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  SKIING TRIP: Hilton Falls Conservation Area

Saturday, January 20, 2001

When we arrived at the Conservation Area, the temperature was around -8oC. It got up to around -6 as a high. Skies were perfectly clear, with not a cloud in sight. Bright sun all day (which only happens when I forget my sunglasses of course!)

This was another trip with the University of Waterloo Outers Club. A group of 17 members travelled to the Hilton Falls Conservation area, which is just off the 401 near Campbellville. Directions and more information are available on the official website.

Our route started at the parking area, then followed the "Hilton Falls Trail" (yellow) to the falls and the picnic/campfire area. There, we stopped for a lunch break and to take a look around. There is a picnic table, fire pit and falls viewing area. It's quite a nice little spot, although it's not exactly natural, since there is a built railing to keep you from getting to close too the falls, and stairs over the escarpment. However, I suppose it's necessary to prevent further destruction of the area. Remnants of former mills at the falls are still visible, and there is a plaque with information about the 3 mills which were at this location in the past.

After exploring the falls and having lunch, I headed off down the Bruce Side trail to the south in search of the glacial "pothole". This is a large, circular hole carved into the rock by glacial action. It's worth a look! Unfortunately, many people decided it was a great idea to carve their names into the walls of the pothole, which, to say the least, makes me really mad. What are these people thinking? Don't get me started...

After lunch, we headed to the "Beaver Dam Trail" (orange). This is a nice 9.5 km loop that goes around a marshy area. The trail was reasonably flat, although it did have some hills and sharp turns. I went down on one, and scraped my arm up pretty good. It was nice and icy, so at least I can blame that :) After we complete the "Beaver Dam Trail" we joined the "Red Oak Trail" (red) and followed it around the Hilton Falls reservoir. Just before the trail passes over the dam, there is a steep hill. I decided to walk down the hill to avoid killing myself :) but others decided to entertain me by skiing down (or trying to!) No serious injuries resulted, but at least I got a good laugh! From the dam, it was a short ski back to the parking area, where we took a break and waited for the rest of the group to show up.

All in all the trails were pretty good, and the snow was fast, so it turned out to be a great trip!

For a map of the trails at Hilton Falls, check out my trail map. It's in .pdf format, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free) to view the file. You can download Acrobat reader from the Adobe website, located at http://www.adobe.com. If you're printing the map, make sure to select "Fit to Page", otherwise the map will take up more than one page. However, there should be no need to print the map, as the Conservation Area will give you a map when you get there.
  This page was last updated on July 6, 2003 at 12:18 AM