Hiking Island Lake Conservation area
Stroll on scenic boardwalks, lush forest trails and dams while spotting lots of local wildlife at Island Lake Conservation Area.
This hike is like no other in our hills. Orangeville residents are especially lucky to have this enormous lake on their doorstep. The variety of waterfowl is reason enough to hike the Vicki Barron Trail (Barron is a former GM of Credit Valley Conservation), but the long boardwalks that carry you over the lake are what really set this trail apart. There is something magical about being suspended over water. There are islands, but the lake is named for the Island family who settled here on the Credit River in the 1830s. Two dams built in 1967 created this 182-hectare reservoir to dilute Orangeville’s wastewater.
Now the lake is a recreational paradise where you can hike, fish, row, kayak, cycle and more. And don’t let snow deter you. The trails are open for walking or skiing all winter (8am to 7pm daily), and you’ll see ice fishing huts dotting the frozen lake.
Where: Island Lake Conservation Area
Parking: Main entrance at 673067 Hurontario Street (pay to park) or free parking off Hockley Road (opposite Mono Amaranth Public School)
Distance: A moderate 9.8 km, 3+ hour hike
Common Loons: A pair of common loons is resident on Island Lake, so you don’t need to leave Orangeville to hear their mournful call.
Trumpeter Swans: These large and elegant swans take up residence during late spring and summer.
Hooded Mergansers: In spring you are likely to see the caramel-coloured females surrounded by many ducklings.
Bald Eagles: Don’t forget to look up! You might be rewarded with the sight of a magnificent bald eagle.