contains several ancient white cedars, like this one in the picture.

Some trees are more than 400-500 years old, and 3 are even older.

Climbers may NOT use these cedars as anchors, and all trees, when used as support, must be wrapped to protect them.

Cedar Roots Vista Adventure Trail - Halton Conservation Area Vista Adventure Trail Rattlesnake point ontario canada

At this point, I was on the Vista Adventure trail that runs along the point at the top of the rock climbing wall.

Vista Adventure trail is 1.5 km (1 mile) long, and starts at the top of the staircase at Pinnacle lookout (picture below), runs west along Rattlesnake Point and then returns to the parking lot area via Rabbit Run trail.

The Lowville Valley can be seen in the distance; ancient tree roots can be seen at your feet.

Gnarled and competing for a bit of soil, these roots seem to have a tenuous hold. This area of Ontario is much shaped by glaciers, gone now some 12,000 years.

Forest Undergrowth Rattlesnake Point hiking trail conservation area rattlesnake point undergrowth plants

Where the sunlight filtered through the canopy, it highlighted the mossy, leafy forest floor.

Stick to the trails when you hike in this area - you never know what rare species you may be crushing.

These conservation areas are home to wildlife like turkey vultures, bats, raccoons, deer, foxes and porcupines.

Rock climbing groups must obtain a permit from the Halton Conservation, and sign and submit a waiver.

Nelson Lookout rock engraving ~ Rattlesnake Point Conservation Ontariorock carving at rattlesnake point conservation area halton ontario canada

Nelson Lookout is marked with this engraving in a stone rockface; It's the most westerly lookout.

From here, Vista Trail continues roughly westward to the Nassagaweya Canyon Lookout, where Vista trail (red sign) becomes Buffalo Crag trail (yellow sign).

Nassagaweya is an Indian word meaning either 'home by the maple forests' or 'a river with two outlets'. Pronounced just the way it's spelled, with the emphasis on the 'wey', it's also the name of one of Ontario's oldest townships.

Valley Views Nelson Lookout Rattlesnake Point Rattlesnake Point Nelson Lookout halton conservation ontario canada view from the point

The view from Nelson Lookout shows a typical midday summer view, with humidity and heat making smog soup in the distance.

From here you are looking southwest to the Burlington Hamilton area. (Summertime means smog time in southern Ontario.)

In the park, there's no alcohol allowed, nor are bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed on the trails.

Pack out any garbage with you, or place in park wastebin. Do carry water with you.

view from Pinnacle Lookout Rattlesnake Point Pinnacle Lookout Rattlesnake point ontario Canada

Pinnacle Lookout is between the other two lookouts at the point, and it's the one with the stairs going down.

All lookouts are a few minute's walk apart, all high atop the climbing rocks below.

This day, there was a film crew here producing an episode of The Adrenaline Project, an action-adventure reality style show featuring 14-16 young teens.

The film crew gear is shown in the photo, and passersby were asked to turn off cell phones, and speak softly, if at all, while they were taping.

Pinnacle Lookout Stairs ~ Rattlesnake Point  Conservation Arealookout stairs at Pinnacle

View from Pinnacle Lookout -- it's the one at the top of stairs, the middle one of the three.

With this area being used as a location for The Adrenaline Project, the general public were not able to access the lower trail.

Usually, when you go down these stairs, there is about a 100 yard walk to the base of rock climbing area. The lower trail at this point is very rocky with large rocks jutting out.

Rattlesnake Point is open year round at 8 a.m. but closing times vary by season. In July, when I was here, the closing time was 6 p.m.

A tour company based in Toronto Ontario offers one-day adventure tours, including rock or ice climbing at Rattlesnake Point -- see for details.

Rattlesnake Point ~ Upper trail ~ Hiking Ontario Upper Trail rattlesnake point conservation area halton ontario canada

These conservation areas are found throughout Ontario, and each one is a jewel of nature.

All of them have something unique about them, natural features worth preserving.

Halton Conservation administers 7 park areas. (see them all here).

I called Halton Conservarion, and asked staff if they knew how this park came to be named 'Rattlesnake Point'.

Although no one had the answer, I was assured that there were no rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Point.

BUT There is a rattlesnake . . .

Massasauga rattlesnake in Ontario

Massasauga and Mississauga sound the same, which causes some confusion.

  • Massasauga is the name of an Ontario rattlesnake (see info about this snake here).
  • Mississauga is the name of Canada's 6th largest city, to the west of Toronto, and takes its name from the Mississauga Indians.

More Ontario Canada pictures and information

See all Day Trips Ontario Canada including:

Iroquoian Indian village

Crawford Lake Conservation Area

Niagara Falls Ontario

Mississauga Ontario

Ontario Canada