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  HIKING TRIP: Crawford Lake/Rattlesnake Point Conservation Areas

March 18, 1999

Weather:
Morning: cloudy, grey skies, 2oC, very light snow flurries
Noon: 4oC max, cloudy, grey skies, snow flurries, quite windy

Journal:
Left Woodstock at 8:45 am. Drove the 401 to exit at Campbellville. Arrived at Crawford Lake Conservation Area at approx. 10:15. Paid the $4 admission fee. Took a quick look around the reconstructed Iroquois Village. It has two longhouses with lots of furs and things around, and even two old bitch bark canoes! Next, we took the "Crawford Lake Trail", an easy 1.4 km boardwalk around the lake. Then we took the "Woodland Trail" NE to a lookout overlooking the escarpment. Then we followed the Bruce Trail NW along the top of the escarpment, then steeply down, and continued SE along the bottom of the escarpment. Next, the trail cuts back across the valley and up the escarpment again. Then we followed the trail SE along the top of the ridge to Rattlesnake Point Conservation area. The distance between Crawford Lake and Rattlesnake Point is approx. 8 km and took us about 1:45 one way. These trails are all relatively flat except for the steep sections where it goes up or down the escarpment. At Rattlesnake Point, there are 5 Lookouts and lots of caves/crevices all along the edge of the escarpment. Once we got to Rattlesnake Point, we just explored the cliffs/caves along the edge of the escarpment. We had lunch at the campground at Rattlesnake Point. Lunch of sandwiches, granola bars and Mr. Noodle soup on the stove. (great warm-up) Then, we hiked the Bruce Trail NW back to the Blue Side Trail, which we followed SE down, across, and up the valley again, and back to the parking lot at Crawford Lake. This took us approx. 1 hour to get from Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake using this shortcut, as it avoids backtracking, unlike the first trail we took. During this whole trip we saw only two or three other groups of hikers, and they were all on the easy short trails at Crawford Lake. Other than that, we were completely alone the whole time. I assume that this would be different during the summer, as I'm sure both areas are quite popular, being so close to Toronto.
 
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