Access to the preserve is only available on a TILTrek or by arrangement, because there is no public access to Carleton Island.
Located near the head of Carleton Island, Fort Haldimand was built in 1777 as a staging area for the British during the American Revolution. Molly Brant, a Mohawk leader who worked to keep the Iroquois Confederacy loyal to the British during the war, lived at Fort Haldimand for a time.
The Patten Corporation purchased Carleton Island (which at one time had been grazing land for Zenda Farm’s beef cattle) and created development lots. In 1986, working with TILT, conservation easements were placed on these lots to protect them from overdevelopment.
It is easy to see why the site was chosen for the Fort, given its vantage point toward Lake Ontario. It included a powder magazine, a well and several barracks. A bluff provided natural fortification on one side while man-made parapets completed its defense. All that remain of the fortifications are a few piles of stones and remnants of chimneys.
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