Rock Glen Conservation Area

Rock Glen Conservation Area in Ontario has rare fossils and a waterfall you can explore

Rock Glen Conservation Area in Ontario is a scenic destination with tons of natural beauty, including a cascading waterfall, scenic trails, and rare fossils you can search for.

Located west of London, you'll find the park nearly 2.5 hours away from Toronto in the small town of Arkona. It's open seasonally from May through October from sunrise to sunset.

The variety of recreational trails will lead you through Carolinian forests, over bridges, and past the Ausable Chasm.

There are also three staircases (each with 50 steps) you can take which lead you to Rock Glen Falls, plus one with 100 steps that'll take you down to the gorge.

Rock Glen Falls, a 10.7 m natural rock cascade which flows into the Ausable River, is the conservation area's main attraction. It's one of the few waterfalls in Ontario where you can get close to both the top and bottom.

You might even see people swimming in the pools below the falls, but the conservation area states that swimming is not permitted.

A super unique feature of Rock Glen is that you can actually search for and collect rare fossils. These fossils are from the Devonian Era, also known as the Age of Fishes. 

As scientists believe the area was once home to a tropical sea, visitors may find everything from horn coral fossils to brachiopos and trilobites, as well as various other ancient marine species.

The conservation area lets each visitor take one fossil home with them, and asks guests to please honour the rule to ensure there will be many left for others to find for years to come.

If you're interested, you can learn more about the park's fossils at the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre. The recently-renovated facility houses a wide collection of Devonian Era fossils, minerals and artifacts found in the area. 

A small entry fee of $4.25 per person is required, which can be paid at the park's gatehouse. The entry fee also includes free admission to the Arkona Lions Museum.

Lead photo by

Ausable Bayfield Conservation


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