On a sunny winter morning, we decided we needed to stretch our legs. Winter cabin fever was getting to us. So we headed to Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville, Ontario.
We had passed by the Reservoir on past travels – one sunny winter day a couple of years ago, my husband Frank suggested we do a quick visit there during a day of exploring country roads north of the GTA.
It’s a 332 hectare area, along the shores of the Orangeville Reservoir, managed by the Credit River Conservation Authority. As it’s not overly large and located outside of the immediate greater Toronto Area, many have not visited it, unless they live in the area.
Winter at Island Lake Conservation Area
Our visit was just after a fresh snowfall, and early in the morning. With the sun barely rising over the trees, we trekked on the trail towards the reservoir. Camera’s in hand, we were enjoying the beautiful morning light, perfect for photos.
We saw a few people with their dogs, or just taking a brisk morning walk on the trail. The Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail goes alongside the reservoir, and around it. We didn’t do the whole trail due to time, but got a taste of it while there.
The area is photo-worthy. Conifers mixed with hardwood trees, a number of wildlife species, both on land and in the water make their home here.
If you are lucky, you may spot deer in the winter. In the spring through summer, you can also spot raccoons, flying squirrels and porcupines among other wildlife.
There are several trails at Island Lake Conservation Area. The Maple Bush Trail takes you through a Maple and Beach forest. Meanwhile, the Memorial Forest Trail is supposedly excellent for cross country skiing. We may just need to dig out our skis for the next visit!
Since our visit was just a brief taste of what Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville has to offer, we plan to do a bit more exploring in the future.
What is so appealing about it is that it’s quiet and not visited by many. Its distance away from the immediate greater Toronto area means fewer people on the trails, and a more peaceful hike.
Island Lake Conservation Area should be on your Ontario travel bucket list and a consideration for a day trip from Toronto.
Island Lake Conservation Area
673067 Hurontario Street
Orangeville, ON L9W 2Y9
Admission price: $3 (children ages 6 to 12; seniors); $5 for adults spring through fall season. Off season (March 25-April 17 and October 27-Dec 31) admission is $5/vehicle self-service.