Transitions-Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Real Estate Blog: Crawford Lake - Revealing the Mysteries of the Past - Niagara Escarpment Trails and Parks

Real Estate blog about property, home buying and selling, life in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga Regions of Ontario, Canada.

Crawford Lake - Revealing the Mysteries of the Past - Niagara Escarpment Trails and Parks

Crawford Lake - Revealing the Mysteries of the Past - Burlington Attractions and Oakville History.

Hidden in the eastern Ontario woodlands
Crawford Lake near Milton Ontario 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.
Iroquois Longhouse Artifacts at Crawford Lake

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
Crawford Lake Longhouse - Oakville History 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.

Inside a Longhouse at Crawford Lake Indian Village - Burlington Attractions

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.

Snowshoes and Native Artifacts at Crawford Lake Iroquoian Village - Oakville History

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.

Longhouse Cooking and Warming Fire Crawford Lake Burlington Attraction

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.

Birchbark Iroquois Canoe at Crawford Lake - Oakville History

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.

Crawford Lake Indian Village Site Plaque - Burlington AttractionsWith 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.


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Comment balloon 12 commentsJo-Anne Smith • October 29 2009 03:25PM


Jo, What a beautiful post and I loved the pictures.  I would love seeing this village and the long houses in person and have always admired the Native Americans for living WITH the land and honoring it.  Those beautiful baskets caught my eye....thank you so much for taking me along on this adventure.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 10 years ago

hi Carole!

Thank you for your appreciative words....I somehow knew you valued history and the native peoples of this content, even though you and I have never talked about it before. The baskets are certainly beautiful....they were artists and the finest craftspeople using strictly things they found in nature and primitive tools to make all they needed.

Maybe one day you'll visit here and I'll take you there to visit the village!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago

Hi Jo,

What an interesting post and interesting place. I've never even heard of  a "meromictic" lake before.

Btw, great photos!

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) over 10 years ago



This is an extremely well-done post. You should send it to some of the schools. This would make a great day trip.



Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 10 years ago

Jo, It's a deal, I would love to see this incredible place.  I just bought an old plaster (?) basket that someone brought home from a reservation in Arizona.  Not sure where I'm going to put it but I loved it.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 10 years ago

hi Lynda,

I'd never heard of a meromictic lake before either...not until I visited this site a few weeks ago. It's such a beautiful, peaceful place.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago

Thanks Brian,

I believe that many of the schools do take class trips seems to have some excellent educational programs in place.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago

Hi Carole,

I would love to see the basket you bought...any pictures?


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago

VERY cool post Jo (and almost a story)
Looks like a great place to visit!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Jo - This is a new one for me ... it looks like it would be a great educational trip for my grandchildren

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 10 years ago


Thanks! You'd love visiting there....I just know it.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago


I think you would love visiting Crawford Lake as much as your grandchildren brother takes his children there quite often and they never seem to tire of going.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago

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