• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

L58F Harrison park - Inglis Falls

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Hike Info

N44.54554 W80.93701

14.3 km

4 h 30 min

Variable with some steep hills; challenging between 009 to 010.

323 m

variable with long flat sections and some steep hills

Free parking lot

Washrooms in Harrison Park Inn and at Inglis Falls. Ice Cream at Hwy 10 between 009 - 010.

Inglis Falls; Food and drink at Harrison Park Inn after hike.

22 Sept 2014

Beautiful Inglis Falls>/p>


Hike can begin at Harrison Park or Inglis Falls but its nice to end the hike at Harrison Park Inn for refreshments.

Salmon run in September.

Much to do: snowshoeing, cross country


The Site

Harrison Park

Harrison Park Inn is very surprising and very casual. You would not expect a family style licensed restaurant in the park. Service was excellent and the food is home made. Turkey is cooked fresh each day and so is the roast beef. We had the turkey dinner and it was just like a thanksgiving meal at home. At busy times you might have to wait a bit for your food.

The trail laving the park heading south to Inglis Falls is hard packed natural terrain. While it is rated as moderate difficulty, it is full of natural obstacles. Rocks and roots keep you on your toes when the ground is not snow covered. There are some steep sections and even steeper hills if you take the alternate route (dotted red line on Trail map between 001 -003). This alternate route is not recommended in wet weather when the hills are slippery.

IMG 0311 inglisfalls43

If you are planning on skiing the trail, be aware that it is not a groomed facility. Adequate snow cover will be needed to hide the rocks and roots. At the Inglis Falls end, a relatively flat loop meets up with the trail that heads to Harrison Park. This loop is ideal for family cross-country ski and hike trips. Similarly, the trails within Harrison Park itself are relatively easy. There is a huge toboggan hill on the east side of the Sydenham River and the hill is a popular spot on winter weekends.

Each spring and fall, salmon and trout embark on their incredible journey up the Sydenham River to spawn. They’re given a little help At the Mill Dam, they get a little help from a fish ladder – the first to be built in Ontario. The best time to view fish at the Mill Dam is the third week in April (for rainbow trout) and from mid-September to the second week in October (for lake trout and salmon). Water temperature plays an important role as to when the fish will be jumping, so the fish may climb the ladder a week or two earlier. The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority monitors the fish migration and if you wish an accurate time to view the fish we suggest you contact their office at 519-376-3076 or keep tabs at www.GreatSalmonTour.com


Inglis Falls Conservation Area

There is a large parking lot at the top of the falls. This is an exceptional waterfall that will amaze you with its size and the fact that it is really a series of smaller falls each falling into the other all the way down. There is a good supply of water year round. The erosive power of the water has carved a deep gorge at the base of the falls. On a clear day you can see down the valley into the City of Owen Sound and out to the Owen Sound harbour.

There is a viewing platform, over 7 km of trails of various difficulty, access to the Bruce Trail, more than 20 species of ferns, bird watching opportunities, a series of geological potholes, historical remains of a grist mill, water filtration plant, picnic facilities and a gift shop for refreshments, gifts and used books. There are also decent washroom facilities.

The Grist Mill was established five years after the founding of Sydenham Village (now the City of Owen Sound) by Peter Inglis. Inglis was a young Scotsman who saw the potential of capturing the power of the Sydenham River cascade. He purchased a small existing grist mill at the foot of the falls along with a large tract of land. Seventeen years later in 1862, Inglis replaced the old mill with a new four-story mill to produce bran, flour and animal feed. He also built a sawmill downstream from the falls as well as a woolen mill on the east side of the river at the side of the crest of the falls.

The woolen mill was destroyed by fire in 1885 and was rebuilt but burned down again in 1901. The mill passed on to his oldest son, William, in 1886. Then William's son managed the mill until 1932 when the property was purchased by the city of Owen Sound for water rights. In 1960, Grey Region CA acquired the property that is today Inglis Falls Conservation Area. The millstones from the original mill are on display in the park.

From the washrooms at Inglis Falls, the trail heads south along the Sydenham River on the Keeling Side Trail. This was the main Bruce Trail in the past. This trail then heads east to cross Hwy 10 and then follows an old elevated rail line until it connects with the Main Bruce trail to the north. The section can be quite wet after a rain and at times it looks like you are walking in a creek.

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