Weathering processes involve the breaking down of rocks, soils and minerals. Mechanical processes involve physically breaking down large material into smaller parts.

This can include a glacier scraping the surface and removing fragments or water carving out shorelines as well as freeze-thawing which cracks or breaks rock along fissures where water freezes.

The most obvious example of mechanical or physical weathering can be found in a handful of sand. What is the dominant shape? The rock fragments or ‘lithic grains’ are rounded by the abrasive pounding of wave action.

Take a look at the bowling ball sized cobble at the water’s edge; it too is rounded smooth.

Challenge: Old Stones
The Wendat referred to their elders as ‘old stones’. Look carefully at the rock ‘face’ of some of the gneissic boulders around you which have had some of their mineral content eroded to exaggerate the rock’s physical features. I’ve just seen a face? Find another ‘stone face’ and challenge one of your group to find it.

Do you see the face in this weathered rock?
Do you see the face in this weathered rock?

Next Up:
Head back toward the Beach Trail and walk approximately 130m along the Beach Trail in the direction of Third Beach.

Look for the beach entrance marked by a No Pets Beyond This Point sign and continue approximately 50m West along the beach front toward a large stream in order to reach Stop 6 .

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