The Teaching Rocks, Peterborough Petroglyphs Park


Petroglyphs Park, Woodview Ontario
Address: 2249 Northey’s Bay Rd, Woodview, ON K0L 3E0

The Hollow ECHO of water gurgling beneath the rocks at their feet made the two young geologists uneasy. There, in the stillness of the forest north of Stoney Lake, they felt as though they had entered a hallowed place. As they swept away the moss from the white crystalline rocks, something caught there eye. Something odd. The surface of the rock was not smooth, as it should have been. Rather, it contained strange etchings, more then nine hundred of them. Although they did not know it on that day in May 1954, the town men had uncovered  one of North America’s largest and most mysterious Native petroglyphs the Teaching rocks.

Like the Christian Bible, the Teaching Rocks tell the Aboriginal story of life. As each young male entered adolescence, the eldders of the tribe would lead him to the site, guided by the sound of waterfalls and special guide rocks. One lesson at a time, the elders taught the youngsters the meaning of life, as the Ojibway understood it and as the Teaching Rocks revealed it. The medicine wheel told them that life began as the sunrise in the east. Midday, represented midlife, and the west meant old age, while the north referred to the afterlife.    The spirits portrayed in the carvings taught that man must coexist with nature.

After each lesson finished, the elders would cover the stones with moss to preserve the carvings from erosion. In 1976, the site, sacred to the First Nations, became a provincial park under the cooperative stewardship of the Curve Lake First Nation.  A decade later, to protect the surface from the elements, a glass enclosure was added.

The site is located 55 kilometres north-east of Peterborough, near highway 28. Here, you wonder at the strange shapes and possibly apply your own interpretations. Then you can watch the Ministry of Natural Resource’s award-winning twenty-minute film, The Teaching Rocks. Prepared by Llyod Walton, the film reveals the mysteries as told and narrated by the Ojibway themselves. As you walk back to your car through the woods, you look around you and see the nature through different eyes, those it’s original stewards.

Information Source: From Author Ron Brown and his book the “Top 150 most unusual things to see in Ontario”





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