Ye old Elora swimming hole
Nothing says summertime like packing a picnic and driving off in your automobile for a jaunt into the countryside.
In addition to the sandwiches and iced-tea, don’t forget to bring swimming attire in case you have clear skies long enough for a dip in the lake or swimming hole.
This summer I did just that with my family and we had a splendid time. We set out for Elora, Ontario, which offers a quaint village for sightseeing and shopping, the Elora Gorge for hiking and exploring, and an old swimming hole.
We had variable weather on the day we visited, so we started with a hike down the stone steps into the gorge, taking in the unusual tree roots, rock formations and fossils. We splashed through the shallow water and explored the caves on the other side of the gorge.
Elora Gorge and caves
After a walk through the village and a browse in a few of the shops, we drove to the other side of town to the quarry where we enjoyed our picnic lunch. The swimming quarry and conservation area includes picnic tables, a sandy beach area and is encircled by sheer cliffs up to 12 metres (40 feet) high.
The Elora Quarry, originally a limestone quarry, is spring-fed by the nearby Grand River. The quarry didn’t become a conservation area until 1976, but it was a popular swimming spot long before that. Upon visiting I could see why.
Even if the air is cool the water in the quarry retains the heat from the sun, making for a refreshing and relaxing swim. Granted, you must tread carefully when wading through the water due to the remaining quarry rocks under the surface, and since the depth can change quickly, but once you’re in the water you quickly get the hang of it and can enjoy the novelty of swimming in a natural setting.
This was my first trip to a swimming quarry and I dare say it won’t be my last!