Hilton Falls Conservation Area, one of eight Conservation Halton Parks in the Halton Region west of Toronto, can be visited year-round to see the falls and explore the trails.
Most recent update: September 30, 2023
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About Hilton Falls Conservation Area
Hilton Falls Conservation Area on the Niagara Escarpment (a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve) is open year-round and is a beautiful place to spend some time outdoors. The 645 hectare park might be known for its 10 metre waterfall, however, there are also 33.5 kilometres of colour-coded trails in a series of overlapping loops available for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.
We haven’t tried geocaching here, however, there are apparently some hidden around the park. You can find more information about geocaching in Halton parks on the Conservation Halton website.
The trails at Hilton Falls are suitable for hiking with kids and are pet-friendly as well, however, dogs must be kept on leash at all times.
How To Get to Hilton Falls
Hilton Falls Conservation Area is located at 4985 Campbellville Road north of Highway 401 in Milton, Ontario west of Toronto.
The park is open Monday – Sunday 9am – 7pm (generally in May – October). Park hours vary by time of year – check the Conservation Halton website for details.
Planning a Visit to Hilton Falls Conservation Area
Reservations are not currently required for visiting Hilton Falls Conservation Area but are recommended. If you book online, you can reserve your spot and save money on gate fees. Gate attendants are on duty Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm at all Halton Conservation Parks with the exception of Mount Nemo. On weekends gate attendants are staffed daily.
Reservations are rain or shine, however, changes can be made up to 1 hour prior to your scheduled visit. Refunds can be issued up to 48 hours prior to your visit.
Tips for Hiking at Hilton Falls
- When hiking at Hilton Falls or anywhere else, arrive suitably prepared for spending time outdoors.
- Be sure to wear appropriate footwear as the trails may have obstacles such as rocks and tree roots and will be affected by recent and current weather conditions.
- Bring water with you. If you’re hiking with kids then you will definitely want to bring along snacks as well even for a short hike.
- Stay on the trails at all times and do not cut new trails.
- Exercise caution on the trails (and supervise young children). The cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment can be hazardous and quite slippery when wet.
- If you’re able to visit on a weekday then you will find the area around the waterfalls much quieter than on weekends.
Hiking Trails at Hilton Falls
There are three hiking trails of varying difficulties at Hilton Falls Conservation Area and a section of the Bruce Trail, Ontario’s longest footpath, runs through the park as well.
We have visited the park twice and hiked the Hilton Falls Trail on both occasions. On our most recent visit, we also hiked a portion of the Red Oak Trail although it was partially closed due to construction work that was underway. The Beaver Dam Trail is on our agenda for the next visit as it’s an 8 km loop and we didn’t have time to complete it when there was a time limit on visits.
Hilton Falls Trail
The Hilton Falls Trail is a 3 km roundtrip looped trail that goes through the forest to the river and waterfalls. This trail is rated as a Level 2 Moderate but is a fairly easy walk. There’s only a bit of uphill terrain and the ground is mostly flat until you arrive at the falls where the ground is rocky and there are stairs to navigate. This is the busiest trail at Hilton Falls Conservation Area as it seems that most visitors are just there for the falls.
At the end of the trail, there are stairs down to a viewing platform near the base of the falls where you will also see the historic Mill Ruins. These stone structures are all that remain of three 19th century saw mills which operated in Hilton Falls on Sixteen Mile Creek between 1835 and 1867 and supplied lumber to the Nassagaweya Township.
There’s a firepit located in the area at the top of the falls which visitors can use so bring along a few marshmallows to toast if you need a little energy boost before continuing your hike!
(These two photos below were taken on two separate hikes to Hilton Falls in October. The first was taken on a weekday visit and the second was taken on a weekend. So if you prefer a less crowded visit to the falls then visit on a weekday if possible!)
Red Oak Trail
We were able to walk part of the Red Oak Trail on our recent visit which is a 4 km roundtrip trail. It is also rated a Level 2 Moderate and is a circular trail that goes around the Hilton Falls Reservoir. Access to the east side of the trail around the Reservoir was closed for construction on the day of our recent visit so we plan to return soon in order to see the Reservoir part of the trail.
Halton Conservation Parks
There are now eight Conservation Halton Parks: Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls, Mount Nemo, Crawford Lake, Robert Edmondson, Mountsberg, Kelso (including Glen Eden in winter) and the newest park which is still known as Area 8. Area 8 is currently only open seasonally closing in September with a brief opening in October for the Hops and Harvest Festival (October 13-15, 2023).
Although I have lived in the region for more than 20 years, I hadn’t visited any of the parks until the Covid shutdown in 2020. During that time that we were limited in our travels, we started exploring more close to home and taking advantage of all the beautiful places in our region including our conservation areas and continued to do so after the world opened up again.
At various times of the year we have visited Hilton Falls, Robert Edmondson, Crawford Lake, Kelso, Mountsberg, Rattlesnake Point and Mount Nemo (some multiple times) but have yet to visit Area 8. Sunday hiking has become our favourite activity so we’ll continue to explore the parks to get that nature fix that we all need.
The current fee for a visit to the parks is $10.50 + HST per adult when purchased online and $12 + HST when purchased at the gate with reduced fees for seniors (65+) and children (ages 5-14). Admission is free for children under 5. There is no longer a time restriction on your visit – you can stay until the park closes.
There is a Conservation Halton Park Membership available for purchase which includes admission to all 8 of the parks year-round. Members do not need to make a reservation online before visiting the parks. The cost of a membership is currently $105 +HST for an individual and $165 +HST for a vehicle membership (replaces the former “family” membership and covers admission for all occupants in a personal vehicle). There are also individual and vehicle memberships for seniors at a reduced price. We purchased and used it many times so it is definitely economical if you plan frequent visits.
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