Elora Gorge Conservation Area
Elora Gorge Conservation Area
By Grand River Conservation Authority
The Elora Gorge is one of the most beautiful and spectacular natural area in the Grand River valley. The Grand River rushes through the gorge, which has 22-metre high cliffs. Riverside trails (with safety barriers) and scenic overlooks provide hikers with stunning views of the water far below where kayakers and tubers make their way through the rapids.
Please note that warning signs are posted throughout the conservation area regarding safety around the gorge. Exercise caution during your visit, and stay on the trails. Stay away from the edge of the gorge and do not climb over the fences.
7400 Wellington County Rd. 21, Box 356
Elora, ON N0B 1S0
Approximate latitude 43° 40' 9" N
Approximate longitude 80° 26' 29" W
Print a map and directions
E-mail conservation area staff or phone (519) 846-9742
Open April 29 to the Sunday following Thanksgiving
Check the Newsroom for information and notices about tubing and fire restrictions.
Please read our notice about firewood and help protect our trees.
Review our Camping Reservation Policy prior to making your online or phone reservation (1-877-558-GRCA (4722))
Please note that rock climbing is prohibited.
Alcohol is NOT permitted at this conservation area.
Swimming is no longer available at Elora Gorge Conservation Area. The beach area has been decommissioned and drained of water.
Camp sites: Elora Gorge Conservation area has 312 unserviced sites, 145 serviced sites with water and 15/30 amp electrical and 20 serviced sites with 15 amp electrical. Up to six people are permitted per campsite. Check-in is after 2 p.m. and check-out is before noon.
Reserve a site: Sites can be booked online or by calling toll-free 1-877-558-GRCA (4722).
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.
Group camping: Four group campsites for organized groups can be booked directly by calling conservation area staff at 519-846-9742.
Seasonal camping: There are 85 seasonal campsites serviced with hydro, water and sewer. Availability is limited. For detailed information contact conservation area staff directly at 519-846-9742.
Alcohol: A Total Alcohol Ban is in effect for all dates throughout the season. This ban prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol anywhere within the conservation area, including all registered campsites.
Firewood: Firewood can be purchased at concession building daily during July and August and on weekends during May and June. At other times it can be purchased from the gatehouse.
Waste: Containers are located throughout the conservation area and garbage bags are provided to campers so they can deposit their own garbage in the bins. A recycling depot located next to the Beach House parking lot is available for glass, plastic containers, pop cans and newspaper. Two trailer sewage dumping stations are located in the serviced campgrounds area.
The Gorge offers a challenge to experienced whitewater canoeists and kayakers.
Other canoeists like to start at the lower end of the conservation area for a trip downstream toward West Montrose (home of the famous covered bridge) and the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo.
The stretch of the Grand River between Fergus and West Montrose, which includes the Elora Gorge, has attained a well-deserve reputation as one of the best brown trout fishers in North America. Since 1989 more than 400,000 brown trout have been stocked in the river. In addition, other species are available in the river.
Fishing enthusiasts generally wade in the river, although rocky and slippery in some areas. Wading cleats are recommended. As the Grand is 9 to 12 metres wide, it is large enough to challenge the best anglers.
There are 3 km of walking trails in the conservation area, offering views of the 22-metre deep gorge. For safety reasons, all patrons must remain on the designated walking trails and behind the safety barriers.
Hikers and cyclists will be interested in the Elora-Cataract Trailway, a 40-km trail from Elora to the village of Cataract on the Credit River near the Forks of the Credit.
A multiuse picnic area is adjacent to the campground and open from 9 a.m. to dusk during the operating season. Garbage containers are located throughout the conservation area and a recycling depot for glass, plastic containers, pop cans and newspaper is located next to the beach parking lot.
An exhilarating ride down the Grand River on an inner tube offers a new way to experience the scenery and wonder of the cliffs above. Tubers must register at the concession and purchase a wristband. They must wear proper safety equipment which is rented at the concession. Deposits are required for all equipment. Tubers must return equipment by 7 p.m.
Tubing is a popular activity. It is advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Equipment rentals are limited and on a first-come first-served basis only; availability of equipment cannot be guaranteed.
Those under 18 must have a legal guardian sign a waiver and must be at least 42 inches tall. A shuttle bus service operates weekends only during July and August.
This is the location of the community bulletin board, pay phone and a lost and found. It is the place to go to report any problems or concerns, to get further information about the conservation area as well as get firewood during the shoulder seasons.
There are three picnic pavilions available for rent for family reunions, company picnics and other events. The largest accommodates about 200 people and has washroom facilities and a kitchen. The other two accommodate about 50 people and do not have added facilities.
Washrooms with hot and cold running potable water and showers are available in the campground area and a second washroom is located in the picnic area. Vault type toilets are located throughout the conservation area for your convenience.
Please note that the washroom facility located adjacent to Camping Areas "E" and "F" will be under construction and unavailable for use during the early portion of the 2011 camping season. It is expected to re-open for the core camping months starting in July.
Take-out food, such as ice cream and snack foods as well as ice and other supplies are available at the concession. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during July and August and weekends only in May, June and September.
Sports and fun
The conservation area features a play area for children, two baseball diamonds and large fields.
Pets are allowed in the conservation area and must be kept on a 2 metre leash and controlled at all times. 'Stoop and Scoop' applies.
Grocery stores, hardware stores, drug stores can be found in Elora and Fergus. There are boutiques, antique stores, restaurants and cafes on Mill, Metcalfe and Geddes streets in Elora.
In Fergus, the 19th century storefronts along St. Andrew Street West are home to a wide variety of businesses.
The nearest hospital is the Groves Memorial Hospital at 235 Union Street East, Fergus.