This weekend, Joe and I took on our greatest hiking challenge yet: the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail. The trail connects Rattlesnake Point and Crawford Lake parks by leading you across the valley between them. The Conservation Halton website lists the trail as 7.2km one way — except you have to go back, too! It’s also the only trail on Halton’s roster with a “Difficult” rating. After all the hiking we’ve done over the past couple of years, and with a beautiful weekend ahead of us, it was time to take the plunge.
My first piece of advice would be to check the internet for any events at your destination parks. We arrived at Rattlesnake Point early, around 9:30am, and there was already a lineup to get to the toll booth! It turned out there was a big trail race that morning throughout Rattlesnake, so the park was closed to the public until noon. We’d have to start our hike across the Nassagaweya Canyon from the other side at Crawford Lake.
Once we finally got on the trails, we had a great time. The weather was perfect, and we descended the escarpment into dense, green forest. A few areas had raised wooden bridges across wetlands, but the paths were mostly dirt, rock, and roots. There were a couple of extremely rocky sections that we decided to traverse. If you’re not as adventurous, don’t worry! Signs along the way clearly indicate how to bypass the rocks.
Then came the tough part: trudging back up the other side and onto the Milton Outlier, home of both Rattlesnake and Kelso. At this point, we accidentally joined the tail end of the Five Peaks trail race, which followed a similar route back into Rattlesnake Point. We tried to stay out of the runners’ way!
We turned around after a quick snack break at the lookout on the Vista Adventure trail. The views at Rattlesnake Point are definitely worth taking in! On the way back, we took the Bruce Trail route that doubles back on itself at the bottom of the valley. There were tons of bugs down there, but the flowers and trees were really lovely. (Make sure you bring bug spray, sunscreen, and tissues if you have allergies!)
In the end, hiking the Nassagaweya Canyon trail took us three hours, including our little pit-stop, and covered around 15km. If you’ve got a few hours and decent weather ahead of you, I would definitely recommend this route to the ambitious hiker. Looking forward to more great (and long) hikes in the future at Conservation Halton parks!
Where do you love to hike?