Solitary Wilderness - Victoria Falls

Gracey

Orillia, Canada

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An area in the central/northern Ontario region; part of the Muskokas.

The drive to this place is over a lot of rough terrain and takes around slightly more than hour from our house, but the drive is well worth it..

Leaving our house you start out on a highway, which is about 15 minutes driving time. You cut off the highway at “Cooper’s Falls” (once a thriving community, established in the 1800s, but today calling it a hamlet is generous) and follow the road into Cooper’s Falls. At the “end” of Cooper’s Falls (it ends at the Black River) and just to the left is an old cart-track that has been paved over. You follow that for about 15 minutes, where the paving ends and the old corduroy road begins.

This is where it gets dicey. The corduroy is a road constructed with underlying logs and covered with rubble and dirt, and hard-packed. Lots of the old country roads were constructed this way. Part way along this dirt road the logs have begun to rot and there are many pits and potholes (craters wold be a more apt word) along the laneway. It isn’t really fair to call it a road at this point…it is basically dirt where the tires go and grass, stone and undergrowth in the center and to either side.

Many areas have no pathway at all. The granite shield has lifted over the years and the soil has eroded, so in some spots you are driving over granite outcrops. Further on, there are huge wetlands and swamps to either side of this track and places where the swamp has washed over the trail.

There ride along here is a half hour on a good day (where the water is not covering the road…tho half hour on this road feels like a century), and considerably longer on a bad one.

Just before you reach this idyllic wilderness the road dips down a large hill and the swamp is almost always covering it. Depending on the water level, you can cross the road…or not. We’ve taken to carrying a large pole with us in the truck. When we hit this spot I we stop and I get out with pole to test the water depth. If it’s below the upper portion of the tires (we’ve got a 3/4 ton with heavy duty raised suspension) we cross, if it’s not, we turn back. We almost lost the truck in the swamp our first time out here.

Once you brave this last hurdle, you are home free. Up the small hill on the other side and when you crest that, you see the bridge and parking area.

This photo was taken from the bridge. The area is predominantly rock – granite, black basalt and other types. These are natural forests with some small wildlife present all the time, and occasionally bear, deer, moose, and the odd wolf.

Though the area is known as Victoria Falls, there are no waterfalls, only a series of rapids at different points along the river. On the opposite side of the bridge is a large wetlands area.

This is probably my favourite place in the world to spend a day.

Artwork Comments

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