If you've never been to one of our many conservation areas in Halton Region you are missing out!! Whether you're a skier, a hiker,a cyclist, or a parent with a kid who is driving you crazy on a Saturday afternoon and you need something to do, the conservation areas around Halton have plenty to offer.
As a kid I spent many summer days on the beach at Kelso. Now as an adult I realize that Kelso has so much more to offer than just swimming and sand in my bathing suit. If you're a mountain biker, like I aspire to be someday (so far I've bought the bike and it looks spectacular in my garage) Kelso offers 22km of trails and is known as one of Southern Ontario's premier mountain biking destinations. If you're super serious about it they even host the Cyclocross Race Series in the Fall. If stand up paddle boarding is more your thing, and again, I have aspirations in this direction, (I'm certain a paddle board will look great next to my bike in the garage) then test out your board in Kelso's reservoir. Need an idea for a family date night? They have Family Outdoor Movie Nights every Friday in August. If you ask me it was sheer genius to combine the ability for mom and dad to relax and watch a movie while still adhering to the "play outside and get fresh air" rule.
Have a yen to check out rock climbing? You can do plenty of that at Rattlesnake Point. They have three designated areas and over 200 routes. I think I'll leave that to you more adventurous types, although I bet I could easily fit climbing gear into my garage ;) If camping is more your speed then you may enjoy one of Rattlesnakes 17 campsites. Just be warned, if I see you there you'd best have a s'more on hand with my name on it!!! Geocaching is all the rage these days and while there are cache sites at all Halton Conservation parks they are most prevalent at Rattlesnake. So grab your GPS and start your treasure hunt. Be sure to bring along your camera so you can snap some pics of the many turkey vultures who call Rattlesnake Point home.
As a nature lover I will admit that Hilton Falls is my personal favorite of all Halton Conservation areas. It has a bit of everything on offer but my absolute favorite are the chickadee feeding spots. If you put a little bird seed in your palm and hold out your hand within seconds you'll have a cute little chickadee landing on your fingers to enjoy a snack. I like it for myself but I always stay a little longer and watch as the little kids are amazed by all of the birds who are brave enough to land on them. I have yet to hike at Hilton Falls and not have been welcomed by the bonfire, now if I could just remember to bring some hot dogs with me I'd be set! Yes, you can sit and stay awhile and roast your own lunch. If Hilton Falls sounds like it's your cup of tea then be sure to bring your camera along on your hike because I guarantee when you get to the falls themselves you are going to want to capture the moment. Who doesn't love to plaster their social media pages with dozens of pictures of all the adventurous athletic things they did all weekend, and yes hiking counts!! That is, of course, if you can still find room to post those pics after all of your food pics......or maybe that's just me....
Mountsberg may be one of your best options if child entertaining is on your To Do List. You can earn Parent Of The Year status with a trip here. Kids loves animals and Mountsberg has loads of 'em! A trip to the barn in the Spring often brings with it the oooohhhsss and aaaahhhhssss of wonder as you see the baby animals newly born. Looking for a little more animal excitement? Well it doesn't get much more exciting than the Birds of Prey show. In July and August you can be amazed by these majestic birds of prey seven days a week at noon and 2pm. After watching the show you can get up close and personal with some of your new feathered friends at the Raptor Center. After all of the animal excitement you may wish to burn off some energy, or rather, you may wish for the kids to burn off some of their energy, so send them to play in the Play Barn. With loads to climb up and jump off of a half hour in there should ensure you enjoy a nice quiet ride home albeit a short quiet ride since all of Haltons conservation areas are right here in our own backyards.
That's it for me this week, I've inspired myself to go do something outdoors. Maybe I'll throw my bike in the car and head to Kelso for a ride. But......the garage is looking nice and clean right now and I'd hate to mess it up by moving things around to get to my bike......Halton Region has a few other amazing conservation areas that I'll write about next week. In the meantime I'll leave the bike in the garage and grab my yoga mat and head to RattleSnake Point where they offer Free Yoga In The Park every Wednesday night from 7-8. That counts as outdoors AND exercise.....SCORE!!!!!