Buried Ravine

Half Moon Valley Trail

Buried Ravine

Oakville, Ontario L6M, Canada

Created By: Bronte Creek Provincial Park


This is one of of the reasons why Bronte Creek is protected as a provincial park as this feature is provincial significant.

Directly below where you are standing is a deep and completely buried ravine. This ravine was created by a river of the same size, flowing in the same direction that Bronte Creek does today. During the last glacial period some 14, 000 years ago, the old watercourse was filled with gravel and debris pushed by the advancing icesheet. Years later when the ice melted, the water carved a new route and formed a new creek – Bronte Creek. This new creek exposed the ancient gravels of the old ravine or buried ravine. The gravel that fills the old ravine has been cemented together due to the groundwater percolation and high calcium carbonate concentrations. Although it looks stable it is fragile in nature. Erosion by a spring and groundwater run-off moving through the old watercourse (now filled with cemented gravel) hollowed out a cave on the opposite valley wall. This cave is believed to be the only one of its kind in Ontario and was reportedly the hiding place of political rebellion leader William Lyon Mackenzie during his flight from Toronto in 1837.

If you grew up in the Oakville/ Burlington area before the park was established you might have had the opportunity to explore the cave. At some point in the late 1980’s early 1990’s the cave’s fragile structure collapsed, making access impossible.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Half Moon Valley Trail


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