foley mountain conservation area

Foley Mountain Conservation Area in Ontario is home to an impressive cliff-side lookout

Foley Mountain Conservation Area in Ontario is home to the Spy Rock Lookout which sits high atop a granite ridge and offers legendary views of the Upper Rideau waterway with the village of Westport some 200-feet (65 metres) below. 

The scenic lookout is located just over three and a half hours from Toronto, making it just close enough for a remarkable day trip adventure. 

The lookout point is just a short hike from the Foley Mountain Conservation Area parking lot and can be easily accessed by way of a wide wooden ramp that leads you out to the open rock face. 

Once there you can enjoy panoramic views. You’ll see Mulvilles Bay in Upper Rideau Lake to the left, Westport Pond in the middle and a piece of Westport Sand Lake to the right. 

You’re also likely to spot the tall steeple of St. Edward the Confessor Church in Westport from the cliff. Just be careful in the area because the cliff’s edge drops away fairly abruptly. 

Interestingly enough, the dramatic cliff was actually the result of a meteor that hit Earth nearly a half billion years ago. 

The impact caused a massive earthquake and land dropped away along its fault line. In the case of Foley Mountain, it dropped about 100 metres, creating the abrupt, high cliff with its spectacular view.

The rest of the 800-acre conservation area is worth checking out as well with over 10 kilometres of walking trails

The seven different trails in the area are all under three kilometres and are well-marked and networked so you can explore for as short, or as long, as you’d like. 

The Rideau Trail that follows the Rideau Canal and extends all the way from Kingston to Ottawa also passes through here. 

The 2.3-kilometre Orange Maple Trail near the interpretive centre will bring you to a small beach with a natural swimming area. 

There's also a picturesque, green-hued pond that comes complete with a great lunch spot with a bench overlooking the water if you follow the 1.2-kilometre Beaver Pond Nature Trail. 

But whichever route you take, don’t skip the lookout! 

A day pass costs $7 and can be purchased online or at the conservation area with a pay machine that accepts both credit cards and coins.

Make sure to be respectful during your visit. Adhere to social distancing measures by visiting with a small group and pick up your trash to leave the area just as beautiful as you found it. 

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