Tag Archive: quarry

  1. Head to the Quarry!

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    Head to the Quarry!

    Another rite of summer passage here is a trip to the Quarry – and we’ve got TWO, so you’ve got options!

    An image of the Elora Quarry taken from the top of the limestone cliffs overlooking the quarry basin and the water that is turquoise in colour, with the view of the beach far in the distance. There are a few people on the beach. The image also shows several of the cliffs and rocks that lead down into the water. Thick trees surround the landscape.
    Elora Quarry Photo by Kelly Waterhouse

    The Elora Quarry is a two-acre former limestone quarry, renowned for its deep emerald green water and sandy beach, a picturesque oasis carved into the steep 12 metre hight limestone cliffs. It is one of the most popular destinations in town to enjoy a hot summer day. Book online for admission!

    Know before you go!

    Opening on June 10, 2022, the Elora Gorge Conservation Area uses an online ticketing system which improves the visitor experience. Capacity is limited to 200 people or 150 vehicles per session. Visitors are required to purchase tickets and vehicle passes online in advance. Plan ahead – you can purchase your admission up to one week in advance.

    There are two 4-hour sessions offered each day: from 10am to 2pm, or from 3pm to 7pm. Admission is $10.50 for adults, $5.50 for children, and a vehicle pass can purcahsed for $15 per session.

    This day-use property is tree covered and suitable for picnicking as well as short walks along the one kilometre trail. The park offers vault toilets, change rooms and picnic tables. But please keep your dogs at home!

    This place is famous.

    It also happens to be a very famous location for movie crews. The Elora Quarry has been featured in many films, but you may recognize it from Stephen King’s horror film “IT.” (Don’t worry, we’ve checked all the grates. No clowns.)

    Everything you need to know to plan your Elora Quarry adventure is here: http://www.grandriver.ca/EloraQuarry

    Beautiful Belwood Lake

    If you want to get out of town, Belwood Lake is just minutes east of Fergus and is our version of Cottage Country, offering a summer retreat for many. Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenic forest surroundings of the Belwood Quarry. This one-acre spring-fed quarry features deep, dark water, with an area sectioned off for shallow water play, and a soft, sandy beach, plus a playground nearby. The wide-open basin of nearby Belwood Lake offers a spot to launch a boat, go for a paddle, cast your line or take a dip.

    Belwood Lake bridge view. Photo by Keegan Taylor

    It’s Cottage Country without the traffic jams. 

    Both operated by the Grand River Conservation Authority, stewards of the water and the environment around it, each quarry offers very different landscapes, yet the same natural beauty to soak up the sun and splash in the cool water. www.grandriver.ca

  2. Elora Quarry: A Summer Tradition

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    Elora Quarry 2017

    Floaties. Check. Cooler. Check. Towels and bathing suits. Check. Sunscreen. Check. What else do we need? A car load of our pals, our Bluetooth speaker, Jack’s playlist and enough cash to get us through the gate. Check. And we’re off to the ultimate summer tradition: a day at the Elora Quarry.

    Forget the lake. It’s different here: deep, emerald green water and a sandy beach surrounded by 12-meter steep limestone cliffs, rocky shores and a forest of cedars with trails throughout the two-acre property operated by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

    The hardest decision of the day is whether to grab a picnic table atop the cliffs, or lay our towels out on the sandy beach, or pick a spot on the rocky shoreline. Either way, the view is spectacular.

    Tucked in alongside the Grand River, just a two-minute drive from the downtown shops, we’ll spend the afternoon under the hot summer sun and head to town for dinner later.


    What to know before you go to the elora quarry:


    Get there early

    Starting this year, the park attendance maxes out at 1,300 guests. It’s first come, first served. Beginning August 3, 2017, the park will close its gates once it reaches capacity and no additional vehicles or pedestrians will be allowed to enter for the day. The park is open the first Saturday in June until Labour Day from 10am to 8pm on weekends; weekdays from 11 am to 8 pm.


    Parking is available on-site, but again, get there early and be prepared to line-up to park. Admission and parking are paid at the entrance gate. Once the lot fills up, you’ll have a hike to any free parking in the town.


    There are no lifeguards on patrol. Parents and guardians are responsible for the safety of their children. I highly recommend life jackets for kids and if you don’t have one, the Grand River Conservation Authority will loan them out at the gatehouse. A small, refundable deposit is required. It’s worth it. Floaties are great fun, but that water is deep.

    Elora Quarry, Summer 2017

    And while tales of cliff jumping are legendary, they are a no-no. The Elora Quarry, operated by the Grand River Conservation Authority, will remove those who take the flying leap. It never stops people from trying, but we have seen one belly flop too many gone wrong, so we’ll pass.


    Pack your own food. There are plenty of places to picnic.  There are no food vendors inside the park. Across the street from the main gate is Willy’s Chip Wagon, an awesome spot with great burgers, fries and sausages, but you’ll have to leave park to indulge. Make sure the gatekeepers know you are returning.


    Don’t bring it. This is an alcohol-free park. You’ll get kicked out. Besides, the really good beer is downtown after you leave the park.


    Leave Fido at home to enjoy the air conditioning and eat your shoes while you are out. No pets are allowed in the park. Do not leave Fido in the car, seriously.  Don’t ever do that.

    Bug spray and sunscreen

    Have some. Oh, don’t make that face … Your mother would tell you the same thing. Surrounded by trees (hello mosquitoes) but not a whole lot of shade in most places, safety first. Thanks Mom.

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