Jones Falls Lockstation
A few months back we took a small road trip looking for locks along the Rideau Canal. It wasn't long before we stumbled upon the Jones Falls Lockstation. The road off the highway was inconspicous, and the parking lot modest. There was a small nature trail leading up to the Stone Arch Dam, although we had no idea how long the trail was or if it was going anywhere.
Coming around the bend, the dam appeared most unexpectedly. We were already at the top of the tall dam, looking downward to the base below - densely covered by trees and brush. It was incredibly impressive, and worth the trip alone, but we continued past to the actual locks. If you look at the map below, we came in at marker 12, then advanced our way down to number one. On the way out, we saw our mistake and pledged to visit the main entrance next time.
The arch dam itself is 60 feet high and 350 feet across, and there are four locks on site. Work on the entire project began in 1827 and completed in 1832. I can't help but marvel at the engineering and work that must have gone into this - of course it was difficult and hard to imagine such a project taking place so long ago, and the same could be said for any of these older projects. The fact that it's all still standing and in operation is a testament to the passion that was put into the construction. I knew that once we saw this dam and the time period it was made, that it's a hidden gem among all of Canada, and made me quite proud to be part of the country and standing on site.
I only took a few photos - my only camera was my iPhone 4. With a bit more preparation next time, it would be easy to spend more time and watch the boats go through the locks, and have lunch at the Hotel Kenney. There's a lot of history to be uncovered, and it's not that far from home.
I would highly recommend checking out these links to learn more about the locks, and Jones Falls in particular.
Parks Canada - Jones Falls Lockstation The source and description of each point of interest marked on the map in this post.
Parks Canada - History of Jones Falls
Rideau-Info - Guide to the Locks
Wikipedia - Jones Falls Dam
Tags: Nature Walk, Jones Falls Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Urban Walk