We hiked to see where to descend from to get to the bottom for our tubing adventure. When we saw the place, it was on the other side of the gorge. Hiking on the ridge towards left we saw a narrow bridge made for crossing the bridge. However, it was one way bridge, we could not have driven over it to get to the other side.
So we returned to the car and drove back to the entrance and at the fork, turned left this time. There was a total new world out there. Hundreds of thousands of visitors setting up their camps, playing, fishing, swimming, bbqueing and what not. We kept on driving and experimenting with all the nooks and crannies of the park. Finally, after 60 minutes of driving, we came to the exact opposite side of the gorge where we wanted to be. Parking the car at the road side, we descended the rocky steps made for the purpose and finally made it to the Grand River flowing in the gorge.
Once in the gorge we sat down for taking some rest.
The rocky platform that we landed on after climbing down the 'Hole in the Rock' gave us an idea of how deep the gorge was and how far down we would eventually have to descend to enjoy tubing and kayaking in the Grand River.
One point to note is that up on the ridge level, it was hot and humid. When we landed in the gorge, it was quite cold.
The slopes and floor of the gorge were lush green with many kinds of herbs, shrubs, wild flowers and trees. The floor itself was rocky and slippery due to erosion from the river water.
Closer to the floor, the gorge had exposed the roots of many trees. We could see huge trees, along with their deep roots.
The river water gushed by us crashing against boulders and rocks, small plants waived in the breeze, the leaves of the trees fluttered and the 4 of us looked up from the gorge floor towards the mountain top in awe. The whole setting made us look so small in comparison to the nature.
At the junction of the trails marked yellow and green, it said 'Hole in the Rock', which is shown in the picture.
Climbing down the stairs through the Hole we landed in a open platform, which probably was a rock outcrop over the gorge, giving a pleasant view of the Grand River flowing at the bottom of the gorge about 300 feet deep.
This place introduced us to various water based activites going on in the Grand River within the conservation area.
We entered the park from Elora town side and turned right at the first fork within the conservation area. We continued towards the end of the park and stopped at the parking which showed a map of the park with 3 prominently marked hiking trails (see picture).
The map turned out to be a good point for us to orientate to the geographical features of the park.
The first thing that captures eyes as soon as one climbs down the 'Hole in the Rock' is the tree shown in the picture. The tree has stood its ground even after the erosion of the soil that has taken place due to wind and rain water run off for many years. This is why environmentalists are concerned about deforestation in hilly and mountainous regions. Trees hold the soil together. Therefore, heavily forested mountain slopes are stable and firm in the place. If trees are cut, the mountain slopes become unstable and lead to landslides and to excessive siltation in dams and rivers downstream.
The Elora Gorge is a scenic place. On both sides of the gorge, limestone cliffs plunge 22 metres (70 feet) into the bubbling Grand River below. One of the most prominent features is a rocky outcrop known as the Tooth-of-time (in the middle of the photo). This unique feature is precariously perched in a waterfall that spans the river.
On one of the hiking trails we came to a point from where we could see the gorge below and the hill tops above. It was a heavily forested area and the heat, humidity and mosquitoes almost killed us.