January 1, 2023
Heart Lake Conservation Park is the largest green space in Brampton. We previously looked at the formation of Heart Lake and the park in our story Brampton’s Kettle Lakes so we won’t cover much of that in this post. Heart Lake Conservation Park opened in 1957 and has been a popular spot for fishing and family outings ever since. We revisited it to check out some of the trails. There are six main trails in the park which are made up of the Esker Trail (3.1 km), Lake Trail (3.7 km), Rayner Trail (0.3 km), Terry Fox Trail (1.0 km) and the Wetland Trail (2.5 km) and there’s also a mountain bike trail. The Esker Trail is part of a longer trail that passes north through Brampton. We started by exploring the Wetland Trail which is featured in the picture below.
We then took the stairs down to the boathouse where we could connect to the Lake Trail.
Although we haven’t had any real extended periods of freezing weather, the lake is fully iced over.
It is interesting to see the foot prints and bicycle tracks passing along the ice just behind the “Danger – Ice Unsafe” sign. Over the years Hiking the GTA has tended to stay off of the ice on rivers and lakes based on the theory that we should do nothing while out hiking that would prevent us from going again next week.
The Lake Trail follows the lake and features this stone retaining wall in the area of the boathouse.
Alder trees have both male and female catkins, often on the same branches. They are pollinated by the wind which blows the pollen from the longer male catkins onto the cone shaped female ones. Although the female catkins resemble pine cones the tree is deciduous and loses its leaves every year. Several Alders are growing along the Lake Trail.
In 2001 the idea of Treetop Trekking was brought to Quebec from Europe and the first adventure park was opened the following year. Trekking came to Ontario in 2006 when a park was opened near Barrie. Port Hope and Huntsville got adventure parks in 2012.
Treetop Trekking came to Heart Lake in 2013 and has skill two levels for participants who meet the height requirements. The trek can also be combined with a zipline experience where you will “fly” across the lake. Bookings need to be made in advance and are for groups of four. Smaller parties will be grouped together so that everyone can participate.
Tree Top Trekking at Heart Lake looks like an activity that I will be trying this year and I have three fellow adventurers lined up to join me. It opens in April and there’s a good chance that a future blog could be shot from the tops of these trees.
Related stories: Brampton’s Kettle Lakes, Esker Trail
Google Maps Link: Heart Lake
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