The fabulous colours of autumn always make for spectacular visuals during a fall drive or hike in the country. However, if you’re beginning to get that “Been there. Done that.” feeling about foliage-focused sightseeing, the remedy can be found along back roads of Grey County.
The region boasts an incredible nine waterfalls and, several of these natural wonders are located within an hour’s drive of the centre of The Rural Route circulation area.
The county’s tourism department has mapped out a self-directed driving tour that can be enjoyed in any season by picking up a Waterfalls of Grey County brochure from area tourism booths. The tour information is also online at www.visitgrey.ca/waterfalls.
The 220 kilometre tour (Durham to Sauble Beach) can be done in a day or two, depending on your pace and inclination or you could just pick out a few of the most intriguing falls to visit when the time and weather permit. Three of the falls are in or around the City of Owen Sound, so country dwellers can combine the trip with typical errands requiring a visit to a minor metropolis.
Specific directions to all the falls can be found in the brochure or online, but Rural Route readers should begin by heading to Durham to check out McGowan Falls. The smallest of Grey’s waterfalls with only a three-metre drop, it’s none-the-less a spectacular site along a picturesque stretch of the Saugeen River and parking is right next to the falls.
A drive just minutes down Grey Road 4 takes travelers to Hoggs Falls and Eugenia Falls, both located just north-east of Flesherton, both of which are accessible with just a scenic five-minute hike from the parking area.
Less than half-hour to the north is Walters Falls, where an impressive twin-drop waterfall plunges off a tributary of Big Head River. The location in a quaint village and proximity to a first-class inn make the Walter’s Falls a potential overnight stop for anyone planning a two-day falls tour.
Heading northwest to Owen Sound, leads to Inglis Falls, Jones Falls and Indian Falls, all within a few minutes of each other in and around the city. Indian Falls is the most remote of the falls on the tour, providing hikers with a chance to stretch their legs for 15 minutes from the parking lot. Owen Sound is also the site of the Grey Roots Museum and Archives, one of many points of interest found along the falls tour. The museum also boasts an indoor waterfall, so a visit remains in keeping with the theme of the outing.
Sauble Falls is the northernmost point on the tour. The cascading falls also serve as a fish ladder, where rainbow trout and Chinook salmon can be seen working their way to their spawning grounds each spring and fall.
There’s no admission charge to most of the falls, with fees ranging from $3 to $5 for the few that do charge.
Waterfalls of Grey County is an all-season tour (although you’ll need snowshoes to visit some of the sites during the winter months) and, while the fall foliage and comfortable weather make it a great autumn trip, the county’s tourism department notes the water flows are, of course, most spectacular in the spring.