Hilton Falls Conservation Area in winter is a magical place – snow-covered, still and for the most part very quiet. At the beginning of January 2010, Frank and I had our first hiking date on a chilly, sunny and snowy day at Hilton Falls Conservation Area near Milton, Ontario. We fondly remember me ensuring his ears were warm by pulling up his hood; my frozen toes and the consequent goosing he got from a tree branch when trying to put on a second layer of warm socks on my feet.
Our recent visit had a similar atmosphere – a crisp, slightly windy day, lots of snow and sunshine. The difference was, I was wearing proper snow boots with thick, warm lining.
Visiting Hilton Falls Conservation Area early in the morning after a good snow fall is the best time to witness the beauty of winter landscapes. Taking a moment to stop walking and just listen to the birds, the sound of creaking trees and the whistle of the wind among the pines is something we normally don’t do. At one point of our hike through the snow, Frank stopped me and said “Listen.” I took a deep breath and enjoyed the silence.
A few tips for enjoying a walk through Hilton Falls Conservation Area in the winter:
- Get there as early as possible – later in the morning it can get busy on the trails with families, people walking their dogs, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing enthusiasts.
- Ensure you have proper footwear that has good treads and warm lining. The walk to the falls is about 4 km, so you want to be dressed warmly and with good traction on the snow covered trails.
- Do bring some hot chocolate and snacks to enjoy by the fire that’s located at the Hilton Falls. Remember – what you bring in you must bring out with you. There are no garbage cans for your refuse and littering just ruins the landscape and environment.
The conservation area is one of many in the area with great winter hiking trails close to Toronto – it takes about one hour’s drive on a weekend morning from downtown Toronto to the Conservation Halton parks.
For more information as to park entrance fees and times of operation, visit the Conservation Halton – Hilton Falls page.
I took the opportunity to take photos from our visit – I hope they inspire you!
Location: Hilton Falls Conservation Area is located at 4985 Campbellville Sideroad, Milton, ON, about one hour drive from downtown Toronto.