As the warm weather starts to kick in, many Torontonians might feel the need for a little outdoor adventure. What better time to explore our province’s many natural wonders than now? Thanks to Hamilton and the Niagara Escarpment, Southern Ontario is crawling with beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls that’ll bring even the biggest city-goer back down to earth. Here is a list of the best waterfalls to checkout outside of Toronto.
Devil’s Punchbowl, Hamilton
Hamilton is home to over 100 waterfalls, with the Devil’s Punchbowl being one of the most well-known. Located in the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area in Stoney Creek, this 37 metre high natural wonder is best explored in the spring and fall, as the waterfall tends to dry up in the summer. The Devil’s Punchbowl Falls is surrounded by tons of hiking options, with trails running through the escarpment and connecting to the Bruce Trail.
Inglis Falls, Owen Sound
If you’re looking for a weekend roadtrip, visit where Sydenham River meets the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls. Owen Sound has quite a few waterfalls to offer, with Inglis Falls being the most visited. Located in the Inglis Falls Conservation Area, this spot carries over 7 km of trails, as well as access to the Bruce Trail, a lookout spot, and historical remnants, making this place an excellent choice for the eager hiker.
Borer’s Falls, Dundas
Borer’s Falls takes a beautiful 15 metre high plunge in Dundas, Hamilton. These falls also dry up in the summer, and are best viewed in spring, fall, and winter. In winter, the falls usually freeze, making it possible to climb up the icy ribbon. This site also carries access to the Bruce Trail as well as other trails, and is great for hiking.
Elora Gorge, Elora
Located in Elora’s Grand River valley, the Elora Gorge isn’t a very big waterfall (only about 7.5 m). However, the river is huge and runs along 22 m high cliffs, which offers spectacular views for hikers. This is a key location for those most interested in hiking, as the valley is crawling with scenic riverside trails, viewing points, fishing, and camping. Located just under a two hour drive from Toronto, the Elora Gorge is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway or day trip.
Webster’s Falls, Dundas
Located in the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area in Dundas, Webster’s Falls is one of Hamilton’s better-known waterfalls. At 22 meters high and nearly 30 meters wide, Webster’s Falls provides an extravagant panoramic view of breathtaking waterfalls. If you’re looking for a quick, easy hike to a beautiful site, these falls are only about a 1 km walk from regular parking.
Webster’s Falls can be visited year-round.
Hogg’s Falls, Flesherton
Like every view in Grey County, Hogg’s Falls is at its most beautiful in the fall, blanketed by the reds, oranges, and yellows of surrounding landscapes. Hogg’s Falls is one of 11 waterfalls located in Grey County. Its waters take a curtain plunge of about 6 metres, and is surrounded by plenty of hiking opportunities. Located in Flesherton, this trip is about a two hour drive from Toronto.
Tew’s Falls, Hamilton
At 41 metres high, Tew’s Falls is Hamilton’s tallest waterfall. Located in the Webster’s Falls Conservation Area, Tew’s Falls is very close to other waterfalls in Hamilton and connects to the Bruce Trail, making it another great hiking option. However, for those looking for something short, Tew’s is only about a 100 metre walk from the parking lot. These falls tend to dry up in the summer, making it best to visit in spring, fall and winter. Ice-climbers can be seen in the winter.
Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls
This one’s a given. We happen to be lucky enough to live close to one of the world’s natural wonders. Niagara Falls nestles between Ontario and the state of New York, and is made up of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. The largest of the three, Horseshoe, lies mostly on the Canadian side and drops an average of 57 metres. Being a major tourist attraction, there is tons to do at Niagara Falls, from sightseeing and hiking to rides and shopping at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Being close to Toronto, Niagara Falls makes for an ideal day trip.
(Main Photo by Jackman Chiu via Flickr)