The Cove at the base of Lover’s Leap
In the small Ontario village of Elora, the Grand River has carved a path, 70 feet deep, through the limestone. This is known as the Elora Gorge, and it is a wonderful location for landscape photographers to visit, especially when the river is low and one can walk out across the river for many different perspectives. My favorite access point to the Elora Gorge is the one found in Victoria Park. There is a staircase that enables you to safely make your way down to the bottom of the gorge. Once you have descended down the staircase you will find yourself at the Irvine Creek in the Irvine Gorge. If you walk down stream in a minute or two you will be in the Elora Gorge on the Grand River. The area where the Irvine Creek and the Grand River meet is known locally as The Cove. The most notable feature in the The Cove is the rock formation that is known as Lover’s Leap. Legend has it that an aboriginal Princess threw herself over the cliff upon hearing that her lover had been killed in battle.
The Elora Gorge and Victoria Park is mentioned in my eBook ‘A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape’ under the ‘Roadside Attractions‘ section, but one could easily spend an entire day exploring this fascinating terrain and should make a point of visiting this stunning location at least once. During my fall colour excursions this year I made a point of visiting the area for some autumn colour photography. While I was a little early for peak colours I was quite pleased to find some of the maples beginning to turn and the river levels were low enough that I was able to cross the river and photograph from a small island found in The Cove. I often prefer the period just before the fall colours peak so that I can frame the autumn trees among some greenery as well. Upstream from The Cove is a waterfall that was producing lots of unappealing white foam in the river. To overcome this unwanted element I simply used a polarizing filter and a 3-stop neutral density filter to slow down the exposure enough to blur the foam and create a sense of the passage of time by photographing the movement of the foam throughout the frame.
The Grand River at the Elora Gorge
Looking upstream from the small island within The Cove, towards the waterfall hidden by the gorge, I was drawn to the layers created by the overlapping, limestone walls of the gorge.
The Grand River in the Elora Gorge
Before leaving the area, I made sure to grab a few aerial-type images from the bridge on Wellington Road 7 that gives you a lovely view of Lover’s Leap and The Cove in the Elora Gorge. Please note in the photo below I evicted the small concrete viewing patio that is found on top of Lover’s Leap to re-create the natural look to this scene.
Do click on each of the photographs to see the larger, sharper version.
Aerial view of Lover’s Leap, in The Cove, at the Elora Gorge
Next time you find yourself in the vicinity of the Elora Gorge, take some time to explore this fascinating location. I hear it can also be very impressive in the winter as ice formations develop on the gorge walls. Stay tuned and I will let you know after I make a stop here this winter :)