The Niagara Escarpment

Les Cheneaux is part of the Niagara Escarpment– a crescent shaped limestone arch that runs from the Niagara region of New York State and Eastern Ontario, through northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, to northern Wisconsin. The escarpment is a massive ridge of fossil-rich sedimentary rock which began its formation 450 million years ago as the outer rim of a shallow sea known geologically as the Michigan Basin.

The formation of the Niagara Escarpment began 430 to 450 million years ago, when the area lay under a shallow warm sea. This sea lay in a depression of the earth’s crust, the centre of which is now called the State of Michigan. Now geologically known as the Michigan Basin, the outer rim of this massive saucer-shaped feature defines the Niagara Escarpment.

The rocks at the base of the Niagara Escarpment of are Late Ordovician age (from approximately 450 million years ago.) Those that comprise the major part of the Escarpment proper belong in the Early and Middle Silurian age (approximately 400 million years ago).

Unique characteristics of the escarpment that are seen throughout Les Cheneaux include our white, “cobblestone” beaches, limestone ledges, huge expanses of limestone bedrock that can be seen underwater in some areas, and random boulders scattered throughout the woods and on the lake shore—some as large as houses.

Les Cheneaux shares these amazing geological features with other places along the escarpment, such as Drummond Island and the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, and the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin.

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Upcoming Events

Visit the Calendar Page at for event dates and times! 


Weekly Events:

All Year: Story & Craft Time at Les Cheneaux Community Library, 10:30 am, Cedarville

All Year: Les Cheneaux Farmers & Artisans Market, 10 am to 2 pm, Hessel School House, Hessel






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