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
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.