About the Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment is recognized as one of the world's unique natural wonders and is the most prominent topographical feature of southern Ontario.

The landform is a largely forested ridge of fossil-rich sedimentary rock (dolostone) 725 km in length. At its highest elevation it soars 510 metres (1625 ft.) above sea level. It traverses the most heavily developed and densely populated region of Canada.  

As much a hydrological as a geological feature, the headwaters of several rivers rise in the Escarpment and the area is important for groundwater recharge.  

The Escarpment area encompasses a rich mosaic of forests, farms, recreation areas, scenic views, cliffs, streams, wetlands, rolling hills, waterfalls, mineral resources, wildlife habitats, historic sites, villages, towns and cities.  

The Escarpment’s vibrant ecosystems support 300 bird species, 53 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians, 90 fish and 100 varieties of special interest flora including 37 types of wild orchids.

The Escarpment also includes some of Ontario’s best skiing, camping, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking and viewing, and includes the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest footpath. Recreational activities related to the Niagara Escarpment contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Ontario’s economy annually.

Giant's Rib Discovery Centre Video on YouTubeOur friends at the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre have produced a stunning video of the Niagara Escarpment's history, geologyand unique features - click to view.


Niagara Escarpment Commission Newsletters


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