Eramosa Karst


Useful Information

Location: Upper Mount Albion Road, Stoney Creek, ON
(43.187196, -79.811797)
Open: All year during daylight hours.
[2022]
Fee: free.
Parking CAD 7.50/d.
[2022]
Classification: KarstKarst KarstKarst Trail CavingCave Trekking KarstKarst Spring KarstPonor
Light: bring torch
Dimension: Trails: L=7 km.
Nexus Cave: L=335 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: M.J. Buck, S.R.H. Worthington, D.C. Ford (2002): Evaluation of the Eramosa Karst in Stoney Creek, Ontario, as a Candidate Earth Science ANSI. OMNR. 49 pp.
Address: Eramosa Karst Conservation Area, Environmental Education Program Coordinator, Upper Mt Albion Rd, Stoney Creek, ON, L8J 3X9, Tel: +1-905-627-1233, ext. 3, Fax: 905-627-9722. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

2003 Eramosa Karst lands designated as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
OCT-2006 Ontario donates 73 ha of land to the Hamilton Conservation Authority to create a new conservation area.
APR-2007 another donation of 3.1 ha.
JUN-2007 the city of Hamilton has also contributed 1.6 ha.
20-JUN-2008 Eramosa Karst Conservation Area opened to the public.

Description

The Eramosa Karst Conservation Area is a park which protects a small patch of karst landscape in the city Hamilton, Ontario. There is a parking lot, numerous trails and explanatory signs, which offer the possibility to see numerous karst features. There are limestone pavements, dolines, natural bridges, soil pipes, dry valleys, and even some caves like Potruff Cave. There are two springs, Blue Hole Spring and Pottruff Spring, and two sinks called Stewart Creek Sink and Phoenix Creek Sink. The park is believed to have the largest number of unique karst features in any single area in Ontario.

Nexus Cave is the 10th largest cave in Ontario and open to cave trekking trips. It is narrow and often low, the is wet clay inside, so you will get dirty, but it has no difficulty and does not require climbing gear. Bring helmet, headlamp, additional lamp, gum boots and gloves, knee pads if possible. Your clothes will get dirty so bring clothes to change afterwards, a towel, and plastic bags for the dirty equipment. Do not cave alone and leave a return time with someone.

The karst area was covered by massive glaciers during the cold age, and became subject to karstification after the glaciers started to melt. Meltwaters covered the land and the landscape was weathered by the enormous amounts of water.

The Eramosa Karst natural area is not only a geotope, it is also an important biotope. The meadow, thicket, woodland and forest are home to numerous native plant species. The common trees are Sugar Maple, Ironwood, Hawthorn, Gray Dogwood, White Ash, Black Cherry, American Beech, Red Oak, Butternut, and Shagbark Hickory. Numerous species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects live in the area, for example wild turkey, coyote, white-tailed deer, meadow voles, and the cotton tail rabbit. Common birds are the Red-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, Savannah Sparrows, Saw-whet Owl, and the Red-tailed Hawk.

The park is located right south of the Niagara Escarpment. This escarpment is quite famous, because it is the drop of the Niagara Falls, hence the name. More interesting is the fact that the escarpment, or cuesta, extends with a total length of about 1,600 km. The Eramosa Karst is located south of the escarpment on the higher side and drains towards the north both underground and above ground.