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Canada: National Capital's Scenic Hog's Back Falls
History of the Rideau Canal and Hogs Back
What is popularly called Hogs Back Falls in the city of Ottawa, began as Three Rock Rapids. Originally it had only a drop of only 6 feet before the decision was made to create a canal on the Rideau River.
Engineers created a dam at the site of the original rapids and built up the dam to a new height of more than 40 feet and pooled the water of the Rideau to form Mooneys Bay and divide the flow of the river into the Rideau canal and allowed the rest of the Rideau to flow in a controlled manner over the Hogs Back to continue on its way down to join the Ottawa River.
The Hog's Back controls the flow of the Rideau. When water levels are high, more of the dam is opened and the water cascades over the Hogs Back and all the reflective pools disappear! In these autumn photographs only one section is open, but as you can see, it is magnificent!
A Great Way to Spend a Day Outdoors in Ottawa
The Hog's Back is named for a ridge of rock below the falls that is reminiscent of the back of a hog. The falls move massive amounts of water most of the year and are a sight to behold close at hand.The Falls are also called Prince of Wales Falls, but Hogs Back is the more popular name.
As stated, the falls were created on the site of original rapids. Engineers wanted to create boat locks for travel from Kingston, Ontario to the Ottawa River via the locks in summer. The Rideau River divides above Hog's Back into the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal. The Rideau Canal is another great attraction to visit.
Hogs Back Park is where the magnificent made-made waterfall is located Besides the falls, the park has beautiful natural scenery. The Rideau River can be followed on it's original route downstream into the park. Fishermen love spending a day relaxing along the shoreline. It is a beautiful destination that is free to visit for the budget minded and a great place to just enjoy an entire day.
It is amazing that this beautiful location is right in the city of Ottawa!
Autumn is the off season for tourists at the park, however, the park is spectacular clothed in it's autumn finery of yellows and reds.
Waterfowl can be seen enjoying the small tranquil pools formed along the ledges close to the falls.
The park consists of wide open parkland, bicycle paths, walking paths and the magnificent Hogs Back Falls. There is a bit of everything for everyone to appreciate. The park is dog friendly as long as pets are leashed. Remembe to bring along bags to scoop behind your fur kid!
Look at an Ancient Seabed
Located on the far side of the falls is an ancient outcrop of rock that once was the seabed of an ancient ocean. You will want to touch this obviously weathered stone and think of how long ago it was under an ocean. There you will see shallow basins that speak of wear by countless waves on an ancient seafloor.