Rock Glen Falls in the Canadian province of Ontario’s Lambton Shores, in the community of Arkona, is a suburban rock glen conservation area. The Ausable Bayfield rock glen Conservation area and Authority owns and cares for the rock glen conservation area and region. (ABCA).
1. What is Rock Glen Falls?
The Rock Glen Conservation Area is a day-use park with scenic views of Rock Glen Falls and recreational walking pathways through Carolinian Forest (RGCA).
You are invited and urged to stop by the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre while you are in Rock Glen to find out more about the fascinating local history.
There are picnic pavilions with parking available, and the entry fee is $3 per individual. You can descend a wooden staircase to the bottom of a trail that crosses the gorge and the foot of the falls. If you wanted, you could stand underneath them.
1.1 Facilities Provided by Rock Glen Conservation Area
Down the gorge, you can trek. If you enjoy finding fossils, keep a watch out because there are many different fossils and minerals to be found here. Only one fossil or rock specimen may be taken by each person.
This cascade is by itself. It is located 30 km east of Sarnia and Port Huron and 10 km north of the 402 highway. About 160 kilometres to the east are the town of Hamilton and its cascades. You can reach Sauble Falls and the Owen Sound cascades by travelling north on Route 21.
Hiking through the Ausable Gorge or the significant Carolinian woodland in Rock Glen will allow you to see many provincially unique trees, plants, and animals.
2. History of Rock Glen Falls
The Rock Glen’s settlement history begins around 10,000 years ago when Paleo or Early First Nations peoples used the surrounding hills for caribou hunting on the conservation area’s arid plains.
The exhibit features numerous “cache” blades from the Archaic indigenous peoples and artifacts found as “fluted points” linked to the Paleolithic era.
All tourists can see the park’s highlights, such as the museum, conservation area, picnic conservation areas, and scenic lookouts, thanks to accessible trails.
A wheelchair-accessible overlook and a 1.5 km hiking path are available at this 67-acre gorge site.
3. Flora and Fauna in Rock Glen Falls
Rock Glen is home to several tree species from each conservation area and region, including well-known cold-hardy species such as the sugar maple, beech, white elm, and basswood. It is in the transition zone between the Carolinian Forest Area and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands conservation area.
In spring, up to 50 varieties of wildflowers bloom, and small creatures scamper through the underbrush as songbirds’ songs fill the air. Playgrounds, boardwalks, pathways, a beautiful rock overlook, nature, and a stunning 10.7-meter waterfall on Rock Glen Creek are all present.
The land was covered by a shallow sea 350 million years ago with millions of hard-shelled marine creatures. These organisms were submerged in the sediment of the ocean floor when the sea receded. The outcome? Sedimentary rocks deposited over several layers are dotted with hints about Earth’s past.
3.1 Hiking and Fossil Searching
These fossils were made visible 10,000 years ago by an earthquake that broke the bedrock. Rock Glen is one of North America’s top fossil-reservoir locations from the Middle Devonian Period.
Even though you aren’t allowed to be digging for them, fossils embedded in the river gorge’s walls frequently become loose during torrential downpours and wash down to the streambed. Geologists-in-training can take only one fossil sample with them when they depart.
In the nearby Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre, visitors and the whole family may discover more about the human and geological history of the conservation area.
Rock Glen Falls and the Ausable River’s erosional force frequently cause new fossils to be released from their underlying geological strata.
The most often discovered fossils include brachiopods, horn corals, and crinoid stems.
3.2 The Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre
The Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre is home to an exclusive collection of fossils and artifacts dating back to the Devonian era found in the park’s Rock Glen Rd Arkona conservation area.
Visitors can safely explore the rock glen rd arkona’s steep slopes and the 10.7-meter-high waterfall right upstream of the Ausable River thanks to stairs, boardwalks, and a bridge.
Among the exposed beds, tourists and amateur archaeologists from all across North America have discovered numerous 350 million-year-old fossils. These prehistoric artifacts most commonly found fossils are known scientifically as trilobites, brachiopods, and crinoids.
4. Can You Descend Rock Glen Falls to its Lowest Point?
Yes! one of the few well-known waterfalls we’ve visited in Ontario, where getting near the falls is allowed from the top and the bottom. Visitors may find this exciting, but this privilege needs to be honoured with safety. If not taken seriously, the falls can be very hazardous.
5. Is Swimming Possible at Rock Glen Falls?
The Conservation Area declares that there is no swim area here due to the small size of the falls’ pool and seasonal variations in water levels. Fortunately, it was made plain to us that swimming at the base and wading down the creek that leads away from the falls are both permitted for guests.
6. Rock Glen Conservation Area
Rock Glen Conservation Park has it all: trails, islands, waterfalls, museums, you name it. The Devonian-era fossils and artifacts are on display at the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Center.
Discover the Carolinian forests by taking one of the many routes to waterfalls and viewpoints that lead across slopes that were once used for caribou hunting over 10,000 years ago. A distinctive island and an 11 m high waterfall can be seen at Rock Glen Conservation Area.
6.1 Area Features a Trip to Artifacts Found
This conservation area is a well-liked location for weddings because of the breathtaking environment. You can participate in guided hikes and educational programs to learn more about the many unique flora, animals, rocks, and fossils.
One of the best-kept secrets in southwest Ontario is Rock Glen Conservation Area, a museum tucked away in the little hamlet of Arkona. In addition to rock and having a stunning waterfall, the museum at Rock Glen is also one of the best places in Ontario to find Devonian-era fossils. Prepare yourself for an experience because this location is truly unique.
6.2 Rock Glen Conservation Park
Rock Glen Conservation Park is a terrific place to spend at least 2-3 hours exploring the whole rock glen conservation area because of the falls, the hike to the river, the hiking and fossil searching and the fossils to discover.
There’s a strong possibility you’ll want to spend a day here if you’re looking for fishing, grilling, or hosting a family reunion.
Although visitors are allowed to stay all day, confining your visit to a few daylight hours, and exploring on weekends and holidays throughout the summer off-season, will assist the flow of traffic into and out of the park.
The busiest seasons most people visit Rock Glen Conservation Area are weekends and public holidays in the spring and summer.
It is advised to go on a weekday when there won’t be as many people there.
7. Rock Glen Conservation Area Trail
Starting your visit by taking the trails from the parking lot to the falls is a smart choice. Wooden walkways, many stairs, and viewing platforms can be found around the falls leading to the pool as you get closer to them.
Once you descend the wooden stairs to the falls’ base, you will observe numerous people climbing up and down the rocky drain (stream) that leads to the Ausable River. This is a great, fun, and exciting way to get to the river if you don’t mind a potentially slick hike.
7.1 Hiking and Fossil Searching
If you prefer a more secure and dry way for trekking and fossil hunting, explore the designated hiking trails and sturdy wooden stairs that descend to the river from the falls’ observation deck.
We took the stairs back up after hiking the rocky creek down to the river. The stroll is lovely and takes you through a luxuriant Carolinian woodland.
You will be surrounded by Devonian prehistoric fossils as soon as you reach the Ausable River! We advise searching through the rocks to see what kinds of gems you can uncover!
The numerous types of fossils found in the conservation area are listed in the booklet provided upon arrival provides for a great fun treasure hunt!
Although you can continue further along the river, the circumference of the trail from the falls to the Ausable River and back to the falls is just approximately a kilometre long.
8. Some Rules and Regulations to Keep in Mind
- Alcohol consumption is not permitted.
- E-bikes and other powered vehicles are not allowed on the paths.
- Drones are prohibited.
- Finding fossils underground is forbidden
- Dogs must be leashed and under supervision, and you are in charge of cleaning up after them.
- Ensure your pet doesn’t harm or impede wildlife or vegetation or conflict with the enjoyment of others.
- No plants, trees, animals, signs, or buildings should be removed or damaged.
- Respect the nearby landowners and stay on the paths.
- By relevant laws, fishing is allowed.
- Avoid leaving behind trash.
Rock Glen Falls is one of Ontario’s best-kept summer vacations. In addition to having a lovely waterfall ideal for selfies, it is also one of the easiest-to-reach places in Ontario to look for fossils. All at once, it’s instructive, thrilling, refreshing, and calming.