Explore The Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons

Visit Albion Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Felker’s Falls, Tews Falls and Webster Falls

Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

In Toronto we lived a short distance from the iconic Niagara Falls. We visited these falls in all seasons. But it was Niagara Falls that introduced us to the iced beauty of waterfalls in the winter.

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.

Niagara Escarpment.jpg

Bruce Trail.jpg

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.

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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.

Chippeway Falls in Northern Ontario.jpg
Chippeway Falls in Northern Ontario
Crystal Falls in Northern Ontario.jpg
Crystal Falls in Northern Ontario

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.

Albion Falls.jpg

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.

Albion Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Lovers Leap Albion Falls.jpg

Lovers Leap Albion Falls.jpg

Lovers Leap Albion Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Lovers Leap Albion Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Buttermilk Falls.jpg

Buttermilk Falls.jpg

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.

Buttermilk Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Buttermilk Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Buttermilk Falls.jpg

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.

Escarpment Buttermilk Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Felkers Falls.jpg

Felkers Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Felkers Falls.jpg

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.

Felkers Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Felkers Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Felkers Falls.jpg

Felkers Falls - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Niagara Falls Winter Colours.jpg

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.

Niagara Falls Winter.jpg

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.

Tew Falls.jpg

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.

Tew Falls.jpg

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.

Tew Falls Winter.jpg

Tew Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Tew Falls.jpg

Tew Falls.jpg

Tew Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Tew Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Tew Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Tew Falls.jpg

Tew Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Tew Falls Dundas Peak.jpg

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.

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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.

Tew Falls Dundas Peak Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Tew Falls Dundas Peak - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Tew Falls Dundas Peak Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Tew Falls Dundas Peak Winter .jpg

Tew Falls Dundas Peak.jpg

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.

Webster Falls Winter.jpg

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.

Webster Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

Webster Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Webster Falls Winter.jpg

Webster Falls Winter - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Webster Falls.jpg

Webster Falls.jpg

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.

Tiffany Falls.jpg

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.

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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.

Dundas Peak - Ontario Hamilton Waterfalls In All Seasons.jpg

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.

Dundas Detour Coffee.jpg

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!

Dundas Beanermunky Chocolate.jpg

Dundas Beanermunky Chocolate.jpg

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?

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85 Comments

  1. Like you I always love to visit a waterfall – the more dramatic the better. When I read waterfall and Canada I automatically thought of Niagara Falls and then I saw you lived near to them – how wonderful. This post is great that it brings attention to the fact that there are lots of other waterfalls in the area that look incredible. I have never seen a frozen waterfall – but now I want to!!

  2. Interesting read! I am easily bored by waterfalls in summer (unless they are really big and impressive and have a lot of water), But I love them in winter and can spent quite some time looking at the icy pinnacle formations. I also tried ice climbing once and enjoyed it. So I would dfinitely choose winter for a visit in the area.

  3. I can attest that the waterfalls in the Hamilton area are pretty incredible. As avid hikers of the Bruce Trail, I first stumbled upon these decades ago, and continue to seek them out. The ones along the escarpment as you mentioned create such natural wonders in all season, but especially in the winter. It also gives a better view without leaves on the trees too. Now, if we could only do something about the crowds that seem to be drawn to them too!

    • We are pretty lucky that we have been able to visit the waterfalls in Hamilton in all seasons in the middle of the week when the crowds were much smaller. And were delighted we finally got there in the winter this year.

  4. I am also very fascinated by the cascading water and the rumbling sound. But I have never seen so many waterfalls in one region. You are so fortunate to have the scenery near your home. I have also not seen frozen wtaterfalls and your pictures of these are spectacular.

  5. I love visiting waterfalls on all of my travels – there is definitely something magical about them. I love that this one can be enjoyed all year round too. I will definitely have to refer back to this when I plan my next trip!

    • I hope you do get to explore the Hamilton region for the waterfalls. It took us awhile to finally head that way but we now know it is an easy day trip to see so many more.

  6. These waterfalls look beautiful! I especially love the pictures when they are surrounded by the colors of fall.

  7. Albion Falls looks spectacular! And I loved the fall colors in some of your earlier pictures. Since I live in the desert, I am easily mesmerized by waterfalls (and most water, haha) so I loved reading this post and looking at your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hah! The picture of your husband with is camera around his neck and his phone in his hand (presumably for taking pictures) is so me. You are fortunate to live close to many amazing treasures.

  9. I adore your photos of the beautiful fall colors — they’re just amazing. I also get a sense of refreshment from looking at the waterfalls and nature. I can hear the cascades and the crisp of leaves through your shots!

  10. I love waterfalls and the look of frozen waterfalls is simply stunning! I wish more of our waterfalls in BC froze in the winter but then I guess it would have to get a lot colder here so I’ll settle for running waterfalls, LOL!

  11. How lucky to be within a day’s drive of the Hamilton Falls. I didn’t realize there were so many of them! I always love a nice walk through the woods or wilderness — and then to be rewarded with the beauty of waterfalls? Count me in. Plus, it’s amazing to see some of the drops, like in Buttermilk Falls, as well as the color changes in the frozen water. I wouldn’t think seeing waterfalls in the winter time would be something so lovely, but you’ve shown me just how stunning it can be.

  12. I love how dramatic all these waterfalls are! They look especially stunning in the fall colours! Although I would love to see the Niagara light show, that looks incredible! Also, Albion Falls looks beautiful! Thanks for the great guide!

  13. Wow, what a great article! I have never been, but I would like to… and frozen waterfalls have a certain charm, would love to see that with my own eyes!

  14. I’ve seen many waterfalls, but never a frozen one–I loved the frozen waterfall photos, so unique. Like you, I have hiked to a waterfall only to discover it was dry–that’s always a bummer.

    • We really did not know what to expect when we visited the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons. But I suspect each visit they might look a bit different. Great reasons to go back.

  15. LOVE this post! My fiancee and I are heading to Alberta, Canada for part of our honeymoon, in winter specifically for all the frozen waterfalls – these are so gorgeous! Will have to bookmark for later!

  16. I love this idea of writing about seeing things in different seasons. Well done. Both times I have been to Ontario have been too quick. I hope to return and spend more time enjoying the beauty like some of these waterfalls.

  17. Wow. The fall foliage and frozen water falls are absolutely beautiful! I love taking photos of the same tree over many seasons. Awesome post idea!

  18. I’m drawn to waterfalls, no matter how large or small. But I can’t imagine the strange and silent beauty of a frozen waterfall. I’m going to have to head up here in winter to see for myself.

  19. Wow what a gorgeous place to explore! I have a real fascination with frozen waterfalls & that shot of Niagara is amazing! But also a real shame about the grafitti on one of the falls. Waterfalls can be so energising to visit, although clearly you need rain to see them at their best!

  20. I’ve been to Niagara but I had no idea there were so many other waterfalls in this area! They look so beautiful, especially frozen. I definitely need to make a trip up to Ontario to check them out!

    • We too were surprised when we started to check out the waterfalls in Ontario. And there are still so many yet to discover. It will keep you busy for a long while when you visit.

  21. A friend of mine recently moved to Toronto and I keep seeing her photos of these lovely waterfalls. Your post just reminded me of that. I love your photo of the Chippeway Falls in fall colors. I have been to the Niagara Falls but in summer time. I’d love to see what it looks like in winter. Last year was the first time I saw a frozen waterfall in my life, in Finland. I was so in awe!

  22. Love this guide to Hamilton waterfalls in Canada. I love chasing them in every season and find frozen waterfalls so mesmerizing.

  23. I´d love to explore the Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons myself. Even though fall is my all-time favourite for the landscapes, I should admit that frozen waterfalls on your pictures look otherworldly beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. I really love visiting the same place in different seasons. The same landscape can change so much and it’s always fun to experience it. I really loved the waterfall in the winter but the autumnal colours were amazing too.

  25. I’ve been to Hamilton many times but I didn’t know there were so many waterfalls nearby. I’d definitely love to visit some of these in the summer or fall!

  26. The Hamilton waterfalls in different seasons is a charming sight for tourists. The frozen Tew falls looks great with iscicles hanging from cliffs and the Niagara falls looks amazing with all the colorful lighting at night.

  27. Sign me up for waterfall chasing and specially in the fall and winter. Fall for those stunning colors that I see in your picture of Chippeway falls – that is such a lovely postcard. And winter – coz I haven’t ever seen frozen ones so close. I love the variety that is there in Ontario.

  28. I haven’t been to Hamilton Waterfalls yet, but as I love photographing waterfalls, I like the idea of visiting this place each season. Great opportunity to take a different photo. I think those waterfalls are an excellent photo spot.

  29. I didn’t know there were so many other water falls near Niagara Falls, but I supposed that makes sense! Even though the water isn’t flowing as much, I still think fall would be my favorite time to visit to see all the leaves, however the frozen falls are beautiful too. Props to you for hiking out in the snow, that is definitely something I try to avoid!

  30. Gorgeous! I always love visiting waterfalls, especially in winter when they are gorgeous and frozen like that! I am a bit sad that we didn’t know about all the trails and waterfalls when we visited this region years ago. I’ll just have to go back. 😉

  31. I love waterfalls and I think it’s a great idea visiting them in every season. They look different and attractive in Spring, summer, autumn and winter! Thanks for sharing!

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