If you fancy your wildlife with a hefty side of nature, it’s time to head to Hamilton Halton Brant. The region’s unique geography, including the Niagara Escarpment, vast Carolinian forests and the Grand River, make it a literal breeding ground for a diverse range of animals, birds and reptiles. That, combined with an enthusiastic community of conservationists committed to inspiring future generations of nature lovers, has resulted in some very unique (and very fun) ways to interact with the region’s wildlife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1

    DOUGLAS G. COCKBURN RAPTOR CENTRE AT MOUNTSBERG CONSERVATION AREA, MILTON

    The Douglas G. Cockburn Raptor Centre is currently home to 15 different species of native birds of prey, including eagles, owls, falcons, hawks and vultures. The over two dozen birds that call the Centre home each have a unique story, as many have experienced injuries that have left them incapable of surviving on their own in the wild.

    Birds of Prey shows, which are held daily during July and August and on weekends and holidays during the rest of the year, allow visitors to see the birds up close and ask the staff questions. Photography enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Centre’s one-hour Raptors In Focus workshops, where Raptor Centre staff work with the feathered ambassadors to enable participants to take truly one-of-a-kind photos.

  • 2

    HIDE AND SEEK TRAIL, CRAWFORD LAKE CONSERVATION AREA, MILTON

    Crawford Lake’s Hide and Seek Trail is an engaging and fun way to bring the important issue of endangered wildlife species to life for young children. Larger than life wooden carvings of endangered species, including the Hooded Warbler, Jefferson Salamander, Monarch Butterfly and Snapping Turtle are located along the trail. After your hike, walk the boardwalk around the lake and watch the turtles paddling in the water. If you have older children, consider hiking the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail, which runs between Crawford Lake and Rattlesnake Point Conservation Areas. Be sure to look up and watch the turkey vultures soar on the thermal currents created by the Niagara Escarpment. The prehistoric-looking birds can glide on their six-foot wingspan for up to six hours without flapping a wing!

  • 3

    HENDRIE VALLEY, ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS, BURLINGTON

    Royal Botanical Gardens’ nature sanctuaries are home to 277 types of migratory birds, 37 mammal species, 14 reptile species, 9 amphibian species and 68 species of Lake Ontario fish. Spend a few hours exploring the Hendrie Valley walking trails and you’re sure to encounter some of them. At the South Pasture Swamp, keep an eye out for beaver and muskrat. During the spring and fall at Grindstone Creek, watch for seasonal fish spawning of herring, spottail shiner and salmon.

  • 4

    Grand River

    Spending a few hours paddling on the Grand River is a fun way to have a float-by wildlife sighting. Look up and watch for Great Blue Herons, eagles and osprey. Look down and watch for snapping turtles, bass and trout. Look to the shore and beyond into the Carolinian forest that borders the river and you may be rewarded with a sighting of a beaver, muskrat, fox or deer. Local outfitters, including Grand River Rafting and Grand Experiences, make it easy to get out for a few hours on the Grand on a canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard or river raft. They provide all the gear you’ll need and give you the choice of a guided or unguided trip.

  • 5

    HORSEBACK TRAIL RIDES, OAKVILLE

    Keep an eye out for deer, coyote, hawks and falcons as you explore the tree-lined fields and forests that surround The Ranch horse farm in Oakville on horseback. The one-hour trail rides are suitable for any level of rider ages 10 and up. For a truly unique experience, organize a group of 10 or more for a private Twilight Ride, where you’ll return at dusk to a campfire and cook-it-yourself BBQ.

  • 6

    ERAMOSA KARST CONSERVATION AREA, STONEY CREEK

    Wild turkey, coyote, white-tailed deer, meadow voles, Red-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, Savannah Sparrows and the Red-tailed Hawk all call the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area home, but the geology is so fascinating here it’s easy to forget to watch for them. The Eramosa Karst contains examples of 16 different karst features, including soil pipes, sinkholes, sinking streams, dry valleys and a 335-metre-long cave. Plan a trip for an awesome day of exploring.

  • 7

    Bruce Trail

    The Niagara Escarpment is home to 300 species of birds, 53 types of mammals, 36 species of reptiles and amphibians and 90 types of fish. Hiking the Bruce Trail, which runs along the Niagara Escarpment, is a great way to spot some of them. If you’re bringing kids along, download a copy of the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s Biodiversity and Me booklet before you set out. The booklet’s fun activities and checklists will turn your hike into a fun scavenger hunt for birds, animals and plants along Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. Great family-friendly Bruce Trail access points within Hamilton Halton Brant include Limehouse Conservation Area, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, Royal Botanical Gardens and Mount Nemo Conservation Area.

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Experiences & Tours View All >>

January 11 - 18

Learn to Knit at the Museum

Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate

8 Navy Street, Oakville, ON, L6J 2Y5

January 11 and 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. Fee: $41.24 (+$5 Material Fee) Registration...

Now thru December 30

Winter Past Times

Battlefield House Museum & Park – National Historic Site

77 King Street West Stoney Creek, L8G 1H9

Time: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Ages: All Cost: Adults: $8.75, Seniors/Youth: $7.50, Children: $5.25,...

Now thru December 17

Candlelight Christmas Celebration 2022

Bell Homestead National Historic Site

94 Tutela Heights Road, Brantford, ON, N3T 1A1

Now thru June 1

Hamilton Beer Tour

The Beer Tour Company

All patrons must be 19yrs of age or older. By booking you are accepting our...

Now thru December 10

Art FUNdamentals! Single Session Saturday Classes

Oakville Galleries

1306 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, ON, Canada

Ages 9 to 12, Per Session: Members - $18.50 | Non Members - $21.75, 10...

Now thru December 31

The Bigger Picture: Art in Hamilton 1950-2000

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Now thru December 31

Guided Walking Tours in Milton

16 James Street, Milton, ON, Canada

Now thru December 14

GOODBODYFEEL Moves

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Now thru November 1

Bee Beard Experience

Backed By Bees

6214 Appleby Line, Burlington, Ontario L7M 0P7

$199.99

Now thru January 8

Victorian Christmas

Dundurn Castle – National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON

Closed: Mondays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day Time: 12:00 PM - 4:00...

Now thru December 22

Nith River Forest Hiking Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

This trip is offered daily. Registration required.

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