Hilton Falls Conservation Area

Located on the Niagara Escarpment in Milton, the Hilton Falls Conservation Area is a large (645 hectares in size), scenic, wilderness area consisting of a variety of forest habitat types and wetland communities. The conservation area was established in 1971 and is owned and managed by Conservation Halton.

The forest within the park is one of the largest in southern Ontario. The diversity of habitat types found in and around the park results in a rich diversity of plants. Approximately 700 species of plants exist in Hilton Falls Conservation Area and its surrounding environs.

The area’s diversity of habitats also provides homes for an impressive number of animal species. More than 150 species of birds have been observed in the park including more than 20 species of warblers. The northern flying squirrel is only one of the 30 species of mammals recorded in this conservation area which is also home to 10 species of reptiles and 17 species of amphibians. A fish, the redside dace, considered a species at risk, also resides in the park. In and around this conservation area there are more than 80 species of plants and animals that are considered rare and more than 175 species that are uncommon.

Hilton Falls Conservation Area has been designated as a Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) as well as an Environmentally Sensitive Area and a Provincially Significant Wetland.

As you would expect, one of the conservation area’s most popular spots is Hilton Falls, a 10-metre-high waterfall. The scenic waterfall can be accessed via the Hilton Falls Trail. You can enjoy the view of Sixteen Mile Creek flowing over the rock of the Niagara Escarpment from an upper and lower viewing area. Interpretive signs provide information about the site’s history – and it has an impressive history.

During the 19th century three mills were built at this location including the first mill built by Edward Hilton in 1835. During the 1850s and 1860s two more mills were constructed here with both being lost to fire. Stone ruins from the mills still exist.

The beauty of the Hilton Falls Conservation Area can be enjoyed from its series of overlapping loop trails – more than 30 kilometres in total. Three of the trails are for hiking and cross-country skiing making this park a good one to visit in winter. There are 16 kilometres of cross-country ski trails in this park.

Our family has enjoyed this park in January where we cross-country skied to the falls on the Hilton Falls Trail. This trail was well packed so it was also good for hiking. After reaching the falls we removed our skis and enjoyed the view of the frozen falls and the creek downstream from the viewing areas.

Directions: From Highway 401 go north on Highway 25 to 5 Side Road (Campbellville Road) and then west on 5 Side Road (Campbellville Road) to the park’s entrance.

Website: www.conservationhalton.ca/hilton-falls

Review

Our family has enjoyed this park in January where we cross-country skied to the falls on the Hilton Falls Trail. This trail was well packed so it was also good for hiking. After reaching the falls we removed our skis and enjoyed the view of the frozen falls and the creek downstream from the viewing areas.

– Glenn Perrett, Mulmur, Ontario