Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hilton Falls, Ontario.

Hilton Falls is a nice little conservation area near the Milton, Oakville and Burlington area.
There are small ponds and lakes, and the park is part of the Bruce Trail system. Above the falls, which go over the Niagara Escarpment, is a plateau with a mix of mature forest and regrowth.
Here the water deepens and there are beaver, muskrat, as well as their dams and houses. A friend and I hiked up there one day in winter. A little snow on the ground brings out all the animal tracks. Now that spring is here, migratory birds will be coming through on their way north or to nest and feed for the summer.
There’s good parking down below, trails are marked, etc. Below the falls is really interesting. There is a rocky gorge with steep to vertical sides. On the north side is a cave that looks like an igloo cut in half, and detritus from falling rock obscures the bottom, which is likely formed much like an elbow noodle. It’s a tube in the rock etched by flowing water. My buddy and I sat in the thing and it’s a bit low in the headroom. There’s a similar cavelet up on Mount Nemo, (along the base of the cliff I mean) and that one we sat in and had our lunch while sheltering from a light drizzle.
On the south bank, a few dozen metres downstream from Hilton Falls, (which drop 10 metres) is a vertical shaft in the limestone, about three metres or ten feet across. It goes straight down to a heap of rubble, moss-covered and all different sizes and shapes, some rounded boulders and some sharp-cornered broken rock.
Along the trail there is a forest of conifers, I won’t attempt to label the species from memory but the whole impression is of a glowing ambience when the sun beats down. With the white water and the cliff in the distance, the place is well worth an afternoon’s adventure.
There are admission fees. All you need to plan a visit are located here. 
Upstream of the park lands is private property. The creek runs on rock, and the water is crystal clear, with lush bottom growth. When viewed from the road, it's worth a little cruise in the car.
More on Hilton Falls: Ontario Hiking website.

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