Fall is a great time of year for hiking and exploring. The city of Hamilton is known as the city of waterfalls, with over 100 cascades and waterfalls, many of which plunge over the Niagara Escarpment. Here is a list of the top 10 waterfalls worth seeing.
10 – BUTTERMILK FALLS
Mountain Brow Blvd and Limeridge Road on the East Mountain| Hamilton
Buttermilk Falls is approximately 75 feet high (23 metres) and runs almost year round. In late summer, early fall or at times of very little rainfall the flow slows to barely a trickle. It flows into a tributary of Red Hill Creek. It is about a 20 minute hike from the Red Hill Valley Trail by foot or a 2 minute descent down the escarpment cliff face.
9 – BORER’S FALLS
Borer’s Falls Conservation Area | York Road | Dundas
Borer’s Falls is a 49 foot (15 metre) waterfall that runs into Borer’s Creek which is a tributary that feeds the west pond of Cootes Paradise. It’s surrounded by lush, green trees and vegetation in the summer months and has a tremendous flow during the wetter months. It usually runs year round but can slow to just a trickle during drier times. Like other waterfalls in Hamilton it used to provide water to power a sawmill in Rock Chapel Village. This mill was run by the Borer family. After years of land clearing the creek’s flow slowed to the point where it could no longer power the mill.
8 – GREAT FALLS
Mill Street South | Waterdown
Great Falls is 32 feet (10 metres) high and is also known as; Waterdown Falls, Smokey Hollow Falls, Boundary Falls and Grindstone Falls. It’s a little, picturesque and powerful waterfall that feeds Grindstone Creek which is a fast flowing, rocky creek that is a tributary to Lake Ontario. As its names suggest, Grindstone Falls was used to supply power for industry in the 1800’s in Waterdown, in the area known as Smokey Hollow.
7 – SHERMAN FALLS
Upper Lions Club Road & Old Dundas Road | Ancaster
Sherman Falls is 55 feet (17 metres) high and flows year round into the Ancaster Creek tributary system. It is a quaint waterfall surrounded by trees. There is a wooden bridge in front of it that crosses the creek. It was named for Clifton Sherman, an American, with years of experience in foundry management. He established the Dominion Foundries and Steel Co. (Dofasco) in 1912 and owned the land where the waterfalls are.
6 – CHEDOKE FALLS
Chedoke Falls is located where Chedoke Creek falls off the Niagara Escarpment. Above the falls is a residential area, and below the gorge is a golf course. The gorge created by the falls remains as a little slice of wildness in an otherwise urban/suburban setting. Despite being in the middle of a city, accessing it is not easy. A rather limited view of the falls is available from Scenic Drive.
5 – TIFFANY FALLS
Wilson Street | Ancaster
It’s a very pretty waterfall that can be accessed from Wilson Street in Ancaster. It is 68 feet (21 metres) high and is another waterfall that takes just minutes to walk to from the road. There is a viewing platform in front of it and walking bridge to cross that is perfect for viewing.
4 – ALBION FALLS
Mountain Brow Blvd and Mud Street | Hamilton
At 62 feet (19 metres) Albion Falls is one of the most majestic waterfalls in Hamilton thanks to the steep cliff face and tree coverage. It’s located where Mountain Brow Blvd meets Mud St. and can be accessed from above via a short stairway at this location. The large boulders on the bottom add to its majesty. In summer many people visit the waterfalls and bask in the sun on the boulders. It’s easily accessible from the top and bottom which also makes it one of the most visited.
3 – WEBSTER’S FALLS
Spencer’s Gorge | Webster’s Falls Conservation Area | Hamilton
At 72 feet (22 metres) Webster’s Falls is far from the tallest but it is of incredible beauty. The creek meanders and flows over the edge before crashing into Spencer Creek. The bridge over Spencer Creek before the waterfall adds a lot to the elegance and charm of Webster’s Falls. This waterfall has been a favourite for day picnics with family and friends. Hiking in from the bottom can be a bit of a chore but a fun hike.
2 – TEWS FALLS
Harvest Road | Greensville
Tews Falls is the highest of all the waterfalls in Hamilton and falls 135 feet (41 metres) into Logie’s Creek in Spencer’s Gorge. It is only a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls and offers spectacular vistas of the gorge. The water flows year round with the exception of times of very little rainfall when the flow has been known to stop. There are 2 viewing platforms to view the falls and gorge from above. This is one of the busiest waterfall areas in Hamilton thanks to its fabulous location above the gorge enroute to the Dundas lookout. Hiking in from the bottom, it’s about a 30 minute hike along the trail through the valley, alongside the creek.
1 – DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL FALLS
Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area | Stoney Creek
Sitting high up in Stoney Creek at 121 feet (37 metres) it is the bookend of the East that matches Tews Falls in the West. The height looking over the edge is enough to put butterflies in your stomach. Looking up the cliff from down below you will likely become fascinated by being able to see the different layers of millions year old rock through their change in colour and texture. Hearing your voice echoing around the cliff walls in the bowl is cool. It’s not a long hike into the punch bowl along the trails but the area is a rugged mixture of small steep hills of rock, clay, trees and brush.