Plan To Explore The Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons
We explored the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons and always got a treat. Hamilton was a short day trip for us from Toronto in Ontario, Canada. So it was easy to check out more than one waterfall on a visit. The waterfall views were great. But many sites also offered good hiking opportunities for a day outside.
We always searched for waterfalls when we travelled. Waterfalls were one of the amazing natural beauties in Iceland. Cruising along the Norway Fjords provided us with so many waterfall views. On our road trip to Western Canada, we enjoyed so many amazing waterfalls in Northern Ontario and on lovely hikes in British Columbia.
We enjoyed our visit to Albion Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Felker’s Falls, Tews Falls and Webster Falls. And look forward to visiting many more!
Why Are There So Many Waterfalls In Southern Ontario?
There are so many waterfalls within an easy day trip distance from Toronto. Some were small cascades. And of course, the biggest was the iconic Niagara Falls.
Most of the waterfalls are on the Bruce Trail that runs along the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment was a long escarpment (or ridge) through Ontario and into the U.S. This is not a fault line but rather is the result of unequal erosion.
The Niagara Escarpment area has one of the most diverse ecosystems in Ontario. Is was recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Significant initiatives balance conservation of this natural habitat with economic development.
As we travelled around the Great Lakes in Ontario, we found the Bruce trail and wonderful spots along the Niagara Escarpment. But over and over again we were drawn by the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
On our day trips we have not yet visited them all. But each trip added a new one. Or we explored one in a different time of year.
On our last visit, we found that parking fees at each waterfall were quite substantial if we wanted to move from waterfall to waterfall. We discovered that a Hamilton Conservation Authority Pass would be a good thing to consider for regular visitors.
Head Out For Waterfalls In The Fall Colours
We have truly been spoiled with awesome visits to waterfalls in Northern Ontario all ablaze with fall colours. It was quite magical when we saw the colours reflected in the flows of the water.
Unfortunately when we first made it to the Hamilton waterfalls, the fall season was almost done. We saw some autumn shades and lots of bare trees. But we wanted to start our look at Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
Albion Falls Were Great In The Late Fall
On our visit to the Hamilton waterfalls in the late fall, we started at Albion Hills on the far west end of Hamilton by Stoney Creek. There were several different hiking paths on the Bruce Trail that took you to Albion Falls. We parked at the viewpoint sign on Mountain Brow Blvd.
From the parking lot it was steps to the viewing platform. We got our first view of the Albion Falls from this viewpoint. The falls fanned out in a grand cascade of water. This waterfall was 19 metres tall and was almost as wide at 18 metres. We were happy the water flow was strong and steady.
We followed the path along the water and got a little closer view of the waterfall. When we crossed over the Mount Albion Bridge, we saw the water as it went over the edge.
At the other side, we found Lover’s Leap for a different view of Albion Hills. There was a steep drop-off on this side and fences kept us back from the edge. We got a different view of the falls from this side. And got good pictures by putting our camera above the fence. But there was no getting down the cliff.
Albion Falls was a great spot to start our exploration of Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
Don’t Miss The Buttermilk Falls
A hiking path ran between Albion Hills and Buttermilk Falls along the top of the Niagara Escarpment. On this visit, we instead drove further on Mountain Brow Blvd and parked at the Oak Knoll Park. From there it was a short distance on the path.
You might be excused from missing the actual Buttermilk Falls. The map said there was a viewpoint. But we really just saw it from two points along the path. When we visited, the Buttermilk Falls was a small trickle in the underpass of the road.
We walked over the bridge and got a second look from the other side. It was a bit disappointing when we saw the actual culvert marked up with graffiti.
At other times of the year, there might be an exciting water flow at Buttermilk Falls. We were disappointed by the falls. But at this spot we got a great look at the steep rock faces along the Niagara Escarpment.
Buttermilk Falls was not the most exciting waterfalls we visited. But when we visited Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons we might find a time when the water flow was more exciting.
Enjoy The Hike At Felker’s Falls
We found Ackland Street and saw a big parking lot for Felker’s Conservation Area. There was a large children’s playground and paths that ran in both directions.
We started on what looked like a circular path, not really sure where the waterfall was. We heard the water down in the deep ravine. But after we moved several times we only got glimpses of the water. When we followed the path through the woods we saw paved path that went off in another direction back towards Albion Falls.
We walked around the loop and then decided to see if there was a better path on the other side. We crossed the bridge and followed the main path in the other direction. Soon we took a dirt path headed into the woods. Several paths branched off as we moved along. When we finally chose a smaller uneven path we were glad we did.
At several points we got good views of Felker’s Falls. The water flow was low. But at least we saw the multiple streams as they cascaded down.
At one point, there was a steep path down and David scrambled for a closer view. We got another interesting look at the escarpment outcropping on the walls of the creek.
Visiting the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons gave us a good indication of differing water flows. We figured an early spring visit might provide faster and more dramatic views.
Why See Waterfalls In The Winter
The rush of falling water was a great draw for chasing waterfall views. There were so many different shapes, number of cascades, widths and features that every new waterfall was a delight. So you might wonder what happens when the cold sets in and the water freezes.
Our first adventure to check out waterfalls in winter was a short getaway to Niagara Falls in the winter. We were drawn there for the colourful light show on Niagara Falls.
While these massive falls don’t freeze completely, we found large ice formations on both the Canadian and U.S. side of Niagara Falls. We were fascinated by the icicles and large ice blocks that seemed to show the water movement.
We knew we wanted to see more waterfalls in the winter. And it gave us a reason to explore the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
See Frozen Tews Falls
On our winter visit to the Hamilton Waterfalls we stopped first at Tews Falls. The parking lot was located off of Harvest Road in the Dundas area. No parking on the street was allowed. Mid-week in the winter, we found an unmanned booth and a barrier gate with a pay station.
It snowed recently so I took my hiking poles. And there were many times I would have turned back without my poles. We followed the marked path from the parking lot. At regular intervals clear signage warned of the danger at the steep cliff edges.
At one point we saw frozen icicles on the cliff edge across the ravine. We soon realized that was not Tews Falls. When we kept going, the waterfall was indeed visible through the trees.
We climbed the path and then took the small bridge over the river. The lower viewpoint was right there. And the view of Tews Falls from that platform was awesome! There was a strong flow of water over the edge but large parts of the edge were frozen. The water fell into what looked like a hollowed out ice drum. It was stunning to take in the views.
We found another viewing platform up a very steep and snow-covered set of stairs. The view from that point gave us a slightly different angle on the falls.
From there we set off for a snowy hike.
Visit Frozen Tews Falls And Hike To The Dundas Peak
From Tews Falls, a path went off towards the Dundas Peak. At the next viewpoint we got a view down over the gorge. When we were close to the falls, we heard the cracking sound of ice. At this viewpoint we did not see the waterfall but we heard a crash sound. A chunk of ice broke free from the waterfall and dropped.
We hit the point where the path did a loop to and back from the Dundas Peak. On the way out we followed the path along the gorge edge. It was largely uphill and at times the snow covered path was quite narrow. But we soon got a glimpse of Dundas Peak off in the distance.
We finally hit the viewpoint at Dundas Peak and looked out over the gorge. Down in the valley we saw the railroad tracks. And got a view of the small town of Dundas with Hamilton off in the distance.
We continued on the snowy path until we hit the part of the loop path that went back to the parking lot. This was a slower but quieter path through the woods.
When we visited Tews Falls in the winter, we were glad we hiked to Dundas Peak. We read it was a 25 minute walk. But in the winter it took us over an hour for the full loop. If we explored the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons, we would definitely return.
Check Out Frozen Webster Falls From Both Sides
Parking lots to access Webster Falls were located in two different places. We followed Short Road to Fallsview Road and found a large pay parking lot at the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. The other parking lot was on Brock Road at the Greensville Optimist Park.
We heard the waterfall as soon as we got up on the path. At the Dobson-McKee Lookout we got a view of at the largely frozen falls. We found lots of information signs about the geology and history of these falls.
We followed the path and went over the old stone bridge for a view of the falls from the other side. With solid ice, we did not get a much better view. We kept walking down along the Spencer River but the view never got better.
There was a large park area on this side of Webster Falls. Although on a snowy day, we kept to the narrow paths as we headed back to the parking lot.
We were glad we planned this second winter stop at Webster Falls. Frozen waterfalls were a fascinating sight. And one of the great reasons to explore the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
Sherman Falls And Tiffany Falls Are Worth A Return Visit
After Webster Falls, we checked our map and headed for some more winter views. We did not find the parking area for Sherman Falls so we moved on to our next target.
We finally found the small parking lot on Wilson Street East for Tiffany Falls. But it was late in the day and the falls required a hike in. We passed on a third parking fee when we knew we would rush the visit.
Both Sherman and Tiffany Falls went on the plan for a return visit. We might take the suggestion we got to park at Tiffany Falls Conservation area and follow the trail that combined both Tiffany Falls and Sherman Falls. Maybe a better route when the paths were not all snow covered.
Stop In Dundas When You Explore Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons
The small town of Dundas was a great stop after visiting the waterfalls in the area. When we left Websters Falls, we meandered along the small local streets and found cute sights everywhere we looked.
We ended up on a long detour as the bridge on Highway 8 coming down from Websters Falls was out for construction. But from that point, we got an interesting view of the Dundas Peak in the distance.
When we finally found King Street we parked and explored the small downtown street. As we travelled, we always looked for great coffee shops. The Detour Coffee Roastery had not only good coffee but also freshly made sandwiches. A perfect way to refuel after wandering around the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
If you know us at all, you know we did not pass on a visit to the Beanermunky Chocolate Shop. David made sure he got some hot drinking chocolate. And we picked up a few sweet treats too. Of course we did not pass on chocolate bacon!
It was great to find the small town of Dundas when we explored the local waterfalls. A great spot to begin or end your visit.
A Few Tips To Help Explore The Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons
When we visited in the fall, the water flows were lower. But a lot of the trees were bare so we got more unobstructed views. We planned to return after the spring thaw and catch the water at peak flows.
The winter waterfall views provided awesome frozen water sights. Although the snow-covered hiking paths were a bit more challenging.
At one time, paths were open to the bottom of many of the waterfalls. But safety concerns closed most of these paths. Fencing and signs kept us back from the cliff edges. And we never got a view from the bottom.
Getting a great view of the waterfalls does depend on sunlight and the time of day visited. We generally got great views of unshaded waterfalls. But a bit of research would ensue the sun was in the right place for your visit.
On our last visit to the Hamilton waterfalls, we were surprised at the parking cost at each waterfall ($10-15 per site). Although that was a daily cost. If we planned to spend the day at one waterfall, that was not a big cost. But when we wanted to experience multiple waterfalls in one day, the cost started to add up. Especially in the dead of winter when the parks were empty.
In the future we would consider a Hamilton Conservation Authority Pass for access to multiple sites all for one cost. It would be great for regular visitors.
Great Day Trips To Explore The Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons
We enjoyed exploring the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons. There was an interesting variety in the different waterfalls. And even we were not big fans of waterfalls, we found some great hiking paths. When we visited mid-week, the crowds were smaller and we enjoyed being outdoors.
We enjoyed travelling around the Great Lakes in Ontario. We saw some great sights along the Niagara Escarpment on our day trips in Ontario. It was great that Hamilton was an easy day trip for us and we could go back to the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons.
Have you had a chance to explore the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons? Did you have a favourite that we missed?
Save For Later – PIN To Pinterest: