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OSAIC / About Owen Sound Area / Conservation   Member LogIn   
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Owen Sound Conservation Areas
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spacer Owen Sound is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Ontario. In fact, as those who live here or who have visited will easily confirm, much of the city's charm is enhanced by the unusual combination of geographical features which can be found both within city limits and throughout the surrounding area.

The city is surrounded by a dramatic curve of Niagara escarpment. In summer, the white limestone cliffs which rise above the central portion of the city provide a striking foil for the deep green of the trees which populate their surface. In autumn, as the leaves begin to turn, it seems as if these cliffs burn fiercely with the intense hues of red and orange.

Owen Sound also straddles a drainage basin which contains two rivers: the Sydenham River which flows south to north; and the Pottawatomi River, which flows west to east. Urban development has been carefully planned to make the most of these rivers. Within the city the rivers' banks are enhanced by luxurious green sweeps of lawns and gardens. In other areas, elegant landscaping gives way to a delightful tangle of natural undergrowth.
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spacer The rivers and adjacent lands are home to a broad range of wildlife. In fall, keep an eye out for the many different types of birds around, including magnificent blue herons, cormorants, mallard ducks and terns. These birds are on the hunt for the Chinook Salmon and Rainbow Trout making their way upriver to spawning and nursery grounds.

The combination of rivers and escarpment has resulted in a number of striking geological features including three waterfalls all within close proximity to the city. These waterfalls in turn have become the focus for several recreational areas.

Inglis Falls, located just south of Owen Sound, not only contains a picturesque waterfall which empties into a deep gorge, but also the remains of a grist mill built by Peter Inglis in 1845. The bridge crossing the falls provides an excellent vantage point from which to view the rise and fall of escarpment and Owen Sound Bay beyond.

Inglis Falls is easily accessible and offers an extensive trail network for hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking. The area is a favourite haunt for area residents and visitors alike. In winter, the falls provide a particularly beautiful display of water flowing over ice.
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spacer Indian Falls, just north of Owen Sound in Sarawak Township contains a 49 foot horseshoe shaped falls which has been formed by the erosion of soft Queenston shale beneath hard Manitoulin dolomite - similar to Niagara Falls. Like Inglis Falls, the Indian Falls Conservation Area contains many trails as well as a well-equipped recreational area. There are soft ball and T ball diamonds located here, as well as tennis courts, a shuffle-board and an adventure playground.

Pottawatomi Conservation Area, located three miles west of Owen Sound, features Jones Falls, a 39 foot cascade of water over the escarpment. Jones Falls provides a breathtaking view of the surrounding lowlands and is an ideal area in which to view plenty of wildlife, including cliff swallows, pileated woodpeckers, painted turtles, garter snakes, woodchucks and porcupines.
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spacer Hibou Conservation area, which overlooks Paynter's Bay on Owen Sound Bay, may not have a waterfall, but it is home to two natural sand beaches and provides many facilities for family outings including two large picnic pavilions, a playground fully equipped with swings, slides and an adventure playground and of course, some of the best swimming in the 'Sound'.

Hibou means Owl in French. The area was named after a freighter that sank off Paynter's Bay. The few who survived the terrible tragedy managed to make it ashore at what is now Hibou Conservation Area.
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spacer All of these areas are maintained by the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. Established in 1985 following the amalgamation of the North Grey Region and Sauble Valley Conservation authorities, the Grey Sauble Conservation authority undertakes programs to conserve, restore, develop and manage natural resources.

Along with maintaining recreational areas, the authority carries out many activities, including water management, forest and wildlife management, conservation services, and the provision of conservation information.

The close proximity and quality of these recreational areas makes Owen Sound the outdoor enthusiast's dream come true.
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