• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

Boardwalk over wet area


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Hike Info

N43.469520 W079.913590

About 13.5 km - now 15.5 km with 009-010 change-see map.

4.0 - 4.5 h


296 m

Rolling hills with a few steep ascents.

Rattlesnake Point: $6.25 for adults, $5.00 for children, and $5:25 for seniors; no fee to walk to Crawford Lake if you do not use the facilities. Gate opens at 8:30 am.

Crawford Lake: Washrooms, snacks, soft drinks, ice cream, gift shop. Rattlesnake Point: Basic outdoor washroom; picnic facilities

Around grounds outside the Crawford Lake Visitor Centre -picnic tables.

16 Nov 2004, 20 Sep 2008

Not wheelchair accessible; pets allowed on a leash

Trail at (009) - (010) closed and rerouted -see Trail Guide

No significant shortening if you want to get to Crawford Lake. With two cars you could do the walk one-way.

Various lookout points; rock climbers; canyon boardwalk; Crawford Lake and boardwalk around the lake; Iroquoian village

X-country skiing; snowshoeing



The Site

Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake

The limestone cliffs of Rattlesnake Point are a dramatic part of the Niagara Escarpment and overlook the Lowville Valley which is drained by Bronte Creek providing some spectacular views. The hike crosses the Nassagaweya Canyon  and Limestone Creek as it heads towards Crawford Lake with its historically accurate recreation of a 15th century Iroquoian village. A 750 m boardwalk trail leads around the meromictic lake (a deep, narrow lake lacking oxygen in its lower layers).

Staircase at Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point has some excellent hiking trails and the walk along the edge of the escarpment is peaceful and not too challenging. The views are really amazing and add to the enjoyment of the outting. At the beginning of the trail, at the southern most point of Rattlesnake Point, there is a staircase that allows one to climb down to the base of the escarpment (see photo above). Here, some caves can be found, and the steps provide a good point of view of the cliffs and some of the climbers practicing their climbing skills on the cliffs. Climbing can be done on the cliff face at various points where anchors can be seen along the rim of the cliffs. Along the cliffs you can watch soaring turkey vultures glide through the Nassagaweya Canyon riding on the updrafts.

Big boulders, cliffs and caves are in ample supply but can be well hidden in some cases, so some exploaration may be required.

The pristine blue waters of Crawford Lake have drawn people to its shores for hundreds of years. The rare lake, with surrounding boardwalk, is nestled in lush forests atop the stunning Niagara Escarpment, where visitors can watch soaring turkey vultures glide through the Nassagaweya Canyon.

The Crawford Lake Conservation Area is a natural environment park that is managed by Conservation Halton. The 468 hectare park includes unique geological features, extensive forests and a rare meromictic lake (layers of water that do not intermix.)  The conservation area has significant natural habitat with a wide diversity of flora and fauna and approximately 19 km of nature trails. Due to the sensitive nature of Crawford Lake, biking on park trails or swimming, boating or fishing in the lake at any time is prohibited.

commentWhat's best to me about the Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake hike is the dramatic limestone cliffs of Rattlesnake Point, loved by legions of rock climbers, the hiking across the Nassagaweya Canyon where turkey vultures glide the canyon drafts, and the wooden boardwalk around the pristine waters of Crawford Lake that have drawn visitors and hikers alike for many years. This hike is a favourite one and never ceases to please.

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Comments (1)
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I recently did this hike (October 2022). It was my 7th time doing the Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake loop. My previous six visits were in the spring or summer. I've always enjoyed this route, but this time the scenery was stellar with the...
I recently did this hike (October 2022). It was my 7th time doing the Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake loop. My previous six visits were in the spring or summer. I've always enjoyed this route, but this time the scenery was stellar with the fall colours.

Also, this was my first time in those seven visits following the exact itinerary from TorontoHiking.com. There are all kinds of variations that can be done in order to shorten or lengthen the route.

Reservations are now required in order to visit Rattlesnake Point (and several other Conservation Halton locations). These can be booked at https://www.conservationhalton.ca/parks/rattlesnake-point/. Unfortunately the reservations are only available in three hour time slots. It would be difficult to complete this itinerary in three hours, but you can book two consecutive slots.

I like doing the Mount Nemo Conservation Area hike right after (L26 on this site). It's only a ten minute drive away, and adds another five kilometers to the day. On a clear day, you can see the CN Tower in the distance.
Peter Albert
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