Balls Falls Conservation Area is a popular recreation area near Jordan in the Niagara Region. It's just one of many great Ontario parks.
I used to come here as a kid, and recently returned to see how this "old friend" was doing. I'm happy to say she's still in fabulous shape! Perhaps better than ever.
The Falls gets part of its name from the two falls (Lower and Upper) which are the highlight of this wonderful nature and heritage park. The falls are pretty any time of year but most spectacular in the spring when the greatest amount of water flows over them. I took that picture above in mid-summer so it doesn't show the falls at their peak, but it gives you some idea of what they look like.
The "Balls" part of the Balls Falls name comes from a family that used to live here back in the 1800s. The grounds of this conservation area used to be a little industrial hamlet that eventually became a ghost town.
There's even a lovely heritage garden showing the herbs and flowers that would have been grown during that period. It’s always interesting to be reminded of how self-sufficient our ancestors were.
The buildings are not always open to visitors, contrary to what the web site suggests. The mill was open the last time we went (in mid-summer, on a weekend!), but all the other heritage buildings were closed. So if you're interested in seeing inside and getting a tour, then I'd recommend you call ahead.
Above: The horsey rides high at Thanksgiving Festival.
The grounds surrounding the little ghost town and the falls are great for walking and hiking. A shady path links the two falls, giving you the chance to take a short stroll under the trees along the river and admire the natural beauty of the surroundings.
One fairly recent addition to the park ("recent" meaning it wasn't there when I used to come here as a child!) is the Centre for Conservation. This is a very modern-looking building housing interactive displays relating to the local landscape and environment. There's information about the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve and the history of the local area. Displays are geared to both kids and adults so it makes a good visit for the whole family. The building has won awards for its "green" design so it's a good role model for its main message, which is the need for all of us to take steps to conserve water and energy.
The Thanksgiving Festival is a huge event with more than 100 vendors selling a wide variety of art and crafts. It features musical performers, food booths and fun for the kids. it's also the perfect opportunity to get inside those heritage buildings and see some old-time demonstrations.
Above: Quilting at Balls Falls.
The park is located at 3296 Sixth Ave, Lincoln, just outside of the friendly-tourist town of Jordan.
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