Elora Gorge, Grand River valley, Ontario
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ontario locals have long known that the Elora Quarry — also known as the “Old Swimming Hole” — is the perfect place to spend warm summer days in Canada. For visitors, however, the secret is just getting out.

Surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs and dense cedar forest, the calm waters of the natural swimming hole span two acres. A large, white-sand beach flanks the quarry, and the surrounding park and Grand River Conservation area offer ample opportunities for visitors to picnic, including barbecues and tables.

Cliff jumping is strictly prohibited, so visitors who want to see the quarry from above should stick to the trails.

Consider a section of the Elora Cataract Trail, which spans almost 30 miles and connects two watersheds, or the half-mile long loop trail that provide a view over the Grand River.

The park is open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on weekends, and from 11:00 a.m. on weekdays, beginning the first Saturday in June. Travelers have all summer to check out this beautiful swimming spot, which closes Labor Day.

Adults should expect to pay a $6.50 day-use fee, and youths are admitted for $3. Children five and under can experience Elora Quarry for free.