Rockwood ontario

Explore glacial potholes and hike to sweeping vistas at this Ontario conservation area

With towering limestone cliffs, glacial potholes, caves, and pine forests, Rockwood Conservation Area is brimming with natural wonders and one of the most beautiful parks to explore this winter.

The park is part of the Grand River Conservation Authority, located minutes away from Guelph. It has two hiking trails running on both sides of the Eramosa River, which are moderately flat and suitable for all hiking levels.

One of the park's alluring features are the huge potholes you can discover. Rockwood Conservation Area is home to over 200 potholes.

The Pothole Trail will lead you to these glacial phenomenons, created by boulders and rocks left behind by the Wisconsin glacier over 11,000 years ago.

Its unique geological history has also left one of Ontario's most extensive network of caves, which are a popular attraction to explore. The caves are closed during the winter to protect the hibernating bats within them. 

The Cedar Ridge Trail continues the loop on the opposite side of the river, and will take you through some of the oldest trees in southern Ontario. It will also bring you to the scenic lookout point, which has epic panoramic views across the Eramosa River.

There are also a number of historical features within the park to see, including ruins of the Harris & Co. Rockwood Woolen Mill.

This mill ran for 24 hours a day during the first world war, producing mass orders of Canadian army blankets. It closed its doors in 1931 at the start of the Great Depression, and now the stone ruins are all that remains.

If you'd like to visit, Rockwood Conservation Area is open year round for day use. Daily admission fees are required to enter.

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