Hog’s Back Falls is a pretty spectacular sight at this time of year as a result of the spring melt off. The falls were created at the time of the construction of the Rideau Canal, as explained in this very interesting post. On day 18 of 30 Days of Biking, my son and I biked over to check them out, and discovered some wonderful vantage points.
To get there we followed the O-Train path as far as Young St. That’s where the path surface changes from asphalt to packed dirt. (UPDATE 2018: The path is now paved as far south as Carling. Still dirt between Carling and Queen Elizabeth drive though) . Having previously noticed that the dirt portion of the path can get mucky at this time of year I decided to take the covered path over the O-Train at the end of Young, and continue along Railway St on the west side of the tracks. We then wove our way along quiet streets through the residential area to the lights at Sherwood and Carling. There’s a path which continues on the other side of Carling through Queen Julianna Park that we followed to the lights at Prince of Wales Drive.
We rode through the arboretum and crossed the canal locks at Carleton University.
That got us on the canal pathway which we followed all the way to Mooneys Bay. The canal is still empty allowing for some great views of the locks, including this one at Mooneys Bay. The patine on the stonework is pretty fantastic. Nic says it looks like the walls of a medieval fortress!
The path circles under and up onto Hogs Back Road over the falls. You can’t really see the falls from this path, but you sure can hear them. Once on the other side of the bridge the path circles under Hogs Back Road once again, which takes you into Hog’s Back Park, from where you can go right up to the edge of the falls.
There’s a path that goes right over the falls, allowing you to stare straight down into the torrential frothing.
On the north shore you can follow the path down onto the exposed rock.
There are a few short sets of stairs so you may wish to lock your bike on the opposite shore. We brought ours, allowing us to follow another path on the north side of the falls under Hogs Back Road. This path joins the one that continues along the canal.
I know this way-finding description around the falls is confusing, so zoom in on the above map to the area around the falls and it will make more sense.
I highly recommend riding over and checking out the fury of the falls before the snow melt excitement subsides.