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First of all, this is our very first blog post! We’re so happy that you have stopped by our travel blog to read about our adventures. We are Justin and Lauren, and we’re happy to share our travels with you.
Last week, we went for one of our first spring hikes in 2013 to Crawford Lake in Campbellville (Milton), Ontario. Crawford Lake is one of six Conservation Halton Parks in the Milton/Burlington region of southern Ontario. Crawford Lake is a rare meromictic lake with a boardwalk that completely surrounds the lake. It was possible to easily walk around the entire perimeter of the lake while still enjoying the natural forest surroundings.
Here is a map of where we walked, as shown in the green color. We started at the parking lot and walked past the Visitor’s Center. Then, at Crawford Lake, we encircled the whole lake using the boardwalk. From there, we walked down the Woodland Trail (red markers) and veered right down a section of the Bruce Trail. We walked south until we reached a main road (Guelph Line). As we didn’t want to walk further that way, we turned around and headed back. We continued along the Bruce Trail down the Escarpment Trail (yellow markers) towards the lookout. Lastly, we completed the Escarpment Trail loop back to where we started.
My goal is to slowly hike the entire Bruce Trail from Niagara to Tobermory (almost 900km in length). It just so happened that part of the Bruce Trail was at Crawford Lake. I’m sure we will eventually be back in this neck of the woods, but it was nice to hike even a small portion of the Bruce Trail that day. It was one small part of the journey that will help us reach our goal.
It was a beautiful day outside – ideal weather for a long walk. We were able to hike comfortably in jeans and sweaters without feeling too warm. It felt great to be away from the city, spending a day in the sunshine. The lake view was lovely. We took in the scenery while walking around the whole lake. There were various lookout points with informative signs posted about the lake and the creatures living around the area. The wooden boardwalk made the lake very accessible for anyone to go on a hike in the forest.
From the lake, we ventured off the boardwalk and down a dirt path called the Woodland Trail. We noticed some tiny flowers growing up from the soil – surely, one of the first signs of spring. We were among the only people hiking the trails that afternoon, despite it being a beautiful day. There were only two or three other people walking their dogs. The path was ours.
From the Woodland Trail, we continued along the Bruce Trail / Escarpment Trail to the lookout point. This was a view overlooking the escarpment and the valley below. There were tons of turkey vultures flying all around. They lay their nests in the rocky walls of the escarpment below. It was so amazing to see these huge vultures up so close. The hike continued along the escarpment edge for a while, with many impressive views throughout the walk.
At one point, we stopped in our tracks because we heard a commotion. There were several turkey vultures up in the trees right where we were walking. Speaking of animals, we also saw some squirrels, one raccoon, and a small family of deer. As we were walking along the rocky Escarpment Trail, Justin spotted one deer. We immediately stopped and kept silent. Another deer emerged alongside the first one. We watched them for a short while. The deer slowly retreated back into the forest, and met a third deer that was hanging out a bit behind the others. All three animals were so beautiful – the sight of them was breathtaking! It made our hike even more magical.
Want to learn more about hiking at this conservation area? Take a look at this guide to hiking Crawford Lake and all of the trails that you can experience there.