Conservation Halton is pleased to announce it has been able to reopen Crawford Lake, Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point Conservation Areas. Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point opened today, Crawford Lake will open Saturday, January 11, 2014.
Glen Eden reopened on December 26, 2013 for skiing and snowboarding, while Mountsberg Conservation Area partially reopened on January 2, 2014, with the trails north of the railroad tracks remaining closed. Hilton Falls and Robert Edmondson Conservation Areas will remain closed until further notice.
Conservation Halton’s seven parks received significant damage during the ice storm on the weekend of December 21-22 with hundreds of trees damaged and each of the parks losing power for varying lengths of time. All parks were closed on December 22, 2013 as the trails were not safe because of downed trees and hanging branches.
“Conservation Halton made the decision to close our parks as our trails were not safe for visitors and the loss of hydro had an impact as well. We want to thank our Halton Parks annual members and visitors for their patience,” said Gene Matthews, Director Conservation Lands. “We would also like to recognize the work of staff who have worked to get the parks reopened.”
“While our Parks are reopening, we can see that the trail network in its entirety will still take some time to reopen. Trails that are closed are being clearly identified and visitors are asked to stay off of them for their safety and the safety of our staff,” added Matthews.
Hilton Falls suffered extensive damage during the ice storm with not only trees and branches brought down, but power lines as well. The downed power lines have impacted the cleanup work that can be done by Conservation Halton staff and it is likely the park will remain closed for some time as outside contractors will need to assist with the work.
“Hilton Falls is very popular for cross country skiers, and with such great skiing conditions this season, it is very disappointing to not be able to offer people an opportunity to be out on the trails. We really appreciate the understanding and patience of our visitors and are working hard to reopen the park. Our priority right now is to ensure a safe environment for our visitors and staff, and as frustrating as it is to keep the gates closed, safety and the quality of the overall experience is not something Conservation Halton can compromise on,” said Craig Machan, Manager, Hilton Falls. “We do offer cross country skiing at Crawford Lake and Rattlesnake Point and we invite people to come and enjoy those trails.”
“As we have done so throughout this period, we will keep everyone informed in a timely manner through our website and social media, and I encourage everyone to stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information on park events. We have a lot of events coming up in the next several weeks and are looking forward to a more traditional, and perhaps a bit longer winter with some fantastic outdoor programming to make up for lost time!” said Hassaan Basit, Director of Communications.
Winter recreation enthusiasts can now enjoy the following activities at the following Conservation Halton Parks:
• Crawford Lake: cross country skiing (trails are not groomed), hiking and snowshoeing; The Iroquoian Village, Visitor Centre, Boardwalk, and a significant portion of the trails will be available.
• Glen Eden: skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.
• Mount Nemo: hiking, all Conservation Halton Trails within Mount Nemo are open; climbing areas remain closed at this time.
• Mountsberg: cross country skiing, hiking; Discovery Centre, Play Barn, Raptor Centre and Wildlife Walkway are open; the trails north of the railway tracks (sugar bush) remain closed.
• Rattlesnake Point: cross country skiing (trails are not groomed) and hiking; all trails are open except the Buffalo Crag Trail. Climbing areas and campsites remain closed.
Conservation Halton has seven primary conservation areas with more than 85 kilometres of recreation trails and encompassing more than 2,200 hectares of property. For more information visit the Parks and Recreation section of the Conservation Halton website.