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.

November 27, 2023 | | Take a Hike

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

Highlights

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.

About the Author More by Nicola Ross

Freelance writer Nicola Ross lives in Alton and is the author of the bestselling 'Loops and Lattes' hiking guide series.

Related Stories

Erin’s Woollen Mill Trail

Sep 8, 2023 | Nicola Ross | Take a Hike

Take an easy stroll from Erin’s Main Street to the banks of the West Credit River, dotted with historic mill sites that date to the 1840s.

Albion Hills Loop (Palgrave)

Mar 20, 2023 | Nicola Ross | Take a Hike

What better way to welcome spring than to take a hike through one of our many gorgeous conservation areas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to vjones@inthehills.ca.