Spirit Rock Conservation Area
92 HIGHWAY 6, WIARTON ON
Coordinates: Latitude: 44.7621° North, Longitude: -81.1419° West - UTM X Easting: 488766.9116, Y Northing:
Encompassing 87 hectares, the site features historical ruins, an impressive view from the top of the Niagara Escarpment, a spiral staircase to the water’s edge, and access to the Bruce Trail.
- A MUST SEE
- IMPRESSIVE VIEWS & UNIQUE SPIRAL STAIRCASE THAT TAKES YOU DOWN ESCARPMENT EDGE
- CLOSENESS TO ESCARPMENT USUALLY RESERVED FOR ROCK CLIMBERS
- OVER 5 KM HIKING TRAILS
- OPEN LATE SPRING TO FALL
You can also visit the ruins of the McNeill Estate, which provides a glimpse into the history of Bruce County and its settlers.
In 1881, this site became home for Alexander McNeill who developed the land into beautiful garden, manicured lawns and productive orchards.
Alexander McNeill was born in Northern Ireland and served as the Federal Member of parliament for the North Bruce Riding, 1881-1901.
He was a supporter of Britain and its empire and one of the ‘Noble 13’ who opposed Sir John A. Macdonald on a number of issues.
McNeill was a quiet man, fond of reading and a lover of flowers. He lived on the estate with his wife Hester and their son Malcolm. Hester died quite young, before the estate was completely finished.
Unfortunately, after McNeill died, Malcolm was more interested in parties than managing the estate, and the family fortune dwindled away.
Following Malcolm’s death, the housekeeper, who had been willed the estate, sold it in 1960 to a Toronto resident. Without fulltime occupancy at the mansion, vandals victimized the site. The property was sold in 1976 to the Conservation Authority. Shortly after, a fire destroyed the mansion, leaving only a stone shell, which is still visible today.