You’re always looking for your next adventure, whether it’s hiking through forests, cycling along country roads or kayaking across lakes. Lucky for you, adventure awaits just west of Toronto in the Halton Hills region. Nestled within Ontario’s Greenbelt, Halton Hills offers over 1,000 kilometers of trails, scenic riverside paths and plenty of opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. From the Niagara Escarpment to the Credit River, you’ll find no shortage of ways to experience the great outdoors. Not to mention, with charming small towns, historic sites, vineyards and farm-to-table fare around every corner, Halton Hills has culture and cuisine covered too. Pack your bags for a weekend getaway filled with adventure, nature and culinary delights in this picturesque region on Toronto’s doorstep. Halton Hills is calling—will you answer?
- An Introduction to Halton Hills, Ontario
- Top Outdoor Activities in Halton Hills
- Must-See Parks and Trails
- Family Fun: Attractions for Kids
- Arts and Culture Scene
- Where to Shop and Dine in Halton Hills
- Annual Events and Festivals Not to Miss
- Accommodation Options for Your Halton Hills Getaway
- FAQ – Planning Your Trip to Halton Hills
An Introduction to Halton Hills, Ontario
Halton Hills is an area just west of Toronto that’s filled with small-town charm and big outdoor adventures. Located in Ontario’s Greenbelt, Halton Hills has over 22,000 acres of forests, fields and farmland to explore.
Hit the Trails
With over 125 km of trails, Halton Hills is a hiker’s haven. Check out the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. The local section winds through the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Or hike the David Culham Trail, a 10 km loop that starts in downtown Georgetown.
For water lovers, the Credit River and Beaver Creek offer kayaking and canoeing. Rent gear to paddle the scenic gorges, or for a rush, ride the rapids. Fishing is also popular, with smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and brook trout in the rivers.
Cycling routes like the Greenbelt Route and Caledon Trailway make Halton Hills ideal for biking. Rent bikes or bring your own to pedal through forests and farmland at your own speed. For mountain biking, try the Hydrocut or Kelso trails, with dirt paths for all skill levels.
If you’re into adventure, check out Mount Nemo Conservation Area for rock climbing, rope courses and paintball. Or for family fun, visit Kelso Conservation Area’s huge obstacle course and giant jumping pillows.
With stunning natural scenery and so many ways to get your heart pumping, Halton Hills is the perfect place for an exciting escape. Discover your sense of adventure in this natural playground just outside the city.
Top Outdoor Activities in Halton Hills
Halton Hills is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Get out and experience the natural beauty of the Greenbelt with these top activities:
Hiking and Cycling
Halton Hills has over 200 km of trails perfect for hiking and cycling. The Bruce Trail and Greenbelt Route pass right through, or check out the Conservation Halton trail network. Rent a bike to ride the Halton County Rail Trail, a 16 km converted rail bed. The trails around Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point offer scenic views of the Niagara Escarpment.
Rattlesnake Point and Mount Nemo are top spots for rock climbing, with routes for all skill levels. If you’re new to the sport, book a lesson with a guide to learn the ropes. For stunning 360 views, climb up to the Mount Nemo lookout platform, 100 feet up the cliff face.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Paddle along the Grand River, Credit River or Bronte Creek. Rent a canoe or kayak and spend a day exploring. Pack a picnic lunch, go fishing or bird watching from the water. In the fall, the changing leaves reflect beautifully on the river’s surface.
Saddle up for a leisurely guided trail ride at one of the local ranches like the Halton Hills Equestrian Center or Spirit Hills Riding Ranch. Rides range from 1 to 3 hours, traveling through mature forests and meadows in the Greenbelt. Beginners are welcome – the friendly staff will match you with a gentle, well-trained horse.
With so many ways to experience the natural surroundings, Halton Hills is an ideal destination for your next outdoor getaway. Come discover your adventure!
Must-See Parks and Trails
One of the best ways to experience Halton Hills’ natural beauty is by exploring its parks and trails. There are over 200 km of trails winding through forests, meadows and river valleys. Lace up your hiking boots and check out these must-see spots:
Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
This popular park spans over 300 hectares with trails ranging from easy to difficult. You’ll find scenic lookouts with panoramic views of the Niagara Escarpment, massive boulders for rock climbing and plenty of spots for a picnic. The 3 km Bruce Trail loop is great for a short hike while the 10 km main trail loop offers a full day of adventure.
Halton Region Forest
This sprawling 8,000 hectare forest has over 100 km of multi-use trails open year-round. Trails are rated from beginner to advanced for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and snowshoeing. Highlights include scenic Kettle Lake, the Mount Nemo plateau and Kelso Conservation Area. With so many interconnected trails, you can design your own route and hike for days without repetition. Camping is allowed at designated backcountry sites for an off-the-grid getaway.
16 Mile Creek
Running through Halton Hills, 16 Mile Creek offers picturesque trails along the waterway. The Elora Cataract Trailway follows the creek for 42 km between Hillsburgh and Elora, passing through quaint villages, farmland and Carolinian forests. Shorter trail sections like the 4 km loop in Glen Williams are ideal for a quick walk or bike ride. 16 Mile Creek is a hotspot for bird watching, so keep an eye out for kingfishers, herons, hawks and songbirds.
With the Niagara Escarpment, Greenbelt and river valleys in its backyard, Halton Hills is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Spend a day—or a week—exploring must-see parks and you’ll discover natural wonders around every bend. Adventure awaits in Ontario’s Greenbelt!
Family Fun: Attractions for Kids
The kids will love Farmland Playland, an agricultural-themed mini amusement park. With over 30 rides and attractions like bumper cars, Ferris wheels, rollercoasters and a giant slide, there’s something for all ages. The little ones can enjoy the carousel, teacups and mini choo-choo train. bigger kids and thrill seekers will enjoy the Wildcat coaster, swings and Safari ride. General admission tickets include unlimited rides, so your little ones can go around again and again. Farmland Playland is open weekends from May through October, plus all summer long.
On a hot summer day, nothing beats a trip to a water park. Two great options right in Halton Hills are Kelso Conservation Area and Bingemans Big Splash Water Park. Kelso Conservation Area has massive waterslides, a huge wave pool, lazy river tubing run and splash pad. Bingemans offers over 2 acres of slides, rides, and pools including waterslides, a kiddie pool with geysers and sprayers, a wave pool and Flowrider surf simulator. Both parks have picnic areas, locker rentals and food concessions on site.
For an educational adventure, check out some of the unique museums in Halton Hills. The Halton County Radial Railway museum is home to historic streetcars and interurban railcars. Kids can take a ride on a real streetcar! The museum of Ontario Archeology introduces kids to the lives of the First Nations people who inhabited the land over 10,000 years ago through interactive exhibits, artifacts and archeological digs. And the Eden Mills Writers Festival Story Barn is filled with activities to inspire the budding author, including a massive pop-up book and magnetic poetry.
The natural surroundings of Halton Hills offer lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation and learning. Take the family on a hike at one of the many conservation areas like Kelso, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls or Mount Nemo to explore forests, cliffs and waterfalls. Pack a picnic lunch, bring your bikes or try geocaching for a fun scavenger hunt. In the winter, some conservation areas offer tobogganing hills, cross country skiing and skating trails. Getting kids outside and active in nature at an early age will foster a lifelong appreciation of the environment.
Arts and Culture Scene
Halton Hills has a thriving arts and culture scene with something for everyone. You’ll find opportunities to experience visual arts, live music, theater and more.
Galleries and Public Art
Halton Hills is home to many talented local artists. Check out some of their work at galleries like the Georgetown Gallery or the R Carrier Art Gallery. You can also view sculptures and murals at outdoor public art installations around the city, like the Millennium Trail Public Art Project.
Live Music Venues
Catch live music at spots like the Georgetown Pub, the King’s Head Pub or the Acton Legion. Local bands frequently play shows covering a range of genres like rock, folk and country. Larger venues like the Georgetown Market also host musical acts, especially during summer events.
For live theater, check out presentations by local theater groups like the Georgetown Little Theater or the Halton Hills Theater Group. They put on plays and musicals ranging from comedies to dramas. The historic King’s Head Pub also hosts improv nights and comedy shows.
Halton Hills has seasonal festivals celebrating music, food, art and culture. Some of the major festivals include:
- The Georgetown Festival of the Arts in June featuring visual arts, live music and family activities.
- The Georgetown Ribfest in July with barbeque, bands and a midway.
- The Acton Fall Fair in September highlighting local agriculture, food vendors, music, rides and contests.
- The All Canadian Jazz Festival in October showcasing Canadian jazz musicians.
With natural surroundings and small-town charm, Halton Hills provides a picturesque setting for experiencing arts and culture. Check the local event listings and make plans to take in a show, stroll through a gallery or just tap your foot to some live music. The arts scene here has something for everyone in the family.
Where to Shop and Dine in Halton Hills
Halton Hills has no shortage of places to shop for local goods or grab a delicious bite to eat. Whether you’re looking for organic produce, artisanal crafts or a cozy café, these towns have you covered.
The downtowns of Acton, Georgetown, Glen Williams and Norval offer a variety of independent retailers selling everything from books and stationery to fair trade clothing and home decor. Check out Black Birch Books, Heartwood Home or the Ginger Press for a curated selection of goods. On Saturdays from May to October, head to the Acton and Georgetown farmers markets to shop from local vendors and stock up on farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses and more.
You’ll find no shortage of culinary options in the Hills. For upscale dining, book a table at The Mill in Georgetown or Aberfoyle Mill in Aberfoyle. The former is located in a historic gristmill and features creative Canadian fare, while the latter is set in a charming village inn. For more casual options, grab fish and chips or a pint at The Coach and Lantern Pub in Meadowvale Village or a wood-fired pizza at Pie Wood Fired Pizza Joint in Glen Williams.
If it’s breakfast or brunch you’re after, head to The Cedar Kitchen in Acton, The Home Plate Family Restaurant in Georgetown or Cafe Aroma in Norval. They offer classic morning fare like eggs benny, pancakes, and freshly brewed coffee. For a sweet treat, pop into Meadowvale Village’s The Village Chocolatier or Georgetown’s Sugar and Spice Bakery. Their displays of handmade chocolates, pastries and other confections are works of art.
With local producers and growers supplying many of the restaurants and retailers in town, the food and goods you’ll find in Halton Hills are about as farm-to-table and homemade as it gets. Shopping and dining here is all part of the experience of escaping to the country and living close to the land. Savor and enjoy!
Annual Events and Festivals Not to Miss
Halton Hills has no shortage of fun events and festivals throughout the year that highlight the area’s natural beauty, agricultural roots, and community spirit. Here are a few of the can’t-miss happenings:
Halton Hills Agricultural Fair
For over 165 years, the Halton Hills Agricultural Fair has celebrated the town’s farming heritage. Held annually in late August, the fair features livestock shows, horse pulls, demolition derbies, live music, carnival rides, and of course, lots of local food. Come for the giant pumpkin contest, stay for the pie eating competition!
Georgetown Fall Fair
If you prefer a smaller country fair vibe, head to the Georgetown Fall Fair in September. Wander the midway, check out the 4H displays and homemade crafts, catch a horse show, and be sure to end the day watching the always-entertaining tractor pulls.
Festival of Lights
To get into the holiday spirit, visit Gellert Community Park for the Festival of Lights. The park is decked out each December with over one million twinkling lights, including many in the shape of local landmarks. Stroll through the displays, go for a horse-drawn wagon ride, visit Santa, and warm up with a hot chocolate. The festival is free to attend but donations are appreciated.
What’s better than Southern BBQ and live music on a summer night? Halton Hills Ribfest features award-winning ribbers, craft brews, midway rides for the kids, and rock and country acts on multiple stages. Held each June, Ribfest is a finger-lickin’ good time for all. Come with an empty stomach!
Between the natural scenery, outdoor recreation, vibrant towns, and community events, there’s never a dull moment in Halton Hills. Stay up to date with the latest happenings on the town’s events calendar to experience all this area of the Greenbelt has to offer. The welcoming small-town vibe will keep you coming back year after year.
Accommodation Options for Your Halton Hills Getaway
When planning your Halton Hills getaway, you’ll want to find cozy and comfortable accommodation. Luckily, the region offers many options for places to rest your head after a day of adventures.
For standard hotel stays, Halton Hills has reputable chain hotels like Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Best Western. These provide modern rooms with amenities like pools, gyms, and restaurants. Independent hotels like Glenerin Inn & Spa and Millcroft Inn & Spa offer upscale accommodations in scenic, historic buildings.
If you prefer a homier feel, check out one of the area’s bed and breakfasts. B&Bs like Four Seasons Bed & Breakfast, Pinecroft Bed & Breakfast, and Twelfth Mile Bed & Breakfast are located in charming historic homes with welcoming hosts and homemade breakfasts. These cozy spots are perfect for a romantic getaway or when you want to feel like you’re staying with friends.
For extra privacy or space for a group, consider renting a cottage, cabin or vacation home. Options like Blue Mountain Village rentals, Hidden Valley rentals and Horseshoe Valley rentals offer everything from rustic cottages to luxury lodges. You’ll have access to amenities of the resort community but with the freedom of your own place.
If you really want to immerse yourself in nature, go camping at one of Halton Hills’ scenic campgrounds. Kelso Conservation Area, Mount Nemo Conservation Area and Rattlesnake Point offer both trailer and tent sites with stunning views and access to hiking trails. You can keep it simple or hook up to amenities like showers, laundry and Wi-Fi.
Whether you opt for the convenience of a hotel, the charm of a B&B or the escape of a cottage or campsite, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your Halton Hills getaway. Sweet dreams!
FAQ – Planning Your Trip to Halton Hills
Planning a trip to Halton Hills? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your adventure.
Do I need a car to get around Halton Hills?
Halton Hills covers a large area, so having your own vehicle is recommended for exploring all it has to offer. If driving isn’t an option, limited public transit is available on weekdays to connect you to major towns and cities. You can also look into bike rentals or ride-sharing with locals.
What is the weather like?
Halton Hills has a humid continental climate with warm, humid summers and cold winters. Summers are hot and humid, with average highs of 82 F (28 C) and lows of 59 F (15 C). Winters are cold, with average highs of 33 F (1 C) and lows well below freezing. Be prepared for rain and snow if traveling between October and April. Check the forecast before your trip and pack appropriate clothing.
Where can I stay?
You’ll find hotels, motels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, and campgrounds throughout Halton Hills. Options include:
• Hotels – Comfort Inn (Georgetown), Holiday Inn Express (Milton), Quality Hotel (Burlington)
• B&Bs – 1812 Georgetown Manor, The Coach House, Ellerslie Bed and Breakfast
• Vacation Rentals – Airbnbs, cottage and cabin rentals, especially around Acton and Georgetown
• Camping – 15 campgrounds in Halton Hills for RV and tent camping, including Kelso and Burlington Heights Conservation Areas.
• Farm Stays – Stay on a working farm, like Spirit Tree Estate Cidery or Burning Kiln Winery. Enjoy fresh farm-to-table meals, interact with animals, and experience life on an organic farm.
What activities are there? Halton Hills offers natural and cultural attractions for all ages and interests. Popular options include:
• Kelso and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas – Hiking, cycling, swimming, boating, bird watching.
• Mountsberg Conservation Area – Wildlife sanctuary, nature center, scenic trails.
• Museums – Halton Hills Cultural Center, Joseph Brant Museum, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival.
• Culinary – Farmers’ markets, craft breweries, wineries, cideries, cheese makers.
• Cycling – Extensive trail network for cycling, mountain biking and road biking. Bike rentals available.
• Golfing – Eight golf courses, including the Rattlesn
As you’ve discovered, Halton Hills is an adventurer’s paradise right in Ontario’s backyard. With stunning natural scenery, thrilling outdoor activities, charming small towns, and a vibrant food and drink scene, this area has something for everyone. Whether hiking the Bruce Trail, paddling the Credit River, cycling country roads, or simply enjoying farm-fresh fare at a local gastropub, Halton Hills is sure to delight. The best part is how close it is to home. So pack your bags, fill your gas tank, and get ready to experience all the wonders of Halton Hills. Adventure awaits just down the road!