The best part of a winter hike to Hilton Falls is that there is a camp fire pit that your family can enjoy! Staff lights the fire on weekends or you can light it yourself on weekdays.
How to get to the fire pits?
First of all the maps they have at the park to let you know where you are and how to get there are very good. The map online is good if you are a little more familiar with the layout of the park. You can get a free trail map at the Gate.
How you go to the falls and the fire pits will depend on the hikers or gear you are taking with you.
Here is the link to maps.
The letters on the map are trail junctions so it is easier to follow those since the Hilton Falls trail has two loops and two access point from the parking lot. The trail itself is a single road wide and fairly flat.
There are several ways to climb the escarpment hill here and if you are pushing/pulling a child carriage, sled or wagon with bike type wheels you will want to know the easier way. If you go into the visitor centre they can point you in the right direction for you and your particular group of hikers.
For this you will want to follow Junctions B-C-D, the trail surface is much better than the more used, shorter and rocky A-C-D route, just remember on this route it is only the first 150 metres or so that is rocky, once on top it is very easy to walk.
Once at the falls you cannot miss the fire pit at the top. If it is cold and wet or snowy you will want to have carried a small pad for your bottoms to sit on the benches or at the picnic tables. Park staff light the fire on weekends on weekdays you can ask at the visitor centre and they will give you some kindling.
Don’t forget to bring a lighter or matches; better yet it is a perfect spot to practice your no matches fire. There are waste receptacles here, but please anywhere else take out what you bring in, Including the pet waste bags that are free and located conveniently at the start of the trail.
If your hikers are a little older and you are looking for an all day adventure you can hike up to the other fire pit, near the top end of the Beaver Dam trail.
One thing for sure is that all the trails are incredibly beautiful and you can take different trails on the way in and out for a different experience every time you visit.
There are fees for visiting the park which you can see on their web site but for your best bang for your $ I would suggest the yearly membership. It lets you visit all the different parks in Halton region.
If you have your own skis, snowshoes, mountain bikes or paddle craft it is an incredible bargain and I use my membership to help me keep in shape for my wilderness canoe trips and practice my photography.
If you look on Google earth the trails marked are very accurate in their location, except it is missing the starting portion of the Hilton Falls trail A-C-D, and it shows all the trails as the same. Also a lot of the pictures posted on Google earth here are not even close to the real locations so it is better to get the information you need from the staff as some trails may be closed due to conditions.
By Jeff McColl