Fruit and fossils are two major reasons to visit Arkona, one of Ontario’s smallest communities.
FOSSIL RICH, FAMOUS & FABULOUS
This scenic little gem is known world-wide as a treasure trove of 400 million-year-old Devonian fossils. About 600 million years ago wind and rain washed sediments from rocky areas into the home of sea creatures, a shallow sea; this occurred at least three times over 200 million years, each time producing layers of fossil-rich sedimentary rock.
Over a million years ago the Wisconsin Glacier created this unique location. As it advanced about 16,000 years ago, it deposited layers of gravel, sand and clay. A powerful earthquake about 10,000 years ago caused a section of the bedrock to drop 80 metres, creating a gorge where the Ausable River then coursed, heading towards Lake Huron. Rich fossil beds were revealed on the walls of the gorge. Scientists and curious visitors alike can find crinoids, brachiopods and tribolites – fossilized sea creatures and coral in the gorge and at the bottom falls in Rock Glen. Collecting is allowed in some areas (check before you collect).
Stairs, boardwalks and bridges entice folks to safely explore the glen and 10.8 metre high waterfall.
The Arkona Lions Museum & Information Centre with its collection of fossils and native artifacts is a must-visit to understand the wealth of natural history and early inhabitants of this region.
For good reason Arkona has been dubbed “The Little Apple”. Apples, domesticated from wild fruit that date from prehistoric times, grow abundantly here. Traditional varieties like Northern Spy, McIntosh – an Ontario variety dating from the 1800s, Russet, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are grown. Silken, Golden Supreme, Pink Lady and other more recent varietals are superb eating apples. Orchards test new varieties in plots on their acreage.
Thousands of fruit trees create a dreamy landscape and create gorgeous photo ops at May blossom time and starting in July the various kinds of fruits ripen. Sweet cherries, sour red cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, pears and apples provide eye-candy and palette treats.
Whether you choose to pick your own fruit or opt for already-in-the-basket, outings to the orchard region are family- fun and healthy.
Take a walk or a hike in Rock Glen CA Trails, a 67-acre gorge site with a 1.5 km trail with steep stairways. This is also the location of a wheelchair accessible overlook. Other trails explore the Carolinian forest and take you to the waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the picnic tables!
Arkona Fairways Golf Club is an 18-hole course to test your driving and putting skills; its Mulligan Bar & Grill offers breakfast through dinner.
STAY & RELAX
Rock Glen Family Resort offers a range of accommodations from year-round campsites for trailers through two bedroom villa rentals as well pools and play areas.