|And for those that don't care about ferns, there is always the waterfall|
There are a lot of options for hiking at Inglis Falls Conservation Area. Hiking along the west side of the falls gives the best views of the falls but it is rugged with numerous crevasses within the limestone. You can also wind your way down to the bottom of the falls. With young children, this route is a little too much. On the east side of the falls, there is a network of nicely groomed hiking trails. The Pot Hole Trail makes for a nice diversion with its geological features ( "Pot Hole !" ) although it gets a bit rough too.
Inglis Falls makes for good exploring and from the naturalist's point of view, there is plenty to see. The highlight is the oft-overlooked ferns. Between Grey and Bruce Counties, there are 50 species of fern ( compared to 75 species found in all of Ontario ). Among them is the Hart's Tongue Fern, which is rare in North America ( rated as Special Concern in Ontario ) in addition to other species like Robert's Fern, Broad Beech Fern, Walking Rue and Purple-stemmed Cliffbrake.
|The Niagara Escarpment|
|Intermediate Wood Fern|
|Northern Holly Fern|
|A terrible picture but here is the Hart's Tongue Fern|
|Fun along the Pot Hole Trail|
I would recommend searching for the book "Guide to the Ferns of Grey and Bruce County" on amazon.ca . This publication is put out by the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and is available through their website. Or you can pick up a copy from the Grey Roots Museum, located 2 km west of Inglis Falls. It may be the best field guide to ferns in existence ( I know, I know... such a bold exclamation ! ). It only covers the 50 species found in Grey-Bruce Counties but it is worth the $20.
On top of that, the museum sells an excerpt from American Fern Journal in 1909, detailing a trip to Owen Sound, specifically made to see the Hart's Tongue Fern and Northern Holly Fern. It comes with a nice Fern Checklist, which makes it both a neat piece of nostalgia and handy for naturalists.