Nassagaweya Canyon Trail in Milton

No rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Point. The Timber Rattlesnake used to inhabit the Niagara Escarpment but by the late 1800’s it was mostly none existent and the last reported sighting was in 1941.

We made our daytrip in mid October.  No mosquitoes. Yay. Fall leaf colours are here.  Double Yay.

The 7.4-kilometre Nassagaweya Canyon Trail runs between Rattlesnake Point and Crawford Lake. We found the trail moderately difficult and well identified with bright orange markers. Our hike from Crawford Lake to Rattlesnake Point and back on the same orange trail took us approximately 2 ½ hours round trip. You can also start from the Rattlesnake Point side.

The trail crosses down and back up the Nassagaweya Canyon. At the bottom of the canyon a boardwalk spans across Limestone Creek and boggy low lands flowing through the canyon.

The pathway is rugged in some sections, covered with rocks and tree roots, steep climbs and descents making for a potentially challenging trek.

On our way we walked past the remnants of stone walls and foundations covered by thick layers of moss.

We came to an intersection indicating a bypass around a rocky section of the trail down into the canyon. Not having been here before and thinking why would you want to bypass around the intended trail,.. we chose the rocky path. It didn’t take long before the trail started to narrow and we soon arrived at the next leg down into the canyon. Ok, this really is the fast way down!? Not willing to turn around we continued down a narrow trail of large rocks, small boulders and mud. Once at the bottom we saw another similar sign indicating a bypass around this rocky climb. Yes, we agreed, no argument, on our way back we ‘d take the longer zig zag bypass route. I took a picture of the rocky trail down, unfortunately it didn’t provide a good visual reference. There was too much overgrowth near the trail.

The canyon’s limestone cliffs provide an ideal nesting place for Turkey Vultures.  They nest on the sides of the cliffs where in spring produce up to three eggs. The edges of the canyon cliffs provide protection for the nests from threats.  

We saw trees growing on top of large moss covered rocks with their roots creeping down the sides in search of nutrients.  

Cedar trees said to be in the range of 800 to 1000 years old grow throughout the park and from the cliffsides. Many other species of old growth trees everywhere, birch, oak, maple, spruce, pines, and more.

Some photos from Rattlesnake Point lookout

There are many other trails to be explored, for today we stuck to the orange trail and plan return visits to add more about our next trail adventure. Thanks for reading.

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