More About Beamer
Flora & Fauna
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area encompasses 53 hectares (132 acres) of escarpment land and mature wood lot. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority acquired this property to protect and preserve the diverse vegetation and wildlife communities that are associated with the Niagara Escarpment. This area also protects the valley as a significant water discharge area for Forty Mile Creek.
The Niagara Escarpment and the Forty-Mile Creek valley system are prominent geological features of this Conservation Area. The Escarpment and area rock were formed from sediment deposits on a tropical seafloor that covered this area over 400 million years ago. These deposits were compressed over millions of years and formed layers of sedimentary rock. As this sea developed, it came to harbour a complex assemblage of corals, crinoids, and other sea creatures. Limestone, formed from the accumulation of calcium deposits left by this life, was further modified by magnesium, becoming resistant dolostone. The dolostone cap of the escarpment is more resistant to erosion than the sandstone and shale layers sitting beneath it, creating the ridgeline we see today. The layers of sedimentary rock beneath the escarpment’s edge holds a story of life on earth, millions of years deep. Evidence of this past age may be seen in fossils scattered along Forty Mile Creek such as the ichnofossil (trace fossil), crinoids, and mixed sea life groupings shown here.
The prominent cliffs of the Escarpment resulted from river and slope erosion that began over 2.5 million years ago, before the onset of the Ice Age. The landscape was further modified when thick glacial ice sheets advanced and retreated over the area, carving a deep channel into the softer sedimentary rock. Since the last glacial retreat, approximately 13,000 years ago, large volumes of spring melt water continued to erode this channel resulting in the deep gorge of the Forty-Mile Creek.
There are two distinct waterfalls along the Forty-Mile Creek, which are best observed during high water flows. The upper ‘cascade falls’ located near Ridge Road, is approximately 6 metres (20 feet) high and wide. Further downstream the lower ‘curtain falls’ measure approximately 6 metres (20 feet) high and 11 metres (35 feet) wide.
Flora & Fauna
Beamer Memorial is within Canada’s limited Carolinian zone, and forested with a mix of forest succession stages, providing a home for species that are scarce or absent throughout the rest of Canada. The trail system at Beamer Memorial will take you through the Forty Mile Creek gorge, along the escarpment’s ridge, and through the old Gibson Quarry that ceased operations in the early 1900’s.
The diverse habitat afforded by the site offers refuge for a variety of insects, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and birds (both resident and migratory), providing ample nature-viewing opportunities for visitors.
In addition to nature trails, the Bruce Trail leads to four lookouts situated along the brow of the Niagara Escarpment at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area. These lookouts offer a spectacular view of Lake Ontario and the Town of Grimsby below. From late February until the end of May, the lookouts and the main parking area provide an excellent vantage point for observing the annual hawk migration.
Parking is permitted in designated areas only.
Please restrict activities to designated trails and grassed areas in order to help conserve the fragile escarpment slope.
No person shall harm or remove any part of the outdoor environment, nor molest or disturb the wildlife.
Removal of any wood from the Conservation Area is prohibited
Dogs and other pets must be restrained at all times on a leash not exceeding two metres (six feet). Pet owners are expected to observe the ‘stoop and scoop’ policy in effect at all times.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in this area, under Ontario Regulation #724/83.
Any person(s) having disregard for the above noted policies may be fined and evicted from the Conservation Area.
There are primitive toilets at Beamer. Although there is ample parking, thefts have occurred from vehicles parked at the entrances to and outside of the conservation area. DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR VEHICLE.
Food is not available at the conservation area, but there are conventional restaurants, donut shops and fast food restaurants in Grimsby.
From East or West Via the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW):
- Take exit 71 (Christie Street) and go south toward the escarpment into Grimsby; Christie Street becomes Mountain Street at the traffic light in town.
- Follow Mountain Street (Regional Road 12) south UP TO THE TOP OF THE ESCARPMENT. Just at the crest of the escarpment you will see St. Mary’s Ukrainian Church on the left.
- At this point, turn RIGHT (west) onto Ridge Road.
- Follow Ridge Road for 1.6km to Quarry Road and turn RIGHT (north) onto Quarry Road and go 100 metres to the entrance to Beamer Memorial CA.
- NOTE: Ridge Road also goes east from Mountain Street part way up the hill – do not take this turn, continue to the top of the hill.
From the East/South (Niagara Falls/Smithville) or West/South (Hamilton/Binbrook):
- Take Regional Road 12 NORTH approximately 8km toward Grimsby. Just before Regional Road 12 goes downhill at the crest of the escarpment, you will see St. Mary’s Ukrainian Church on the right.
- At this point, turn LEFT (west) onto Ridge Road.
- Follow Ridge Road for 2.4km to Quarry Road and turn RIGHT (north) onto Quarry Road and go 100 metres to the entrance to Beamer Memorial CA.
- NOTE: Ridge Road also goes east from Mountain Street part way up the hill – do not take this road.
From the West (Hamilton/Stoney Creek) Via HWY 20 and Ridge Road:
- Take Ridge Road EAST from Highway 20 at the crest of the hill above Stoney Creek and follow Ridge Road approximately 15km east.
- Look for the stop sign and microwave tower at Wolverton Road.
- Approximately 2km further EAST along Ridge Road from Wolverton Road is Quarry Road.
- Turn LEFT (north) onto Quarry Road and go 100 metres to the entrance to Beamer