rockwood conservation

These epic ruins are just one hour from Toronto

If you’re looking for your next road trip destination, the Rockwood Conservation Area is a must. Not only does this 194-acre park have great hiking trails, boardwalks and idyllic beaches, it also houses some epic castle-like ruins where you can live out your Game of Thrones fantasies.

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Just an hour outside Toronto in the town of Rockwood, this conservation area has become one of the hottest parks to visit in the summer. Its accessibility and proximity to major highways like the 401 make it an easy city escape.

What makes Rockwood Conservation Area unique from most parks is the sheer amount of activities it boasts and its rich geological aspects. A few environmental features it’s known for are the glacier bluffs, extensive cave systems (12 in total) and some of the oldest dated trees in Ontario.

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Even with Rockwood being a nature lovers paradise, it seems over the years the biggest tourist draw has been the stunning Harris Woolen Mill ruins, the remnants of an ancient textile mill.

Built in the mid 1880s, the mill was forced to shut down during the Depression and has remained vacant since.

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Over the past decade, the mill had gone through almost a million-dollar renovation to preserve its history and make it safe for visitors to walk through and appreciate.

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The site is part of the Grand River Conservation Authority, and is an extremely popular spot for picnics, hikes, photography shoots and weddings.

If you want to spend more than a day inside the park, there are over 120 campsites on four main campgrounds. Fill your entire weekend up with swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, spelunking and even paddle boarding — which you can rent in the summer.

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The conservation area is open year-round and camping is available from May to October.

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Rockwood Conservation Area


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