By Darren Lum – Adventurer. Biker. Freelancer. Former Dogsled guide, and long-time “newspaper guy.”
Bask in everything Ritchie Falls can offer with a visit to tantalize the senses. It’s where you can forget your troubles for however long you stay. Let it be your destination or a break in the day, whether you’re road tripping, biking or walking your dog.
Part of Burnt River, this beautiful natural feature has three sets of falls, which starts with the largest of the series under the one-lane bridge for Ritchie Falls Road. Listen to the roar of the falls, and feel its power under the stones that provide a makeshift path of your own choosing.
Take your time at Ritchie Falls…
Take your time. Engage in the present, getting lost in the passing clouds (and imagine fantastical creatures, flying overhead), letting the rush of the rapids whisk you back to a simpler time before smart phones. Walk along the rocks, let the rushing water pass around you, beside you and behind you. Look among the flora and see the seasonal changes in the buds, the blossoms and the blaze of autumn’s fire. Hold still long enough and, possibly, you’ll see local fauna pay a visit.
If you find yourself there on a sweltering day, recline in the shallows where the cooling water can offer a respite from the heat, or the everyday cares and worries of life. With little elevation changes, it’s ideal for families with children. Bring some food and have a picnic, a snack. Among the best butter tarts you’ll ever eat are available at The Little Tart, which is located about halfway between downtown Haliburton and Ritchie Falls, located at 1035 Koshlong Lake Road, only steps from the Haliburton County Rail Trail.
While some grand adventures can take you around the world to find nature’s beauty, Haliburton County achieves this with a simple trip down the road. All you need to do is take the first step to seeing for yourself.
How to get there?
Under a 20 minute drive from downtown Haliburton, Ritchie Falls is located on Ritchie Falls Road off of County Road 1 in Haliburton, which is approximately 220 km north of Toronto.
It’s an unheralded destination where the water runs strong and cold. Also, the falls can be accessed via the Haliburton County Rail Trail, located steps away by foot or on bike. Access to the path is on the west side of the river. Parking is limited, but is available. There is no cost or permits required. Accessibility is limited to the road, which is not a high traffic route. GPS: 44.9278,-78.5952
Be sure to check out the many other easily accessible waterfalls located in the Haliburton Highlands.