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N 43°05'03.0" W 81°49'17.2"

43.084167, -81.821446

In spite of being called 'falls', there really isn't much of one. Its not the water, its the cool fossils. A scenic little pool under a tiny waterfall and an amazing place to explore in the tiny town of Arkona. A small creek (I believe it’s called Bear Creek.) feeds the falls and apparently, it can all but dry up if the summer months include a mild spell of drought. The stairs alone are a pretty good workout even though the trail is only marked as moderate. Each of the three staircases is over a hundred steps and the sides of the gorge are dangerously steep. Devonian Era fossils pre-dating dinosaurs are easy to find and surprisingly they permit you to remove just one during your visit…that’s one more than I would have expected. However, please note, no digging for them or using tools are permitted. There’s also the Arkona Lions Museum although it was closed for COVID when I visited. Visitors to the museum can see specimens of Devonian Era fossils such as trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids. Apparently, it’s a world famous location for fossils because of how the Ausable has exposed these layers of bedrock. The exercises in geometry you’ll see in some of these fossils are just mind blowing when you’re high. There are a lot of smaller trails that have been broken off of the main loop as well. You can even walk right up the river, its shallow enough. A short drive from the Ipperwash guerilla camping, (or Grand Bends tourist trap) it’s a wonderful spot to waste a cloudy day or just for a change of pace from the day to day. Its most definitely great to stop by for a quick soak in this feeder of the Ausable River on a sticky day…unless its dried up. Technically there is no beach or swimming area but there are no rules preventing you from getting under the falls. The Conservation Park has picnic tables and barbecue pits. Admission is four bucks a person from May to October and apparently long line ups form at the gate on summer weekends. The trails are open all year long. There’s also the Rock Glen Family Resort campground right across the road. Admission is 4$ a person.

Rock Glen Webpage

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