Do you live in the GTA? Looking for some new and interesting places to hike? Have car,will travel?
A couple of weeks ago we had this really great window of weather for March. I think it actually made it up to 16 degrees Celsius. Crazy, I know. But I took the opportunity for a hike and a picnic lunch.
Knowing there’d be nothing green in sight, I wanted a trail with views. And since Kelso was still a ski resort, Hilton Falls it was.
Do you have any idea how many waterfalls there are around Hamilton, Ontario? And all over the Niagara Escarpment? Whaaaaaat–never heard of the Niagara Escarpment?? It’s this ridge of stone that runs from Niagara Falls all the way to Tobermory. This ridge of stone has created huge cliffs, thousands of caves, and dozens of waterfalls–spectacular hiking!
So Hilton Falls Conservation Area is in Milton. See the official website HERE for their schedule, activities, and entry fee. It’s a short 45-minute drive west from Toronto across the 401, and from out east of the city were we are.
The park was hopping on this day! The parking lot was full to bursting! This is an incredibly popular picnic spot…at the campfire area by the falls…
…but there are plenty of picnic tables throughout the park. We took a wandering route through the Red Oak Trail around the reservoir, hiked up the Beaver Dam trail up to where it joins the Five Bridges Trail, and stopped for lunch right around “F” on the map. In between the beaver dams and the fast-flowing rapids down two rivers, there’s a picnic table in the woods. So we decided to have lunch there. We had passed only a few people despite how busy the park was–it appears that everyone sticks to the Five Bridges Trail out to the campfire ring and the waterfalls. But while we were eating our lunch, we started getting dive-bombed by chickadees…
This must be the spot where all the kids camps stop to feed the chickadees. No problem. I had packed dehydrated nut-and-chia cookies.
We literally ate with one hand held up high over our heads.
So, what does a keto-paleo peep like me pack on a picnic lunch in the late winter? Why, leftover pizza, of course! Check out my favorite fast keto pizza crust here! Mine was totally loaded down with GF pepperoni, chorizo sausage, olives, two cheeses, and hot peppers. Totally delicious.
We had Zephyr (the paleo-pooch) with us, too–and she ate dehydrated chicken. though if you asked her, it wasn’t enough and we should ave shared our pizza and nut-cookies, too.
So after lunch, we wound our way through a zig-zagging route along the Five Bridges trail. If you asked me, I’d say this trail is woefully mis-named. I counted 8 bridges along our route, some over winding creek, some over heavy and fast flowing river–and I’m pretty sure Zephyr was counting, too–she used the bridges and didn’t swim across the muddy water (thankfully), but absolutely resented the open wood slats on the low bridges…
This trail was incredibly rugged with dozens of cool places to check out weird rock formations–not for walkers with strollers!
Worst selfie ever? Sadly, not.
All things considered, this was an awesome hike, even when outside is nothing but grey and dead matter, there are still beautiful things to see.
Location: 4985 Campbellville Road, Milton ON
Distance from Greater Toronto Area: about 1/2 hour
- Hilton Falls Trail = 4km
- Red Oak Trail = 3 km
- Beaver Dam Trail = 9.5 km