• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

Elora Gorge FallsElora Gorge Falls

The Elora Gorge Falls (Rating=B) in downtown Elora is a complex cascade waterfall with a crest of 15 m and a drop of the Grand River of 7.5 m.


Elora Gorge Falls is located in Elora, Ontario. If it isn't a busy day, you should be able to park for free on the main shopping street in Elora (Mill St). On busy days you can park in the lot on Ross Street which leads off to the left just before you cross the bridge over the river.
Falls Type: complex cascade   Falls facing: W
Falls Latitude: N43.68088    Longitude: W80.43217
Click on the Road Map button below for a Google map and directions. The Falls Locator button shows a map of other waterfalls in the area.


Access is very good from the observation area on Mill St. The falls is wheelchair accessible. Click on the Trail Map button below for area walking trails.


Overall Rating: Elora Gorge Falls = B

Waterflow:B -seasonal flow of Grand River
Falls Size: B - < 15 m
Aesthetics: B -a picturesque setting by an old mill

Nearby Falls

Cataract Falls, Hilton Falls, Grindstone Creek Falls, Borer's Falls

  TRAILMAP trailmap
   ROADMAP road
   LOCATOR central region waterfalls


elora-grand-riverThe Elora Gorge runs through a park operated by the Grand River Conservation Authority. The park offers car camping and a few hiking trails and grassy areas offer space for land-based activities, but the river is the primary attraction. For most of the summer, the flow is low and ideal for tubing. In spring and fall, this stretch of the Grand River is one of the most popular spots in Southern Ontario for whitewater kayaking and canoeing, in large part due to its proximity to Toronto. Ice climbing is popular in the winter where a small creek flows over the steep canyon walls located further downstream not quite halfway between the high and low bridges.
The Grand River flows through the bottom of the gorge, approximately 2 km long, with limestone cliffs reaching 22 m high. It was formed from glacial meltwaters from the previous ice age. The "Tooth of Time" island in the middle of the falls has been reinforced to preserve it.

The Village of Elora itself is set in one of the most picturesque areas of Ontario, surrounded by rolling hills and Mennonite farmland. Many original stone buildings from the 1800’s still make up the downtown village centre. Over the decades, Elora has maintained its old world charm and the century-old buildings have been transformed into unique galleries, gift shops, artists studios and charming restaurants creating a four-season shopping and dining destination.


Local trails. For a map of area trails, click on the Trail Map icon above.

elora-mill-innElora Mill InnIn the middle of the quaint shops is a rest/observation area where the hike begins. At the foot of Mill Street stands the Elora Mill, one of the few early Ontario five-storey grist mills still in existence. It now serves as an upscale inn and two restaurants. You can follow Mill Street past the Old Mill Inn to the end where there is a lookout platform (closed in winter) that provides a good view of the cataract below. Return and head uphill on Price Street. Near the top, turn left and enter a park like area where you will see the black chain link fence. You will be following this fence for much of the walk. Soon you will arrive at a stone platform with steps leading down to a small lookout area. This is known as Lover's Leap, a legendary spot where an aboriginal princess is said to have jumped to her death when she found out her beloved had been killed in battle. This lookout provides an excellent view of both the Grand (on the left) and the Irvine (on the right) gorges and the Irvine River below. The main gorge is wider at this point and is locally known as 'The Cove'.

Leaving Lover's Leap, continue along the fence line where the "trail" arrives at a set of stone steps with railing allowing you to descend to the river below. Note that this staircase is closed in the winter months. Once down the steps you can easily get to the river edge and walk along the edge with some rock scrambling. Water flows are typically very low in the summer so it is easy to walk along the gorge bottom. From here return to Mill St.

To walk further, cross the Metcalfe St bridge and keep close to the river edge. The trail passes under the Wellington 7 Road and comes to the Hole in the Wall. A set of steps leads down through the hole and out the other side to a platform.
There are some good lookouts along this area as the trail follows the gorge edge protected by stone edging. There are great views of the turbulent water below and firemen from across Canada and the USA often practice life saving skills in these rapids. Soon a metal staircase leads down to the turbulent waters of the gorge below. This is a good spot for photographs. You can continue to High Bridge and then return by the same route. This return trip is about 4.2 km


warningOn the far side of the gorge there are trails leading down the gorge that are possible to descend with care.


L37F Elora Gorge Loop


Share a comment, photo or experience about the above article in the comment box below.
For other posts, please use our Members Blog. Login at top of each page.

Comments (0)
There are no comments posted here yet
tohi winter footer 1200x100b