Where there is love, there is life.
One of the wonders of the natural world, Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment is a United Nations-designated “world biosphere reserve”, a place where a landform and its living heritage can be accessible to-but not infringed on by-urban neighbours. Forming a 725-kilometre limestone spine from the Niagara Gorge, through the Golden Horsehoe area and into the Blue Mountains of Grey County, the Escarpment lifts its rocky face above Georgian Bay all the way to Tobermory. Beside the Escarpment itself, buffer zones keep open space, to protect the ecology while limiting development. Visitors from the world over travel to study the remarkable landforms, diverse wildlife, and rare plants native to the Escarpment. The Bruce Trail links the natural features of the Niagara Escarpment, while parks and conservation areas of different sizes and with varying facilities welcome visitors, whether hikers or not.
Irish Mountain is across a small valley from the Niagara Escarpment.
BLANTYRE TO WIARTON Leaving the almost deserted hamlet of Blantyre, the Trail goes through the valleys of the Bighead and North Spey Rivers with extensive views of Georgian Bay. Near Owen Sound, the Sydenham River makes a spectacular splash as it tumbles over Inglis Falls. Views of Owen Sound from the high cliffs of the Escarpment are followed by another waterfall – the Pottawatomi River going over Jones Falls. Continuing noirthward, the Trail passes The Glen, Bass Lake, Slough of Despond, Esther Rock, Skinner Bluff and Bruce Caves, all good areas for enjoying flora and fauna. At Wiarton, “The Gateway to the Bruce”, the Trail reaches Georgian Bay.
The word is “Wow!” when you drive the roads of the scenic Beaver Valley. Every hill brings a rush, even without skis. From heights such as Epping Lookout to the valley bottom beside the rushing waters of the Beaver River, you’ll see vistas of orchards and fields, rocky outcroppings and tiny glens decorated in warmer months with wildflowers. Come in the fall, and experience layers of colour climbing to the Blue Mountains. Known to birders, hikers, and canoeists, the Beaver Valley can even boast a short-lived, long-ago gold rush. The gorge below Eugenia Falls is still a treasure…one of the many Nature has given to this part of Grey County.