Rock Glen Conservation Area

Location: Arkona, Ontario
Region: Southwestern
Character: Day-use Area

Rock Glen Conservation Area
By Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Located on the outskirts of Arkona, Rock Glen Conservation Area is a unique island of nature within the Ausable Bayfield watershed jurisdiction. Whether taking a hike along the Ausable Gorge or within Rock Glen's important Carolinian forest, you'll see many trees, plants and wildlife that are provincially distinct to this area.

The park is home to the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre which houses an impressive collection of Devonian Era fossils and aboriginal artifacts found in the local area. There are stairs, boardwalks and bridge allowing visitors to safely explore the steep sides of the glen and the 10.7-metre high waterfall just upstream of the Ausable River. Visitors and amateur archaelogists from all parts of North America have found many fossils in the exposed beds dating back 350 million years. Scientific names for these ancient treasures include crinoids, brachiopods and trilobites.

The story of civilization around Rock Glen dates back to the time when the Paleo or Early First Nations peoples utilized the nearby hills to hunt the barren ground caribou some 10,000 years ago. Succeeding the Paleo age were the Archaic First Nations who had adapted to a much milder climate some 6,000 years ago. The museum displays "fluted points" associated with the Paleo age and many "cache" blades from the Archaic aboriginal peoples.

Accessible trails allow all visitors to see the park highlights including the scenic lookouts, museum and picnic areas.

Driving Directions: From Sarnia or London take Exit #44 off the 402 to Arkona on Cty Rd #79. Park is located on Rock Glen Road 2 km outside of Arkona.

•An extensive collection of fossils and indigenous artifacts can be viewed in the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre.
•Numerous trails and board walks for exploring nature in this Carolinian forest. The Lookout, washroom, museum and some trails are wheel-chair accessible.
•The scenic Rock Glen Falls can be viewed from the Lookout or go exploring for fossils at the bottom of the falls in the Rock Glen Gorge.
•Two picnic pavilions can be reserved for groups or family reunions
•Guided Hikes and Education