Escarpment Discovery Hike
Silver Creek Conservation Area is Credit Valley Conservation’s largest land holding and protects many significant natural features including the headwaters of Silver Creek, a Credit River tributary. This Area includes a large Escarpment valley and many representative features of the area’s natural splendour. Wander past babbling brooks, lush forests, and Escarpment rocks as you explore this little taste of wilderness nearby urban and rural settings.
This trail based Conservation Area has no public facilities and it is strongly recommended that you have a copy of the Bruce Trail Reference guidebook before heading out on the trails. Always remember to plan your trip.
The Silver Creek Conservation Area is largest part of the Terra Cotta – Silver Creek Complex, a collection of properties comprised of Terra Cotta, Silver Creek and the Terra Cotta Forest. Situated on the Niagara Escarpment, the beauty, diversity and environmental significance of the Complex is among the highest in the watershed.
Silver Creek covers 1086 acres and has Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) and is designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). Some of these ESAs are important nesting areas for many species of birds including turkey vultures, ruffed grouse and great-horned owls. These ESAs also provide significant habitat for white-tailed deer, brook trout, and redside dace.
Silver Creek is CVC’s largest conservation area – spanning four concessions and several lots – and protects many significant natural features including the headwaters of Silver Creek, a Credit River tributary. This area includes a large and spectacular escarpment valley and many representative features of the areas natural splendour. Silver Creek is a trail-based conservation area that is comprised mainly of the Bruce Trail corridor.
Recent efforts to enhance environmental protection include the creation of a 120 metre boardwalk to protect the endangered Jefferson Salamander’s habitat in and around the Silver Creek pond from trail widening and soil compaction. A 25 metre U-shaped dock was also added to allow for access to the pond for dipping studies, and ensure wildlife viewing is safer for animals and visitors.
Note: For more history, please see Terra Cotta Conservation Area.
Brook trout need cold, clear, clean water to thrive and survive. They prefer water around the headwaters of spring fed streams, such as Snow’s Creek. They need gravel beds in which to lay their eggs.
Brook Trout are very sensitive to pollution from soil erosion, runoff from farms fields and lawns, and livestock wading into the water to drink. They can also be harmed if too many trees and other vegetation are removed from alongside their streams, or if the water flow is slowed and warmed by dams or ponds. For this reason, many on-line ponds and old dams have been removed, to help keep the water cold enough for Brook Trout and other like fish.
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The Mountain Maple is Canada’s smallest and most northerly growing maple. It helps prevent erosion on steep Escarpment slopes. New roots can form where twigs touch the ground, sometimes causing dense thickets to grow, especially in newly cleared areas.
Mountain Maple grows up to 9 metres high. It is shade-tolerant, slow-growing and short-lived. Mountain Maple occurs along streams and on ravine slopes, and on sheltered, moist rocky slopes and hillsides. Mountain Maple thickets on talus slopes are found in Halton’s Silver Creek Valley and Halton Forest South ANSI’s (Areas of Natural Scientific Interest).
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Salamander Run is a frogger-style interactive game starring Jeff. Guide Jeff through a series of obstacles, and help him find food along the way.
Enjoy playing this interactive challenge and test how much you've learned about the Escarpment in Halton Region.
Help Bruce the Beaver get home to his family, and don't forget to pick up some supplies along the way!
Learn about plants and animals on the Escarpment in this downloadable wordsearch.