This incredible cove of sparkling turquoise water is possibly amongst the most spectacular hiking locations in all of Ontario. The shoreline of exposed dolostone cliffs and flowerpot stacks is home to numerous rare species. Amongst the plants there are ancient, twisted bonsai and forty four species of orchid. The most well-known variety being the delicate yellow "ladies slipper".
To me it is the rock formations that are the most intriguing. Beneath the water the rock is a yellowing-white and broad shelves are clearly seen from the surface though they are far below the crystal clear swells. This is the tip of a peninsula well known for the ferocity of its storms. the lake bottom is a veritable grave yard of sunken ships. It is a scuba divers paradise.
Up above the rock and rattlesnakes share the same mottled grey/black appearance. Here in the foreground of this photograph the rock appears rippled and contorted. By first appearance it would seem like some sort of strange lava flow but in truth these odd markings are concoidal fractures.
Marcus Buck, a well respected caver and karst geographer explained that when a dolostone is pure and homogenous it appears to have an amorphous internal structure. Amorphous materials are entirely without internal crystal order, (glass being a good example), and they have a tendency to break in this unusual way.
By way of stresses from expanding anhydrite crystals the rock is cleaved off in thin sheets. Anhydrite crystals are composed of calcium sulphate that when hydrated will expand and cause the surrounding rock to shatter. The nodes from where the stresses spread are still visible at the centre of some of the ripples.
A detailed understanding of the Northern Bruce Peninsula's amazing caving and hiking potential can be obtained in my book , "ROCKWATCHING; ADVENTURES ABOVE AND BELOW ONTARIO".
SEE THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT FOR DETAILS ON THE PURCHASE OF MY BOOK.