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Hilton Falls waterfall

Milton Hiking Trails: 12 Picks for 2024

16 min read  •  
Danielle L'Ami

I love to go hiking. And living in Milton means that we have access to some fantastic hiking trails. But if you’re like me, perhaps you have hesitated about visiting some, not entirely sure what to expect. For example, maybe you have multiple kids and want to know which trails are the most kid-friendly. 

Many of these trails are in one of the parks within Halton Conservation. While there are plenty of activities at these parks, I will focus on the different hiking trails they offer. 

All of the trails are colour-coded, so I include the colour of each in my descriptions. Also, you may bring your dogs, but they must be kept on a leash. Once we get through the trails within Halton Conservation, I will move on to a few more, including the Halton Regional Forest Complex and the Bruce Trail.

Halton Conservation Trail Rating System

Since many of the trails are within Halton Conservation, it’s important to note how they rate the trails.

  • 1- Considered the easiest trails, they are no more than 2 km and are mostly flat. 
  • 2- Moderate trails have some steep sections, can be as long as 5 km, and the rest points are infrequent.
  • 3- These are considered more strenuous for their length of more than 5 km roundtrip and have more uneven ground. Steep sections may be more than 500 m long, and the trail may have tight turns, narrow spots, and infrequent rest stops. 

Halton Conservation Trail Reservations

It’s also important to note that unless otherwise stated, all parks within Halton Conservation require reservations before you go. You can reserve your spot online. To visit these parks, you must pay for an individual trip or purchase an annual park pass. 

12 Places to Hike in and around Milton

Hilton Falls

Hilton Falls waterfall
Source: Pavel S on iStock

Hilton Falls is one of the eight parks that is part of Halton Conservation. It has three main hiking trails. It also has some biking trails, which you should avoid when hiking so that you don’t get in the way of a biker speeding down the trail. 

Hilton Falls is known for being a family attraction, thanks to the falls you can see at the Old Mill. There is also a gathering spot where families can sit around and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. And if it’s not obvious, seeing that actual waterfall is a must.

Insider tip: in the winter, the path can be very icy – so visit during this time with some caution.

Trails at Hilton Falls
Hilton Falls Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

The falls are at the end of Hilton Falls Trail (Yellow), a 3 km round trip; this trail is suitable for all ages and can handle a stroller, although slightly bumpy. 

The second trail, Red Oak (Red), is a 4 km roundtrip and kid-friendly. You can walk along this trail around the Hilton Falls Reservoir, and you might spot some beavers before you connect to the Hilton Falls Trail. The yellow and the red trails both have a rating of 2 for difficulty. 

Lastly is the Beaver Dam Trail, which is approximately 8 km long, round trip. It is rated 3 for difficulty, but many have said that a large part of it can be done quickly, thanks to the gravel sections. The signage on all the trails here is easy to follow. 

There is a nice bridge, a picnic table spot with a fire pit for a nice break, and some great photo shots of the small ponds and streams. All paths offer a good balance of sun and shade, but if going in the summer, bring some mosquito repellent. 

Rattlesnake Point

Buffalo Crag Lookout, Milton
Source: MarkAchillesVillanueva on iStock

Don’t tell the other Halton Conservation parks, but I think Rattlesnake Point might be my favourite. It has the perfect combination of breathtaking views, crumbling walls, and ancient cedars that line the different trails. Before we get to the trails, let’s talk about parking. 

Parking at Rattlesnake

There is an upper parking level and a lower parking level. Both spots will get you to the trails just fine, just at a slightly different starting point. Parking in the upper area will land you in the middle of the Vista Adventure Trail Loop, and the lower area will start you at the beginning of the Buffalo Crag Trail. 

Rattlesnake Point Trails
Rattlesnake Point Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

The Vista Adventure Trail (Green) is rated a 1 for difficulty and is about 1.5 kilometres long. You will see some fantastic views and great lookout points, and it is mostly kid-friendly, although not stroller-friendly. 

It connects to the Buffalo Crag Trail (Yellow), which is rated a 2 and is 3 km long. The Buffalo Crag Trail follows along the escarpment and has some incredible views. An insider tip: there are two trails that run parallel to one another. 

If you stick to the crumbling wall, you will find this trail more challenging than if you move away from the wall and follow the parallel one, which is easier for young children and old dogs. However, it is slightly less adventuresome and won’t have the same views. 

Follow the Yellow Trail until you reach the lookout point and loop back to your parking spot. The last trail, Nassagaweya Canyon Trail (Orange), follows along with the Buffalo Crag Trail and is rated a 3. Once you reach the lookout, you can follow it along where it connects to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

During the pandemic, they closed off this connection since the time limits to visit each park were limited to 2 hours. Upon visiting their site, I no longer see this restriction. But remember that hiking through Crawford Lake will take around 4-5 hours and isn’t recommended for young children or older adults. 

Crawford Lake

Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Milton
Source: SkyF on iStock

I highly suggest that everyone visit Crawford Lake at least once in their life, for it is a unique meromictic lake. A meromictic lake is a body of water where the layers of water don’t mix. Scientists can use pollen analysis to reconstruct the area’s history over hundreds of years. 

Parking at Crawford Lake

There are three parking spots, each within walking distance of the start of the four remaining hiking trails.

Trails at Crawford Lake
Crawford Lake Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

At this park, there are four hiking trails. The Nassagaweya Canyon Trail (Orange) comes in from Rattlesnake Park, away from where the parking is. It connects to the Escarpment Trail (Yellow), which, although not rated on the trail map, I would suggest as level 2 based on its criteria. 

The shortest is the Crawford Lake Trail (Blue), which would receive a level 1 rating for difficulty. It wraps around Crawford Lake. If anything, walking around the lake on the boardwalk is peaceful, making it ideal for families with strollers.

Next is the Woodland Trail (Red), also a 1, and is a nice short walk for families with small children or pets with short legs. On this trail, kids love to point out all the woodland carvings they see of animals within the park. It’s also a leisurely winter walk when you want some fresh air and the little ones feel cooped up. Many locals also love coming to this trail for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. 

Next is the Escarpment Trail (Yellow), and I would rate it a 1.5- 2 in difficulty as it is slightly longer than 2 km. This trail has one nice lookout point but is rockier and steep, particularly up to the lookout. The steepness means it will be icier in the winter, something to keep in mind if you venture out during the coldest season. Part of it also crosses over to the Woodland Trail. 

Lastly is the Pine Ridge Trail (Green), rated a 2. To reach this trail, ideally, you would head along the Woodland Trail and continue to loop back around to return by the Woodland Trail. It’s a great hike to spot some birds and woodland creatures; you may even get lucky and spot a dear! 


I have a few insider tips for those heading to Kelso. First, since you will have to book your reservations online, there are two Kelso locations; one is the summit the second is the Kelso main entrance. 

The main entrance takes you to the reservoir and fun activities such as the climbing tower, swimming, and kayaking. Although there is a cable car, it’s not necessary. You can also get to the summit walking, but it is a long climb; I’ve done it, and it’s steep and not for small kids or pets. 

However, I recommend using the chairlift when you want to catch some breathtaking views, such as in the winter or the autumn seasons. Now, for my second tip. Kelso is mainly a place for bikers. I have been hiking there a few times. Be sure to move to the side for the bikers to speed by.

Trails at Kelso
Kelso Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

There are an insane number of trails, almost 50, and of those 50, only two, Escarpment and Lime Kiln, are off-limits to the bikers. As there are so many, I won’t bore you with listing them all but will highlight some key points I feel are worthy of sharing. 

The Kiln Ruins, listed on the trail map, don’t seem to be in that location. And to be honest, walking out there with a group of kids wasn’t ideal to keep digging around until we found some tangible evidence of their location. 

That said, I know of others who explored the area (and beyond the trails) and found two silos, a furnace, and more. So, they are out there, and I will find them one day. Using the online trail map, they list four suggested hiking loops. 

Keep in mind, however, that you will be walking for a couple of hours to see the views you seek, which takes you along the escarpment. If you choose to print a map ahead of time, the map online had some different trails listed compared to the map at the beginning of the paths. 

I suggest taking a picture with your phone of the trails, so you don’t get lost. At the point of this map, just past the parking spots, there are two ways you can go; to the right is the path all hikers will take; otherwise, you are heading straight into bike territory. 


2259 Milburough Town Line, Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

Mountsberg has four hiking trails and is a great place to take the family, including small children, who will undoubtedly want to visit the animals they have there. First, there is the Wildlife Walkway Trail (Green) which rates a 1 in difficulty. This trail is meant for children as you will pass through their animals and Birds of Prey exhibit. 

Trails at Mountsberg
Mountsberg Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

Next, there are three more trails. But first, you have to walk past the building where they have snacks and a washroom, over the railway tracks, and through the gate. Once there, you have a choice to make. 

The Sugar Bush Trail (Red), which rates a 1, is the trail most often used during their special events, such as Maple Town and Christmas Town. It is a pleasant walk, particularly during these events when they shuttle people on horse-drawn wagons. 

Lakeshore Lookout Trail (blue) rates a 2, but it is a simple path, where you will pass some bird houses, and is excellent for the avid bird watcher. It’s an easy walk for a family or those with dogs. Lastly is the Pioneer Creek Trail (Orange), which rates a 3 (at least in my experience). 

I wouldn’t even consider this a tip, but more of a warning. Pioneer Creek Trail is one of their lesser-used trails and covers a lot of marshlands. Because of this, you will find the paths to be blurred, and there are a lot of mosquitos, particularly if you visit on a hot day or after it has just rained. 

If you take this path, make sure you are fully covered, have mosquito repellent, and don’t have kids who aren’t adventuresome. You will also hear the traffic from the surrounding 401 highway. But otherwise, it is picturesque and has a Lime Kiln, circa 1860.

Area 8

Area 8 is the newest recreational space to join the Halton Conservation Parks. It is so new that they are just opening it up on weekends to visit, despite having held a few events there, such as yoga. The hiking trail does not have a name and loops around the quarry and would likely rate 1, as it is approximately 2 km. 

It has three lookout spots and a fire pit with a picnic table if you want to stop for a bite to eat before you head home. You’ll see some excellent views of the water and the surrounding escarpment. The water looks beautiful turquoise in certain lights and angles and is worth checking out. You may even spot a grey tree frog or sharp-shinned hawk on your hike. 

Robert Edmondson

10025 First Line Nassagaweya, Moffat, ON L0P 1J0

Trails at Robert Edmondson
Robert Edmondson Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

Robert Edmondson is the only park that doesn’t require reservations. It’s great if you want peace, tranquillity, and a shorter hike. There is a boardwalk around the wetter areas, a nice bridge for capturing pictures, and it’s easy for small children and pets to tag along. It can be hard with all the summer mosquitoes, so come prepared with some repellent or long clothing to cover up. 

Mount Nemo

Okay, technically, this isn’t in Milton. Still, it is part of the Halton Conservation Parks, so I’m not going to quibble on this technicality. I love Mount Nemo for its fantastic views and challenging – yet doable – hiking paths. 

Trails at Mount Nemo
Mount Nemo Trail Map
Source: Conservation Halton

There are three paths you can take; all rated a 2 because they do involve some short slopes. But no matter where you begin from the Guelph Line parking lot, you will enter using the North Loop Trail (Orange). This trail will take you along the escarpment and Brock Harris Lookout. 

The lookout is a great spot to catch some Turkey Vultures flying around and stunning views. On a clear day, you may see the Toronto skyline. You can either loop back to the parking lot from the lookout or continue using the South Loop Trail (Yellow). 

The South Loop Trail runs mainly along the escarpment. Still, it will either loop back to connect with the North Loop or continue along the Escarpment Edge Trail (Green). This last trail leads down to the other parking lot, along Walker’s Line. 

These hiking trails are best suited for active people, including children. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a stroller as there are a lot of roots and rocks to go over. Unless you want to have to lift the entire stroller with your partner – ahem, it was our first time visiting this park – I’d leave it at home. 

Oh, and if you decide to come in the winter, you need to bring some good hiking boots or something with a good grip. It gets very icy. That said, it can be pretty breathtaking when covered with a snowy white blanket. Mount Nemo is definitely worth the hike for me. 

Dufferin Quarry Bridge Trail

G2VX+MM, Halton Hills, ON L9T 2X7

Unlike the Halton Conservation Trails, there is no easy parking to access this trail. Where the trailhead begins, on the west side, Sixth Line, there are a lot of no parking signs. There is, however, a turn-around before Greystone Gold Club, but you will find that parking is limited. If that is the case, it’s a park at your own risk situation, where you may park on the side of the street. 

Since there were ratings given to the other trails from the Halton Conservation website, I would rate this trail a 3. The trail is uneven and can be rocky in many spots. Some side trails may cause newcomers to walk around in circles if they aren’t careful, causing a more extended visit than intended. 

To ensure you don’t get lost, after you have followed the trail for about 4 km, take the blue marker side trail. A sign that you may pass says Kythera Hiking and that you are on the Bruce Trail Friendship Trail. On this sign, there is a map. Take a picture to ensure you don’t get lost if you are inexperienced with this trail. 

Don’t be alarmed. You will, at some point, cross Sixth Line, and it might take a bit to find the path. But I promise you it is out there. There is a bridge and some beautiful, canopied trees to provide you with some good shade, but there are also, of course, mosquitos, so come prepared.

Halton Regional Forest Complex

1151 Bronte Rd Oakville, ON, Canada L6M 3L1

The Halton complex is within the Halton area, but it’s on the outskirts of Milton. It has five trails, three of which have a designated parking spot. But don’t worry, the paths are easy to follow, and if you bring a map, you’ll be fine. 

The first is the Currie Forest Tract; you can find the parking spot along Guelph Line. The trail is less than a kilometre long, doesn’t require reservations or payment to visit, and does allow some hunting. Next, it connects to the Mahon Tract, which is longer, half a km, but does not have a parking spot. 

This connects to the Robertson Tract, which you can enter and park at from Fourth Line, and which runs around 3 km long. The trail is relatively flat with some rock formations, ultimately easy enough for the inexperienced hiker or those with small children. 

From the Robertson Tract, you can connect to the Britton Tract. The Briton Tract has two parking spots on Sixth Line and is a 4.5 km loop. If you are a bird enthusiast or love pockets of water to admire, this is a great hiking trail to get lost in. 

Lastly is the Cox Tract, a shorter trail that also runs off of Sixth Line but to which you cannot connect directly from the Briton Tract. Remember that you will run into bikers along all of these trails. There are no restrictions, and remember, all dogs must be leashed. 

Livingston Park & Mill Pond

Milton, ON

The Mill Pond is located on Martin Street and offers a lovely experience for those who want to get out for an easy walk, including dogs, children, and all lovers of nature. The trails run around the pond and towards Livingston Park.

The local birds are used to people, so be aware that they may approach you looking for food. There is a gazebo on one end, pictures are taken here often, and children love to feed the ducks and other fowl. At the other end, there is a stream with a small falls. 

Bruce Trail 

The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked trail. It runs 900 km from Niagara to Tobermory. So why do I include it on this list of Milton hiking trails? Because you’ll find that as you explore the many trails, Milton has to offer, you will inevitably walk on some of the Bruce Trail as well.

You will find that many of the trails overlap. For example, the Bruce Trail overlaps some of the Britton Tract in the Halton Regional Forest Complex. It also overlaps considerable amounts within the Halton Conservation Parks. 

It’s important to understand your trail markers to recognize which trail you’re on. White blazes, a vertical white line often imposed on trees, indicate you are on the part of the main Bruce Trail. Blue blazes indicate you are on a side trail. 

Two blazes indicate that a turn is coming up, either left or right, the top blaze indicating the direction. But two blazes, one vertical on the bottom and a horizontal on the top, meaning that you have reached the trail’s end. 

A tip if you are using a map, always follow the blazes over the map. If you are aiming to only do a part of the Bruce Trail in the Milton area, you may be wondering where you should start. Experienced hikers suggest starting at the northernmost point along Creditview Road to Winston Churchill Boulevard. 

This is known as Bruce Trail: Toronto Section and is long, 45.2-km to be precise, so either be prepared to spend the day or break it up into manageable chunks. The whole hike in one day is not suitable for small children or dogs. 

Final Thoughts and Further Reading

There you have it, 12 hiking trails located within Milton (and slightly on the outskirts) to keep you busy for a while.

Remember to be safe, have plenty of water and snacks, have an emergency kit with you at all times, and take only photos and leave only footprints. 

For more activities in Milton, check out our other articles:

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