Jones Falls Day Hike
Location: Jones Fall, Owen Sound, ON
Difficulty: Easy (a moderate climb down to the falls)
Sometimes all it takes is a picture of a location to create a bit of intrigue and interest. Interest that leads to an adventure either big or small. This was the case with our hike/walk into Jones Fall. We were looking at heading into the area for a day hike and take advantage of the warming weather. After seeing some pictures of the local waterfalls in the Petowni Conservation Area, we decided to make this the destination for the day's outing.
We packed the day hike essentials (coffee, water, and snacks) and of course a camera. For this trip, we used our iPhone 11-Pro and our trusty Canon 7D.
Upon arriving at the Conservation area we found ample parking at the trailhead and information offices (closed, Covid-19). Memphis (dog) was ready to hit the trail so we headed out on a simple 4.0 Km hike on a dirt path through a portion of the Niagara Escarpment. Now here is where we did something different from what would be a part of my typical suggestion. We took the trail to the right leading you directly to the waterfall, with the longer portion of the hike would be after the waterfall through a forested path. My suggestion in a case like this would be to take the path with the lengthier section first. I’m just a fan of that feeling that comes from hiking into a destination. Thus, I prefer to have the longer portion of a hike before the feature, rather than after. All that being said, in this case, it worked out pretty well. This short portion follows the river edge, crossing over a bridge and then taking you to some nice-sized boulders that sit atop the escarpment. This is a great place to have some sandwiches and take a few pictures. From here you can decide if you want to hike down the escarpment to the bottom of the waterfall - about 12 metres in elevation loss.
If you are traveling with kids or pets, keep in mind the hike down has some spots with loose gravel. So you’ll want to have some control here to ensure safety for all parties. Following the trail loop past the top of the Jones Waterfall, you will join onto the Bruce Trail (White Trail) for a portion before veering to the left (Blue Trail) on the return portion of the 4KM loop.
This trail is simple, straightforward forward with some nice eye candy along the way. What I recommend is planning 1 of 2 things with a trip like this.
Take it all in. Make a longer day at Jones Falls. Explore the falls and the river. Relax by the water with some reading, eating, or just listening.
Kill 2 Birds with 1 Stone. Do the 4KM loop, check out the falls along the way and then head on over for another hike at Inglis Falls. This is a much larger waterfall with super easy access and a longer 6.3KM trail (out & back which means the total is 12.6KM).
Either way, the trip is well worth it, especially in the late spring when the snow and ice are off the trails and the water is refreshing to the touch.
Here are some notes from the Grey Sauble website about the falls...
Jones Falls cascades over the escarpment 12 metres to the Pottawatomi River that flows into Owen Sound Bay. Please note that water flow is minimal during August and September. The Pottawatomi Conservation Area is 116 hectares of Niagara Escarpment land and provides many recreational activities.
Grey Sauble Conservation: https://www.greysauble.on.ca/portfolio/jones-falls-pottawatomi-conservation-area/