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Rockwood

Rockwood Conservation Area


Towering limestone cliffs, caves and glacial potholes, including one of the world's largest, are a few of the natural wonders at the Rockwood Conservation Area. You can view them from hiking trails on both sides of the Eramosa River or in a rented canoe. The conservation area has over 65,000 visitors a year from near and far and offers excellent recreational opportunities only a short distance from major metropolitan areas.


  Info at-a-glance

Address:
161 Falls Street
Rockwood, ON   N0B 2K0
Approximate latitude 43° 36' 47" N
Approximate longitude 80° 8' 52" W
Print a map and directions

Contact:
conservation area staff or phone (519) 856-9543

Season:
Open the last weekend in April to the Sunday following Thanksgiving

Fees:
Click here for conservation area fees

 

  Special Notices

Check the Newsroom for information on beach conditions

Please read our notice about firewood and help protect our trees

Please review our Camping Reservation Policy prior to making your on-line or phone reservation (1-866-ONT-CAMP)

Alcohol is permitted only on registered campsites, except during the total alcohol ban on Victoria Day and Labour Day weekends

Info on West Nile Virus

There is NO beach patrol at GRCA conservation areas. Children are the responsibility of the parents/guardians/adults.

Please click here to complete a brief survey. This will help us make improvements to your conservation area experience.


Please review our Camping Reservation Policy prior to making your on-line or phone reservation (1-866-ONT-CAMP).

 

Activities


Camping
Canoeing/Kayaking
Hiking
Cycling
Swimming
Picnicking
Natural Features
Visitor Services
 

Facilities


Gatehouse
Group facilities
Washrooms
Concession
Sports and fun

Other


Fees
Events calendar
Dog policy
Tourism/Services

 
 
 

ACTIVITIES

Camping

Camp sites: Rockwood has approximately 110 campsites in four main campgrounds, including 50 serviced sites (electricity and water), 16 full-service (water, hydro and septic) and 44 unserviced sites. Up to six people are permitted per campsite. Check in is after 2 p.m. and check out is before noon.

Group camping: Four group sites can be reserved through conservation area staff. They are for supervised youth groups or larger gatherings that exceed 10 units and are available by reservation only.

Monthly & seasonal campers: Please call the conservation area directly to reserve your monthly or seasonal site.

Reserve a site: Sites can be booked online or by calling toll-free 1-866-ONT-CAMP (1-866-668-2267). Maps showing the campground area and location of the campsites can be found by clicking the 'online' link above. Please review our Camping Reservation Policy prior to making your reservation.

Map: Click here for a map of the campgrounds (PDF).

Fees: Daily, monthly and seasonal rates are available. Click here for fee information.

Firewood: Firewood can be purchased from the gatehouse before 9 p.m.

Alcohol: Alcohol is permitted on registered campsites, except for a total alcohol ban on the Victoria Day and Labour Day long weekends.

Waste: Garbage can be left at your site if you are camping or dropped in the hopper by the serviced washroom. Garbage bags are provided at the gate. There are no blue box bins at the conservation area.

 

Canoeing/Kayaking

Canoeing is one of the most popular activities at the conservation area. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the beach kiosk for $10/hr with a $75 cash deposit or a credit card number in case of loss. Start your journey at the beach and paddle upstream through small back bays and up to the waterfall created from the upper mill pond and its dam. Paddle boats can also be rented.

Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are available daily in July and August (weather permitting). Hours are Monday to Wednesday from 11:00 am to 5:30pm and Thursday to Sunday from 10:00am to 6:30pm. Contact the park for spring and fall schedule (May, June, September and October).

For more information on canoeing in the Grand River watershed, please click here.

 

Hiking

The two main trails provide plenty of scenery including the river's edge and the mixed forest. The trails can be accessed from the beach or the mill ruins.

For more information on Grand River trails please click here.

 

Swimming

There is a large sandy beach. The area marked by buoys provides a shallower area for swimming. The beach is not patrolled, so parents or guardians must keep a close watch on children at all times.

A life-jacket loaner program is available. Use of the life-jackets is free with a small, refundable deposit. Ask at the gatehouse for information.

Water quality is tested weekly during the summer. Check the newsroom for beach conditions or contact the conservation area.

 

Picnicking

Picnic tables are scattered throughout the conservation area for your use. Open fires are not permitted for safety reasons but visitors can bring along a barbecue.

 

Natural Features

Rockwood has a unique geological history that has left it with glacial bluffs, potholes and caves. The glacial bluffs were formed during the most recent ice age, which ended 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and range from five to 30 metres deep and seven to 200 meters wide.

The conservation area has over 200 potholes that vary in size and diameter. They were created by hard debris like pebbles and boulders that were left by the Wisconsin glacier and caught in eddies in rapidly flowing melt water.

The cave system is one of the most extensive ones in Ontario and includes stalactites, columns and flowstone. The conservation area has a network of 12 caves.

 

Visitor Services

Throughout the summer, Rockwood Conservation Area offers programs and activities for families and children. Contact conservation area staff at the gatehouse for more information or download the Interpretive Events flyer. (735 KB PDF)

 

FACILITIES

Gatehouse

This is the location of the community bulletin board, pay telephone and lost and found. It is the place to purchase firewood (until 9 p.m.), report any problems and concerns and to get further information about the conservation area.

 

Group facilities

Rockwood is a favourite location for special events such as weddings, corporate picnics and family reunions.

Rockwood has two facilities for these occasions - the Pavilion, a large chalet-style shelter with a beautiful view of the beach, and the ruins of a woolen mill that dates back to 1867. The mill has grown popular for family gatherings, wedding ceremonies and wedding photos. For more information on booking the Mill, please click here.

Please click here for these and other group rental facilities in our conservation areas or call conservation area staff directly.

Attention film and TV producers: with caves, the ruins of an old stone mill, a beautiful beach and glacial potholes, the Rockwood Conservation Area offers a variety of settings for your film and video needs. If you're a locations scout the Rockwood Conservation Area can cut your search time in half. We can offer you a variety of settings in any season for a reasonable fee. For more information on using the Rockwood Conservation Area please contact the area superintendent at (519) 856-9543.

 

Washrooms

There are three washrooms scattered throughout the park. The main washroom is located in the Pine View area and has 8 pay-showers ($0.25 fee).There is a washroom and 2 showers located in Cedar Valley campground and a washroom at the pavilion above the beach.

Vault type toilets are located throughout the conservation area.

 

Concession

The food concession can be found in the middle of the conservation area above the beach area. The concession is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cold drinks, burgers and many more treats are available. A pay phone is also located at the concession.

 

Sports and fun

A mini golf course is located near the front entrance and discount rates are available for company picnics and large groups if requested in advance. There is also a playground for children.

 

OTHER

Events calendar

Many conservation areas and nature centres host special events and family fun. Click for our online events calendar or download Rockwood's Interpretive Events flyer.

 

Dog Policy

Pets are allowed in the conservation area, but not in the swimming area and they must be kept on a 2-metre leash and controlled at all times. 'Stoop and Scoop' applies. This rule will be enforced.

 

Tourism/Services

Stores including a grocery store, bakery and hardware store are in the village of Rockwood, beside the conservation area.

The nearest hospital emergency is Guelph General Hospital, 115 Delhi St., Guelph.

Links:

City of Guelph
Township of Guelph-Eramosa
Grand River Country

 

 

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