Formerly known as Burleigh Chute, Burleigh Falls is both a geological feature and a small community. You could say that Burleigh Falls delineates where the Canadian Shield begins, or where the glaciers of the last, mini ice age came to a halt about 15,000 years ago. You’ll notice that trees to the south are mainly deciduous and trees to the north are mainly coniferous. To the north is the rock of the Canadian Shield exposed by glaciation. To the south is the debris that was pushed in front of the glaciers, and forms the Oak Ridges Moraine and the area known as the Land Between. The falls form the boundary between the municipality of North Kawartha to the north and the municipality of Selwyn to the south. More aptly described as a chute or cascade, the drop in water level is more horizontal than vertical and the falls are created by the narrowing flow of water between Lovesick Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake on the west and Stoney Lake to the east.
There is a public wharf at Burleigh Falls which is lovely to walk along. Commonly known as the Burleigh Falls Lock, there is a long control dam built just above the falls to regulate water on Lovesick Lake. In days gone-by, the number of lakes and rocky terrain made travel difficult and the large, rapid flow that cascades around Burleigh Falls was a serious barrier to transportation. Lock 28 was built just to the north, allowing boats to bypass the falls. The lock was completed in 1887, using limestone from around the area.
Burleigh Falls Inn
Although the village post office was opened in 1877, John Holmes built a hotel on the 11 acre parcel known as Burleigh Island, in 1857. Currently known as the Burleigh Falls Inn & Suites, guests are able to enjoy views of the sunrise over Stoney Lake and sunsets over the dams of Lovesick Lake.