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rattlesnake-crawford-trail-guide

The boardwalk around Crawford Lake

 


TRAIL GUIDE

001 - 002 | 1.92 kmThis hike takes you from Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake and back by a different route. From the upper parking lot, walk towards the large welcome sign and map of the area and head left following the wide gravel trail to the edge of the Escarpment (Pinnacle Lookout). Here you will find a set of steps to the left that will allow you to descend to view the rock face. Often rock climbers can be seen scaling the rock face here. The Rattlesnake Point Side Trail with it’s blue blazes heads off to the right following the Escarpment edge. Along here you can stay on the side trail or investigate some of the side loops that take you closer to the edge (Nelson Lookout). The trail passes through some rocky sections as it begins to descend passing alongside a one metre high stone wall along the Escarpment edge. After a steep rocky descent, the trail passes some very deep rock fissures along the edge before arriving at the Nassagaweya Canyon Lookout, with it’s stone columns and wooden beams (002). Be on the watch for Turkey Vultures here. A resting bench and display panels are located here.

002 - 003 | 2.61 kmThe rocky trail continues along the cliff edge where some gnarled white cedars can be seen clinging to the edge. The trail passes another area of deep rock fissures as it continues downhill before making a climb up a rock-strewn hill. Passing through a rocky area of white cedar, the trail comes to a more challenging descent before coming out to a flat area below. A blue T marker on a tree marks the end of the Rattlesnake Side Trail where we meet the Main Bruce Trail with it’s white blazes (003). Continue straight ahead here along the main Bruce Trail.

003 - 004 | 3.53 kmThe trail continues through a sparsely populated mixed woods of beech, oak, maple and birch. Climbing a hill reveals an open area with a signpost and trail map. To the right there is a reforestation project begun in 1993 -red pine, white pine, white spruce etc. The main Bruce Trail goes off to the right heading downhill while our trail continues straight ahead on the Leech-Porter Side Trail (004).

004 - 005 | 4.33 kmHeading into a beautiful area of pine trees, the trail winds its way down into the Nassagaweya Canyon. At the bottom of the canyon, 150 m of boardwalk leads across a wetlands area and a small wooden bridge that crosses Limestone Creek. Climbing a slight slope at the end of the boardwalk, the trail passes another T mark on a tree indicating the end of the Jack Leech-Porter Side Trail (005). At this point the trail connects again with the main Bruce Trail. A few logs and a trail map make this a good rest area.

005 - 006 | 4.64 kmTake the white-blazed main Bruce Trail  to the right and almost immediately the trail swings left. (The trail straight ahead here is a dead end trail.) The Main Bruce Trail passes through a ravaged wet area before swinging left and beginning the strenuous climb up the rocky path of the canyon wall sure to get your pulse moving. At the top, the trail soon arrives at the beginning of the Crawford Lake Side Trail (006).

006 - 007 | 5.82 kmTake the Crawford Lake Side Trail straight ahead. Climbing uphill at the Y-intersection, take the more travelled trail to the left. The trail passes through a mixed woods of younger trees and heads south through abandoned farmland passing old foundations and stone walls along the rocky path.  There are large boulders and rock outcroppings throughout this area. At a T-intersection with a gravel road, to your right is the Crawford Lake Visitors Centre (007) and beyond it the Iroquoian Village. The centre has washrooms, a small cafeteria, vending machines and a gift shop.

007 - 008 | 6.66 kmGoing left at the T-intersection takes you downhill and at the next intersection, take the trail to the right which leads to Crawford Lake. A 750 m boardwalk leads you around the lake. When you come to the gravel trail again, leave the Boardwalk and take the path to your right with the blue blazes (008).

008 - 009 | 7.12 kmShortly the Bruce Side trail comes to an intersection where it meets the main Bruce Trail (009).

009 - 010 | 7.9 kmFormerly the trail headed left at this point and followed the white blazes of the main Bruce Trail.  However this section of the trail has been closed between (009) and (010) . Now rattlesnake_updateopat (009) the trail continues ahead following the C.A. Pine Ridges Trail through some pine forests, meadows and deciduous forests arriving at waypoint (010) by this longer route which adds 2.0 km to the hike. See map showing the x x x over the old route and the new route in black. Our new topo trail map uses this new reroute. There is the lookout at waypoint (010) and then the trail continues straight ahead from there. This wide gravel trail leads directly to Lookout Point where there are three interpretive signs to read about the area and Turkey Vultures. On many days turkey vultures can be seen swooping by at eye level. There is a resting bench here (010) and a great view of the deep valley canyon below which runs between the main escarpment and a large rocky outcrop which was once a part of the escarpment but became separated from it by the erosive actions of an ancient stream carrying torrents of of soil and debris released by the melting ice some 12000 -13000 years ago.

010 - 006 | 8.6 kmLeaving Lookout Point, the trail continues to follow the main Bruce Trail along the rocky edge of the escarpment. The trail passes through an area of extensive limestone erratics making the going a bit on the rough side before arriving back at waypoint (006).

006 - 005 | 8.9 kmTurn right on the main Bruce trail and head back down the steep rocky path climbed earlier. Soon the trail arrives at (005) where our route continues straight ahead on the main Bruce Trail.

005 - 011 | 10.2 kmSome welcome recent construction along this trail (2004), using wooden plank inserts, allows drainage water to flow underneath keeping the path dry. A fair number of ferns inhabit this wet area. At the bottom of the hill, the Bruce Trail meets an unopened section of Walker’s Line and swings to the left crossing Limestone Creek. This turn is easy to miss if you are not paying attention (011).

011 - 003 | 11.0 kmThe trail follows a small stone trailway and swings to the left of a rusty link fence along a 2 m wide pathway. The trail now begins its long long long but gradual climb up the canyon wall back to waypoint (003).

003 - 002 | 11.7 kmCatch your breath at the top of the hill and turn right to follow the Rattlesnake Point Side Trail back to the Nassagaweya Canyon Lookout (002).

002 - 001 | 13.5 kmYou can save some time and energy by taking some of the easier trails back or the road if you wish before finally arriving back at the starting point (001).

Enjoy the hike and the day!

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