Crawford Lake - Revealing the Mysteries of the Past - Burlington Attractions and Oakville History.
Hidden in the eastern Ontario woodlands of the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, rests Crawford Lake.
Crawford Lake, a rare 'meromictic' lake, holds fascinating secrets of the past deep within it's depths.
As a meromictic lake, there is very little circulation at it's lower levels, thereby allowing annual sediment deposits called 'varves' to lay undisturbed for thousands of years.
In 1971 an analysis of sediment collected from the depths of Crawford Lake revealed a high concentration of corn pollen.
The corn pollen, dating from the years 1434-1459, indicated that a native village once rested nearby on the shores of the lake.
Archeological excavations revealed the presence of an Iroquoian village, the first 'prehistoric' village in the eastern forests of North America to be accurately dated.
Along with the location of the native longhouses and building structures, thousands of Iroquoian artifacts were found.
Reconstruction of the village took place over a number of years and today you may visit this beautiful Burlington and Oakville area attraction and historical site to experience for yourself life in a pre-contact Indian village.
As you stroll around the walkways of the village, the sultry scent of woodsmoke fills your nostrils and you find yourself transported back to a time when life was simple and people lived with the heartbeat of the land guiding their daily activities.
On entering one of the many Longhouses, your eye becomes entranced by the delicate, yet sturdy, baskets, tools, clothing, canoes and snowshoes of our indigenous peoples.
A fire started with flint, the same way it would have been started hundreds of years ago by a woman of the village, sends it's smoky curls upwards in search of the smoke-hole in the Longhouse roof.
For a moment you find your heartbeat slowing and your every cell gentling to a quiet rythm rarely found in the hustle and bustle of today's harried world.
A sadness takes over you as you sense a deep spirit of loss and you find yourself wishing that, even for just a few hours, you could be transported back to that time when the waters of Crawford Lake teemed with fish and happy children's playful calls could be heard echoing throughout the surrounding woods and fields, while simple but delicious suppers cooked slowly over the longhouse fires.
Crawford Lake Conservation Area is located at the junctions of Steeles Avenue (now Conservation Road) and Guelph Line north of Burlington, Ontario.
To view a map showing how to get to Crawford Lake, click here ->Crawford Lake Conservation Area and Iroquoian Village .
With it's 19 kms of groomed hiking, cross-country skiiing and snowshoeing trails, as well as a sturdy, wide boardwalk around the lake itself, Crawford Lake will quickly become one of your destinations of choice when the urge to explore Oakville's history or Burlington's attractions comes upon you.
The unmatched beauty of the Niagara Escarpment surrounds the visitor at the Nassagaweya Canyon Interpretive Lookout as their gaze takes in the incredible views of nature and the sounds of forest creatures echo across the breathtaking landscape.
With a Visitor's Centre, well-stocked Gift Shop and Refreshment Area, Theatre, Gathering Place, Exhibits and Picnic Areas, Crawford Lake is sure to have something to please people from all walks of life and of every age.
If you are a teacher or a group leader, be sure to explore the amazing, hands-on, Educational Programs at Crawford Lake.
Parents may even opt to hold their child's next birthday party here!
It's certain to be one that will be remembered and talked about for years to come.
No matter what your interests are, if you are planning a visit to Crawford Lake, don't leave home without your camera. Photographic opportunities abound.
Crawford Lake, while revealing the mysteries of the past to it's thousands of annual visitors, has become a favourite Burlington area attraction for all who are interested in Oakville history, the Niagara Escarpment and the history of Ontario's Iroquois people.
Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Your Choice Realty , Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her by email: Email Jo-Anne Smith