We were recently looking for something new and fun to do with the kids. We didn’t want to travel too far, but craved a little adventure. After doing some good old googling, we settled on a day at Rock Glen. We are both familiar with the local attraction, but I hadn’t been since I was a child and had only vague memories of the place. Well. It was pretty awesome.
After parking you walk around the trail and almost immediately see this:
The Ausable river gets gorgeous as it drops over a 33 ft. ledge creating this impressive waterfall. It collects below in a small basin before continuing down stream all the way to the Ausable Gorge. The falls and basin are accessible by stair and anyone brave enough can go in and get wet. There were actually plenty of kids and adults wading around, climbing the rocks and standing under the falls.
The gorge is most famously known for its abundance of fossils. You can follow the river or the trail down to the gorge and just start hunting. There are plenty of brachiopods, and trilobites for kids to ‘dig up’ and awe over. Sorta like Indiana Jones! Okay, kids don’t know who that is anymore (SAD), but they can get their dig on and hunt down a fossil all their own amongst the stones. No special tools required.
After picking their favourite fossil we left the rest for someone else to find and continued our trek back up the river. We followed the looped trail to one side of the river on the way down and took the opposite side on the way up. There were a few stairs that led to amazing look out points along the way with views back down to the river and gorge behind us.
It was a pretty hot day when we went, but we managed to defeat the stairs by stopping to enjoy the views. We also had the falls to look forward to as the girls had decided that they were ‘definitely‘ hot enough to want to go in the water.
It look some encouragement from Dad, and some water shoes, but in they went and had a blast! The water isn’t totally clear, and the bottom is uneven with large rocks so I would recommend wearing a water shoe, but standing in a waterfall is pretty cool for 10 year olds!
Due to the geographic and archeological significance of the area there is also a museum and information center for those who are more curious about ancient history and want to see more fossils.
If you’re in the Arkona area or even looking for an excellent day trip for kids, this is a fantastic place to go. There are also plenty of campgrounds in the more general area, including one across the road, if thats your thing and you’re looking to stay longer.
Check out the Rock Glen Conservation Area website for all the information you’ll need. Happy Adventuring!