Rockway Conservation Area – July 11, 2015

Rockway Conservation Area is a 126 hectare park featuring the Bruce Trail and the Rockway Falls Side Trail.  It is a beautiful place to go for a hike, boasting many water features, great hiking and wildlife.

On Saturday, July 11th, 2015, my friend Beth and I decided to go for an early evening hike at Rockway.  I am unsure if there are any other places to park, other than the lot I go to which is actually a parking lot for the Rockway Community Centre.  The parking lot is located off of Pelham Road in between seventh and ninth streets in Lincoln, ON, just outside of St. Catharines.  I have attached a map to help you locate it, as somehow, I always get lost en route to this park, even though I’ve been there, probably fifty times.

Park at Rockway Community Centre to access the hiking trails of Rockway Conservation Area.
Park at Rockway Community Centre to access the hiking trails of Rockway Conservation Area.

I really love hiking at Rockway for several reasons. The park is barely ever busy, there is lots of water interacting with the trails in the park and there is always a good chance of spotting wildlife there.  It is also a great hike, some ups and downs but not too much where you feel like passing out, and there are lots of places to explore, no matter how many times you’ve been there. I also have a thing for rocks and there are plenty of them here to climb on and over and around.

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On the hike I did today, I unfortunately didn’t see any deer, lots of fur on the ground, but no deer.  Instead, we were surprised to discover an incredibly large amount of frogs. They were everywhere, to the point I was afraid we were stepping on them while going through the park. I’m guessing July is when frogs have their babies? Not quite sure but I can say it was definitely a cool experience to see so many at one time, in one place. If I would have to guess, I’d say I saw, 25-30 of them, not including the ones we heard jumping through the foliage which would’ve easily doubled the number. They weren’t all in one place, just throughout the entire time we hiked the trail. I couldn’t manage to get a picture of any of the babies, they were so quick, but I got a few of the mom/dads? lol

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photo by Beth Leclair
photo by Beth Leclair

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Similar to the water levels in 15 mile creek, the water is quite low here at this time of year.  The first set of falls you come across, after the ones at the parking lot were barely running with a small amount of water going over the rocks. The next few sets though are still flowing well and seem to not be dropping too badly yet.

We walked for about an hour, made it to as far as I know that you can go, which is a lower pond type of area and then turned to head back.  We sat at the 2nd set of falls for a while as it’s a nice place to rest, watch the water, and get a bit of spray off the falls. After that we headed back towards the parking lot.

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About 5-10 minutes short of getting there we both smelled campfire so we detoured to the large makeshift fire pit that’s been made somewhat in between 2 of the trails exiting the park.  It was smoking and smoldering and I did not feel good about leaving it that way, nor did Beth.   We scanned the area and found remnants of what looked like a bush party.  Half a can of pringles, empty beer bottles, gatorade bottles, dorito’s, etc etc.  It looked like they tried to pick up after themselves as there was one grocery bag already full of trash, but the rest of the trash was spread out over the area. Beth and I always carry a few empty grocery bags in our backpacks and we filled up 2 more before feeling as if we’d colleted all of it.  We both emptied the contents of our water bottles on the fire and doused it as much as we could, then hiked out the alternate path to the right going up which is all large boulders. (I have challenged all explorers, all people, to hike out just one piece of trash and post a photo dong  it with the #CleanUpOurParks as I am very serious about cleaning up our parks, trails, streets, basically our world! Hoping you are doing the same out there!)

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I love this part of the trail. It is somewhat dangerous looking and I really like that no one has tried to put a fence around it or condemn it somehow so people can’t climb up it.  I have a photo of me scending one rock as I learned on a tutorial video by the Woods Explorers, Adam and Melba.

It was quite fun, but unlike them, this rock, I’m certain had been scended (sp?) many many times and therefore I did not earn the right to name it!  I’m sure it would’ve loved to be called Twinkletoes!

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photo by Beth Leclair
photo by Beth Leclair

I would rate this hike intermediate as there are some steep hills, but if you take your time, I’m sure you can do it!

I really hope you enjoyed reading my post!

If you have any questions, comments or criticisms, please leave me a note!

Happy Hiking!

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11 thoughts on “Rockway Conservation Area – July 11, 2015

  1. So glad to see you love these places to post about them! I did a section of the Bruce trail in Vineland and was sorry to discover persons unknown have bee clear cutting a ATV/horse trail thru the virgin bush. What a shame. Don’t people realize it is worth more in its true natural state? Glad to see most people are picking up the garbage. I service garbage cans at 16 and 15 Mile Creek fishing spot, at Jordan beach and at Ontario Street North, in Beamsville. Most people will place their trash in a can, when available, we just have to figure out how to get more out there! Keep on Hiking!
    Brian

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    1. Hey Brian! Thanks so much for your comment and feedback. Would you be able to tell me a bit more about the Vineland Bruce Trail section, where it is and how I can access the trail? I would like to go check it out and possibly do a post on it and get the attention of the Bruce Trail on it, if I can? And no, sadly so many people do not realize and it’s not only a shame, but it’s very wrong! Maybe we can help stop it? (i actually have a post on picking up garbage and one on 15 mile creek, also picking up trash there, you might like them?)

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment and please let me know about the BT in Vineland if possible? Have an awesome day!

      camper c

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      1. Good morning Miss Camper

        We took out the canoe and paddled 15 Mile Creek last night, all the way to the third fallen tree, bummer.

        I’ll see if it can be rearranged in the near future for easier passage. And boy oh boy, those bugs, drove my wife, Rosemary, nuts!

        Glad you like the dock!

        As for the trail being cut into the Niagara Escarpment, I have alerted both the NPCA and the Niagara Escarpment Commission, so hopefully they will have staff investigate and report back soon.

        The loss of all of the natural vegetation, on both sides is inexcusable, let alone making a trail to be used by ATV’s. This is on a section of public land.

        To get to it enter from Fifth Avenue, off of Victoria Avenue and travel east, all the way to the end. Don’t worry about the private road sign, this is all publicly owned property.

        Walk along the Bruce Trail a couple 100 feet then turn north into the bush, when you come to a yellow house or the vineyard follow it east to the trail.

        Have you ever used the Niagara Region’s Mapping website? It’s called Navigator and it can show you everything in Niagara, including all of the unopened road allowances.

        Try the NPCA mapping site also, this gives you the topography of all of Niagara too.

        Have fun!

        Brian

        ________________________________

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      2. Wow! thanks so much for all the great information and tips! Do you have a blog as well? 🙂 Sucks about the bugs! I was on the creek during the afternoon so didn’t have any issues with them but have been bitten up pretty bad on my trip to Killarney last week as well as at Rondeau this past weekend. Such is life, I guess?

        I have never seen the NPCA mapping site. I will check that out as well!

        Have a super duper awesome day and thanks again for reading and posting! much appreciated!

        cc

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      3. Good morning Christina

        I just wanted to let you know that the creek on the east side of 16 Mile Creek, it’s “other” branch is now accessible by canoe/kayak.

        The water levels are high due to a sand bar at the lake and there is at least 6 to 12 inches to float on and you can now go quite a ways up. Unfortunately fallen trees block it further up.

        The NPCA mapping system shows it going all the way to Glass Avenue, which I did not know.

        So, if you want a little something different….

        Enjoy,

        Brian

        PS. I also pulled another 45 gallon plastic barrel out of the swamp to turn into another garbage can!

        ________________________________

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      4. Hey Brian! that is so awesome! Great news and I am excited to go explore 16 mile. I believe it will be my next paddling adventure locally, although I don’t know when exactly I will get to it. I’m delighted to hear the water levels are up as it’s a great place to paddle for me, close to home and once through the part by the lake, nice and closed in, which is the type of water I like to paddle in.

        LOVE that you took the barrel out of the swamp! I found one in 15 mile but it was too large for me to get out on my little boat. So nice to hear others are making a difference! Makes me so happy!

        Thanks so much for the comments and for reading! I appreciate it more than I can say! Happy paddling!

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      5. Let me know the approximate location of the barrel in 15 Mile Creek and i will drag it out this week, can always use another garbage can!

        Brian

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      6. AWESOME!!!! But it was when I was there quite a while ago. It was just past the beaver damn on the right side. Big rectangular jug with some type of yellow liquid in it. I couldn’t lift it full and didn’t want to empty the liquid as I wasn’t sure what it was? Didn’t want to make things worse so I had to leave it but still bothering me that I did. I wasn’t sure what else to do? Amazing! thanks!

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