Waterfalls have a timeless appeal with the sight and sound of cascading water. Bluewater country is full of such falls that are most abundant along Grey County's and Manitoulin Island's escarpment regions, but are also numerous on the spectacular rivers that plunge off the Canadian Shield regions in Northern Ontario. Most of these locations have trails, parks and picnic areas where visitors can make the most of their waterfall tour.
Beautiful, unspoiled – yet accessible, the French River Provincial Waterway Park is best described as a 105-km. long series of island dotted lakes, connected by falls and rapids. Look over your shoulder as you portage around a rapid – you may sense the spirits of past French Canadian voyageurs traversing this first water highway to the west. Such a place is Recollet Falls, which may be reached by a 1.5-km. trail from the Park Visitor Centre at Hwy 69. The falls has a nice picnic spot with an impressive view on the edge of the thunderous cataract. Other rapids like Devil’s
Harrison Park, off 2nd Avenue East, has a campground, mini-golf, tennis and tranquil ponds where visitors can rent boats to paddle among the waterfowl. Beautiful flowerbeds, bridges, trails and playgrounds line the watercourses. Weavers Creek boardwalk follows the valley to waterfalls behind the park's swimming pools. Salmon swim up the river to spawn in autumn and they can be viewed in the park or at the fish ladder on 6th Street West off 2nd Avenue West. The Black History Cairn is a symbolic rendering of the search for freedom by black American slaves that pioneered the area in the 1800's.
Bridal Veil Falls cascades into a verdant rocky glen just above the village of Kagawong. The falls have hollowed out a rocky alcove where visitors can take a natural shower or walk behind the falls. Scenic trails and a bridge intersect the gorge and connect with the trailhead at the estuary where there is ample parking. The White Pine Walk displays seven “Pathway of Peace” spiritual aphorisms throughout the woods behind the community centre. Children can explore a cedar maze beside the centre. The Kagawong River is navigable into Kagawong Lake from the boat launch where boat
Billings borders the North Channel in close proximity to the famous Benjamin Islands boating area. The port village of Kagawong has harbour facilities for small and large boats, and marine repair facilities are located nearby. Reach Kagawong by Highway 540, between M’Chigeeng and Gore Bay. The community offers a fine swimming beach with public washrooms, and adjacent playground. The mechanical parts of the former hydro generating station and fishing steamboat are displayed by the beach. The Old Mill Heritage Centre & Post Office Museum features a Danny Dodge (of the American
Inglis Falls is the best known and most visited waterfall north of Toronto! Inglis Falls is an 18-metre high cascade created by the Sydenham River tumbling over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. The erosive power of the water has carved a deep gorge at the base of the falls. Water flows all year over the Falls. In the late fall season the river welcomes the Salmon Run when the salmon return to the river to spawn. Inglis Falls Conservation Area is a 200-hectare site offering something for everyone: a viewing platform to see over the stone wall; 7.42 km of trails of various
Big Chute is located on the Trent-Severn Waterway via White’s Falls Road 34 or Big Chute Road 17 from Coldwater. This idyllic spot beside the Severn River is one of the world's most spectacular routes by water or highway. The waterway enables boaters to navigate the chain of rivers and lakes as a short cut from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. Most of the 45 locks operate by raising and lowering water levels, but Big Chute Marine Railway employs a carriage that transports boats from one body of water to another. This is the only lift of its kind in North America. Visitors can enjoy
The Maitland River is one of the best rivers for bass and Rainbow trout fishing plus salmon at its estuary. The most popular section for anglers is between the Highway 21 bridge and the river mouth. The Maitland offers paddlers a variety of scenic surprises from Wingham where the Middle Maitland joins the North fork all the way to Goderich. Canoeists and kayakers can expect to see nesting Bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and deer enroute. The river passes the historic Ball's iron bridge and two conservation areas along its course; Wawanosh Park above Auburn and Falls Reserve at Benmiller.
Manitou Falls is a pretty little waterfall hidden in the Manitou River valley near Michael's Bay on Manitoulin Island. The pristine stream cascades over limestone ledges on its course to the bay. Several trails lead through fields and along the river's edge, which is a lovely place for a picnic. The location is on private property, so visitors should respect the premises. A public boat launch and toilets are located at Michael's Bay Park on Lake Huron, which is a popular fishing spot for Rainbow Trout and salmon. Blue Jay Creek Provincial Nature Reserve is located across the estuary on the east side of the bay.
Port Albert is tucked in the Nine Mile River valley as the sort of place most people overlook but want to keep to themselves once they find it. A small park and fisheries display centre with historical signs are nestled below the dam where the stream rushes over the fish ladder. The river lazily flows through pools before spilling over a sandbar into Lake Huron. Anglers congregate there to catch salmon and trout from May to September and there are nice fishing holes above Highway 21 also. The sandy beach is a perfect spot for sunbathing in summer and viewing sunsets along the beach is
Bala Falls has beautiful water cascades and picnic areas that overlook the Moon River at the outlet of Lake Muskoka. It is a popular spot for wading and swimming during summer when the current is not too strong. It is also a popular staging area for mountain bikers who enjoy rock hopping over the ledges. The twin chutes are especially scenic during autumn when the maples display colourful leaves.
A.Y. Jackson, a founding member of the famous Group of Seven Canadian artists, painted the scene of High Falls entitled "Spring on the Onaping River" in 1953. The scenic lookout and many other vantage points from a bridge and trails around the falls can be visited from the Onaping Falls pavilion and picnic area. Interpretive signs, rock exhibits and mining equipment relics describe the singular geology of the region that was shaped by a massive meteorite impact 1.8 billion years ago. The lookout is fully accessible, but the other trails are quite steep and rough in places.
The scenic route along Road 1 through Balmy Beach offers panoramic views of the bay and nearby Indian Falls, a bight shaped, 15-metre cataract. A short trail leads through the woods from the picnic area to the cascade and numerous ferns and wildflowers may be found in the area. The falls are most impressive after substantial rainfall augments their flow. A small beach is located across the road on Old Beach Drive. Pay-by-phone parking is available at the Conservation Area.
The Beaver River is a busy spot for anglers during spring and fall Rainbow trout and salmon runs. A fishway allows fish to bypass the Thornbury dam when they swim upstream and a viewing platform enables visitors to witness the spectacle. The Lookout has interpretive plaques and lovely flowerbeds that enhance the view beside the bridge. The Riverwalk and lookout in Thornbury are part of the Georgian Trail recreation corridor, a smooth path for hiking, biking and skiing between Collingwood and Meaford.
Sauble Falls Provincial Park marks a series of limestone ledges that form Sauble Falls. On hot days, people often wade in the pools and cool off under the cascades. The park has a playground, campsites and a visitor centre that displays the history and ecology of the area. Trails lead through lush forest along scenic dunes with lookouts over the river. High sand dunes are also located north of the falls on the parkway, where children love to tumble down their slopes. The remnant of the water flume that once powered a pioneer saw mill, is visible on the north side of the falls. It is a pretty
Colborne Riverside Park has limited parking for day use only and a steep trail that leads to scenic cascades over ledges in the Maitland River. The trail joins the Maitland Trail through lush forest along the river. The park has a good fishing hole and favourite swimming spot for youths who like to jump off the rocks into the river.
At Benmiller, the Maitland valley becomes steeper and increasingly scenic along the river’s course. Falls Reserve Conservation Area offers camping amidst lovely, quiet surroundings. The park has campsites, a day-use picnic area, showers, snack booth, a playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball court and ball fields. The 230-acre park rests on the terraced banks of the valley, where nature trails lead through hilly terrain covered by hardwood and evergreen forest. The river runs over a series of shallow limestone ledges, picturesque falls and deep pools that provide excellent swimming and
The Rotary & Algonquin Regiment Trail may be traversed on foot or bicycle from Great North Road around the harbour to the marina, Old Town Beach, Coast Guard Station and Waubuno Park Beach. The trail affords a good view of the Seguin Falls and it is lit for safe use at night. A Skate & BMX Bike Park with ramps is located on Great North Road.
Rock Glen Conservation Area is located two kilometres northeast of Arkona, Ontario, Canada at 8680 Rock Glen Road. Phone gatehouse at 519-828-3071 or phone Ausable Bayfield Conservation office toll-free at 1-888-286-2610 for information. The admission fee (subject to change) is only $4.00 per person or $3.50 per walk-in. That includes admission to Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre. Two picnic pavilions can be reserved for groups. More and more brides and grooms are being married at Rock Glen Conservation Area. Driving Directions: From Sarnia or
The Pottawatomi & Jones Falls Conservation Area has several wooded trails that cross the Pottawatomi River to reach Jones Falls beside Highway 6 at Springmount. Numerous ferns and wildflowers can be seen in the forest. The trails start at the Grey-Bruce Information Centre, which has a picnic area and washrooms.
Bass Lake Creek creates a pretty cascade past a replica of the historic, water-powered Batman’s Sawmill. A viewing platform is located beside a fish ladder where jumping fish can be observed during spring or fall spawning runs. A picturesque boardwalk links this park with the village along Mill Street. Docks, launch ramps, toilets and a picnic area provide parking and access to the lake at the end of Dunlop Street.
See & Do