Downstream the river has formed a deep gorge in the easily weathered and eroded bedrock found along the lower Manuels River. Many of the rocks downstream are shale – a sedimentary rock that formed from marine mud deposits. The shale contains a variety of fossils but the area is best known for its trilobite fossils.
The trilobite fossils were discovered at this now famous locality in 1874 by T.C. Weston of the Geological Survey of Canada. Trilobites resemble carpenters or crabs. They lived on the seabed, and sometimes left trails as they crawled around looking for food. It is rare to find a complete trilobite specimen, though some have been found here up to 30 centimetres long.
The downstream trail starts just outside the Interpretation Centre at the Beaver Bridge. Once over the Kingfisher Bridge you can head right and take the stairs to the top of the gorge. The trail continues along the gorge to the beach front at Worsley Park. This side of the trail follows the river for 5.2 kilometres (round trip). Or you can head left, cross over the Blue Jay Bridge, and follow the trail along the river. The developed trail ends near the stairs up to Marthas Place. An undeveloped trail continues on down to the beach front.
Participate in our Downstream Trail tour to learn more about the geology, flora, fauna, and cultural history of the area.