Featured Hike: Rockway Falls

Posted on August 30, 2011

Follow the course of Fifteen Mile Creek as it tumbles over alternating layers of dolostone and shale -- including Rockway Falls -- from the heights of the Niagara Escarpment down to Lake Ontario.

 

Rockway Falls

Bruce Trail Section:  Niagara

Closest town or city: St Catharines, Ontario

Hike Length: 2.5 km

Directions:

  1. From the QEW west of St. Catharines, take Regional Road 34 (7th St. Louth) south to Regional Road 81 (St. Paul St. W).
  2. Turn left on Regional Rd. 81 and then right soon after on to Regional Road 28.
  3. Proceed south on Road 28 to Pelham Road. Turn right (west) and proceed roughly 3
    kilometres to the parking area at Rockway Community Centre. Park only on the east
    side of the building.


Parking GPS Coordinates:
Longitude: -79.321901
Latitude: 43.111255

Map Reference:

Map 3 of Bruce Trail Reference Guide (26th Edition)

Route Description:

We recommend you do this loop hike in a clockwise direction. At the back of the Community Centre parking lot, follow the white-blazed main Trail west along the roadway over Fifteen Mile Creek, just south of the lip of Rockway Falls. Turn right at 9th Street and proceed down the hill to the intersection of the white-blazed main Trail and the blue-blazed Rockway Falls Side Trail.

Proceed down the road to where the trail turns right (east) to reach Fifteen Mile Creek. Note that the Creek cannot be crossed during peak flow periods - use extreme caution. If the water level is too high for safe crossing, retrace your steps back to your car at the Community Centre.

Crossing Fifteen Mile Creek, the trail continues east then south along the banks of the creek, uphill, to rejoin the white-blazed main Bruce Trail. Continue uphill along white-blazed main Bruce Trail and soon you will see the lower reaches of Rockway Falls in the gorge on your right. Use extreme caution when viewing the gorge.

Rockway Falls is 18.3 m high with a plunge basin over 3 m deep at the bottom of the falls. The top of the Falls is the hard Lockport Dolostone, immediately underlain by equally hard DeCew Dolostone. Below those top layers is a thick section of black "crumbly" material, which is the Rochester Shale. This soft material is being eroded away by the fast-moving water, causing the waterfall to gradually wear its way upstream.