Distance hiked: 11.0km
Location: Inglis Falls Conservation Area, Ontario
Date: June 13, 2020
Inglis Falls is one of three waterfalls that surround the city of Owen Sound and is reputed to be the most impressive (and therefore the most visited). In addition to its waterfall, the Inglis Falls Conservation Area include a number of hiking trails at varying degrees of difficulty.
We were planning to visit K’s brother and sister-in-law who live near Owen Sound in the afternoon, so we decided to drive up earlier to first go for a hike at the Inglis Falls Conservation Area. We parked near the northern entrance of the conservation area and followed a small portion of the Harrison Park Side Trail to get to the main trail. As soon as we entered the forest, the trail got down to business right away and wasted no time climbing up the side of a steep cliff. There were numerous large boulders strewn across the path along the way, creating an interesting obstacle course.
Progress was slow in the beginning as the terrain was quite challenging. It also didn’t help that I stopped to take lots of pictures along the way. This portion of the trail was strenuous, but probably the most scenic with towering cliffs and exposed boulders lining both sides of the trail.
We made a brief detour to Raven’s Nest Side Trail (75m), which climbs to a scenic lookout over the Sydenham Valley.
And just when we were starting to second guess whether we’d be able to complete our hike in time, the path levels out.
The path then leads to a bridge to cross the Sydenham River before steadily winding uphill the Escarpment. The trail opens up to a wide area, which serves as the main access point for visitors who just want to see the falls without the hike. The path then continues down the gorge, providing spectacular views of Inglis Falls.
Inglis Falls has a rich history. Water from the falls was once used for grain and woollen milling and was used as drinking water for Owen Sound. In 1960, the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority acquired the area and converted it into the Inglis Falls Conservation Area. The conservation area also features the remains of the Inglis family home (for which the conservation area is named after) and millstones.
We followed the white blazes of the Bruce Trail outside the Inglis Falls Conservation Area, out into a farmer’s field, and through a dense forest. We then followed the Creamery Hill Side Trail (900m) along the road to reach up with Harrison Park Side Trail, which would lead us back to our car.
The Harrison Side Trail crosses through Harrison Park, a large urban park, and is relatively flat and easy going.
Once we returned to the car, we ate a quick snack before heading over to visit K’s brother and sister-in-law.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here