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Delta: Jones Falls Tour (40km)

Crossing the Lyndhurst Bridge
Trail information: 

Start the journey at the Old Stone Mill (pictured above in K. Watson's photo) in Delta.  Note the many fine heritage homes in this community founded on the headwaters of the Gananoque River system over two centuries ago.  Delta was once noted for its industries powered or enabled by the waters -- its foundry, carriage shop and boat builders.  You'll see several street names reflecting this heritage.

Head out of town north on Cty Rd 42.  Note the rich red colour of some of the exposed rock cuts, rich in an iron ore called hematite.

As you peddle towards Philipsville, scene of a political uprising in 1837, you'll note that the granite of the Frontenac Axis dives down under an overburden of bedded Nepean sandstone (photo on right, courtesy Ken Watson). 

At almost 7 km from Delta, turn right onto Cty Rd 8 and spin through flat farmland sitting on the sedimentary rock of the St. Lawrence Lowlands.

Peddle through Elgin (food/facilities here) to the stop sign at Cty Rd 15.  Cross Cty Rd 15 to continue on Davis Lock Road.

Just over a kilometer from Cty Rd 15, turn right onto Bush Rd toward Sand Lake Rd.  

(Option: If you've got time and wider tires, continue straight on the Davis Lock Rd which is hilly, twisty and gravel.  You'll end up at the Davis Lock, one of the most scenic and rustic sites along the Rideau Heritage Waterway route.  Return along the gravel road and turn onto Bush Rd to continue.)

Turn right onto Sand Lake Road (rough pavement!) toward Jones Falls.  Note several heritage farmsteads among field and mixed forest on the relatively flat landscape of the St. Lawrence Lowlands.

Turn left onto Cty Rd 11 at a T intersection with the sign pointing the way to Jones Falls.

About 400m after the turn, turn right at the sign for the "Stone Arch Dam" onto Lock Rd and either walk or carefully ride down the gravel lane to the Stone Arch Dam.  (See picture at right, courtesy of Ken Watson.) When it was built in the 1820's, this dam was one of the greatest of its kind in North America.  It is now part of the Jones Falls Complex of the Rideau Canal of Parks Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Geographic destination.

Follow the gravel lane across the top of the dam, past the defensible Lock Master's House, near to the smithy, the great Jones Falls flight of four locks and across the bridge to Hotel Kenney (built in 1877) where there is a snack bar and facilities.  Follow the paved Kenny's Road northeast back to Cty Rd 11.

Turn right onto Cty Rd 11 and follow its winding path through typical Frontenac Arch landscape of forested hills, marshes and rugged granite geology.

At the T-stop at Cty Rd 15, turn right.  CAUTION: Cty Rd 15 can be quite busy at times. After a short stretch of about 400m, cross the Morton Creek bridge and peddle into the hamlet of Morton. Once Morton was the site of a garrison to protect the Rideau Canal.  Several mills used water power from Whitefish Falls.  Come back to Morton with your canoe or kayak and explore the water trails accessible from here.

In the centre of Morton, turn left onto Briar Hill Rd (also known as Fortune Line Rd).  Pass the unique octagonal school house called the "Pimple".  Bear right when Fortune Line Rd forks off to the left, to continue on Briar Hill Rd.

At the T-stop at Cty Rd 33, turn left towards Lyndhurst and it's just under one kilometer to town with its food and facilities.  

Entering Lyndhurst, cross over what is reputedly the oldest bridge in existence in Ontario. The Lyndhurst Bridge was built in 1856-57. It was designed by John Roddick, then an employee of a prominent local mill owner, and erected by contractors Miles Fulford and Simon Ransom. A fine example of masonry arch construction, the picturesque, three-span bridge was built of local field stone, laid in random courses, and is unadorned except for the sandstone wall caps and arch surrounds. It is distinguished by the curved flare of its end walls and by the slightly oblique shape of two of its arches. (photo on right)

Lyndhurst was once called Furnace Falls, the site of the first iron smelter in Upper Canada.  It was once a bustling mill village on the Gananoque River.  In town, you'll find full facilities.  This is another great place to launch a canoe or kayak tour (see previous link).

Follow Cty Rd 33 northeast out of Lyndhurst, curving and climbing towards Hicock Rd where the route turns left.

At the T-stop where Hicock Rd meets Cty Rd 42, turn left and follow Cty Rd 42 for 2.3 km back into Delta.

Thanks go to Doug Bond for this route, and Ken Watson for most of the photos.

 

Start Location: 

Downtown Delta.  There's ample space to park.

For overnight accommodation, consider the historic Denaut Mansion Country Inn or, for simpler pleasures, camping at the Lower Beverly Lake Park, right on the water.

Terrain: 

Some flat stretches, some hillier stretches.

Distance: 
25km
Climbing: 
Some rolling hills.
Bike Suitability: 

All paved except for one short gravel stretch.  Suitable for road, touring or hybrid bikes.

Notes and Cautions: 

Exercise caution on peak summer weekends when traffic on some of the usually quiet country roads can be busier.

Starting and finishing in Delta, this shorter route travels some beautiful landscape in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere and Rideau Heritage Waterway, which come together in this area.

The shorter distance of this route provides plenty of time to stop and explore the geology, ecology and heritage of this area, starting with the Old Stone Mill in Delta, a National Historice Site.

This route was created by Doug Bond and is published on the Township of Rideau Lakes website

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