Bracebridge - Muskoka, Ontario • Access to the Trans Canada Trail System
HIGH FALLS PARK
HISTORICAL NOTES
BACK
High Falls is known as the "Niagara of the North". The water flows over the falls at 300 cubic feet a second. It is 882 feet above sea level and has a 48-foot drop down the cliff.

In the 1870's the local people called this spectacular falls, "the big falls" and they would walk from their farms after a hard day's work to go swimming the pool at the base of the falls. The river also had an abundance of pickerel.

A log slide was not built at the falls because it wasn't needed. They were held in a boom at the top before being floated down the river to Bracebridge and often across Lake Muskoka to Bala and down the Moon River to Georgian Bay.

In 1948 the generating station was placed in the main cataract but it does not interfere excessively with the natural beauty of the Falls.

The power plant is run automatically from the plant in the town centre.

Abutments of previous bridges over the Falls can be seen. The last bridge collapsed under the weight of a gravel truck. Snowmobilers and hikers have used these abutments to build a bridge for hiking and snowmobiling. The bridge is now part of the Trans Canada Trail System.

It's worth a climb down the trails along the side of the falls to see a beautiful little creek, locally called Potts Creek - named after a family who lived at the falls. It has a 49-foot drop with an upper and lower falls.

There used to be farms at the falls where the Ministry of Natural Resources now has offices as well as where the High Falls Cottage Resort stands, together with the original Doley homestead. Hugh and Ilma Potts bought the resort property from the Doley family in 1929 and started a fox farm which they operated until the late 30s when the fox market dropped. Since the farm had a wonderful view of the falls people would ask to tent on it. From this beginning the farm gradually evolved into a campground which was sold in 1949, this now is the site of a new natural water park. Some of the cabins built by the Potts family are still in use today. The descendants of these families still live around Bracebridge.
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