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Arkona "The Little Apple"

When it comes to bountiful fresh fruit and beautiful scenery, Arkona has more than its share. Its orchards contain thousands of fruit trees that include apples, pears, plums, peaches and cherries. Blossom time in May is gorgeous and July is even better when fruit ripens at U-pick farms.

The Ausable Gorge is a 1700-hectare valley designated as an Area of National & Scientific Interest by Carolinian Canada. The gorge was carved out thousands of years ago by the river, exposing the underlying fossilized bedrock, making the gorge a world-renowned treasure for fossil enthusiasts. Collecting is allowed in some areas. The forest is home to exceptionally diverse plants and animals that are rare in Canada. The Southern Flying Squirrel, Hooded Warbler, Queen Snake, Tulip Tree and Sycamores are some of the Carolinian species that inhabit the 100-foot deep gorge. Rock Glen Conservation Area contains a series of hidden waterfalls that cascade into the valley. Picturesque Rock Glen Falls tumble over a 10-metre ledge. The park maintains trails, boardwalks and observation platforms for exploring the lush scenery and it opens daily 9 a.m. to dusk, May to Oct. 31. Rock Glen has picnic shelters, barbecues, washrooms, a playground, sports field and wheelchair access.

The Arkona Lions Museum Information Centre is located in the park. It contains the largest collection of Devonian fossils in Ontario. The shale of the gorge yields fossils of marine creatures that date back 395 million years. Pre-historic aboriginal tools are also on display. The museum opens weekends May to mid-Oct., 12-5 p.m.; daily June - Aug. or by appointment.

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