Muskoka Falls


May 27, 2007

Province: Ontario

Location: Bracebridge

Height: 45?

Crest: 10

Water Source: South Branch Muskoka River

Waypoint: 45.00216N 79.3021W

Summary: A sad fate has befallen Muskoka Falls on the south branch. Not only has a dam been built just above it, and not only is the water often diverted, they also built a major highway over top of it. Despite all that it is still an impressive waterfall, and is worth a visit while seeing the many other falls in the area.

Muskoka Falls must have been a spectacular waterfall once upon a time. The river tumbles down a steep narrow chute cut into the Canadian Shield. But in 1906 a power station (and presumably the first dam) was built at the crest of the falls, and years later the bridge carrying later Highway 11 was built over top of it. Despite all that, it is still worth a visit in the spring. In drier seasons all the water is diverted from the falls.

There are no established viewing areas for this waterfall. The easiest vantage point from which to view the falls is under the Highway 11 bridge, which can be accessed from Morrow Drive. Morrow Drive also crosses a bridge above the falls. From here you can walk out under the Hwy 11 bridge and look into the deep gorge. Morrow Drive can be reached from exit 182 on Hwy 11. You probably can canoe up the the base of the gorge. I do not know if there is any other easy land access.

Just east of the falls are the pipes that carry the diverted water. As late as 2007 these were still old wooden pipes that had sprung leaks in many places. They have since been replaced with green metal pipes.

This waterfall is the Muskoka Falls on the south branch of the river, and is therefore marked as Muskoka (South) Falls on many maps, or simply as South Falls.

[Lake Huron] Nearby Falls

The Muskoka region is full of waterfalls, although many of them have been all but obliterated by dams. Bracebridge claims 22 falls, but that is a generous count in my opinion. The smaller, and more heavily dammed Hanna Chute is just upstream. Tretheway Falls, and Matthiasville Falls are two more small dammed falls upstream. A few miles north on the north branch you can find Bracebridge Falls, and upstream of that Wilson Falls and High Falls.

Photo Gallery




Under the bridge

View from above the falls

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Last Modified: Monday, 28-Nov-2011 18:18:52 MST.

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