Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, Incredible Trails Near downtown Toronto

There is something for you to explore here year round.

An hour and 15 minutes drive from downtown Toronto, Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area is home to one of the most beautiful hikes in Ontario. There are 10km-long trails with five outlooks on the edge of towering cliffs, making it an ideal place for scenic viewing and hiking. There are three trails, including Vista Adventure Trail (1.5 km), Buffalo Crag Trail (3km) and Nassagaweya Canyon Trail. Only Nassagaweya Canyon Trail is not a loop, and a round trip is about 9.4km. This is also the most strenuous trail.

In this conservation area, you can spot cedar trees that are almost 800 years old. They have strong roots and grow on rocky cliffs, reminding visitors of Treebeard the Ent in Lord of the Rings. To preserve these ancient plants was one of the reasons this park was established.

The big trunk and the strong roots of the ancient trees look like they could be in a fantasy movie
The big trunk and the strong roots of the ancient trees look like they could be in a fantasy movie

In spring and summer, you can rock climb on the Niagara Escarpment. If you want to go camping with your friends and family, the park offers 17 group campsites. There you can contemplate the starry sky at night and roast marshmallows over a campfire. In summer, you might see turkey vultures floating in the sky at Buffalo Crag look-out point.

A turkey vulture at Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area.
A turkey vulture at Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area.

Fall is one of the best times for romantic souls to visit the park. From mid-October to November, people drive from far and near to observe the foliage. When it comes to autumn, amateur and professional photographers vie to capture colorful fall leaves. Vista Adventure Trail is an easy choice and beautiful enough for social media shots. Your furry friends can join in a walk with you, but must be on a leash.

Make sure to wear clothes warm enough to hike in the winter. Chickadees are adapted for the cold season and you may have a chance to see them during your walk as well as feeding them right from your hand. If you love adventure, give winter camping a try but make sure to plan beforehand. Sitting on white snow with your partner, relaxing and having a cup of hot chocolate would be one of a kind experience.

If you want to take a day trip from Toronto for some exercise that will improve both your physical and mental health, Rattlesnake Point Conservation is waiting for you to explore. Visitors are required to reserve a park visit in advance.

Contact:

Fees:

  • Adult (15-64) – $9.50 +HST
  • Senior (65 & over) – $7.50 +HST
  • Child (5-14) – $6.50 +HST
  • Child (4 & under) – Free

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