Hamilton waterfalls are some of the best I’ve ever seen, and I’ve done a lot of waterfall hunting in my days. After all, Hamilton is the City of Waterfalls with over 150 waterfalls and cascades all within the city limits. I might be biased because I am from Hamilton and the town of Dundas, but I think everyone will appreciate these amazing waterfalls no matter where you’re from.
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I’ve compiled this list of the best waterfalls in Hamilton so you can venture to all of the most beautiful ones across a couple of days. I grew up chasing many of these waterfalls (especially those in Dundas), so there’s a bit of nostalgia there for me. But, in the making of this blog post, I got to discover some waterfalls that are brand new favourites for me, too.
These are the top Hamilton waterfalls that you need to see if you’re a fan of nature and the outdoors. Most of these waterfalls don’t even involve much of a hike. There are several waterfalls that are very close to their parking lots, and one right beside its parking lot. Of course, you can easily incorporate many Hamilton waterfall hikes by extending your treks around the surrounding forests.
The Best Hamilton Waterfalls to Visit
While there are over 150 waterfalls in Hamilton, here are the best Hamilton waterfalls you need to see that I’ll be covering in some detail in this blog post:
- Albion Falls
- Borer’s Falls
- Canterbury Falls
- Devil’s Punchbowl
- Felker’s Falls
- Sherman Falls
- Smokey Hollow Falls
- Tews Falls
- Tiffany Falls
- Websters Falls
- Two bonus waterfalls: Hermitage Falls and Buttermilk Falls
Hamilton is the City of Waterfalls
Hamilton is not only the City of Waterfalls, but the waterfall capital of the world. Smithsonian has counted 156 waterfalls within the city limits, although some of these may be smaller cascades or dry up during certain times of the year. It’s thought that 50-60 waterfalls flow all year round, and they’re wonderful in all seasons.
When to Visit Hamilton Ontario Waterfalls
In the spring, it’s possible to view the waterfalls at their finest. With the winter thaw and snow melt, these Hamilton waterfalls might be flowing more intensely. While some waterfalls tend to dry up over the summer months, there’s a good chance that they’ll be there in the spring.
While summers have great weather for hiking and getting outdoors, some of the waterfalls tend to dry up more during those hot and sunny days. Be prepared that some waterfalls in Hamilton may only be trickling over the cliffs.
The fall might be one of the most beautiful times of year to see the best waterfalls in Hamilton. They look so spectacular surrounded by autumn trees and leaves that are changing colour. It’s no guarantee that the waterfalls will have the greatest flow, but it might be worth the risk to see them framed by the colours of the season.
And finally, these Hamilton waterfalls look entirely different during the winter months. Many of them completely freeze over, and it’s such a spectacular sight to behold. I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to the best frozen waterfalls in Hamilton so you can see them in the chilly winter season. While you’re at it, why not head down the road to see Niagara Falls in the winter, too?
Best Waterfalls in Hamilton: Tews Falls
Tews Falls is one of my favourite waterfalls in Dundas. It’s part of the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, and it’s one main point of interest while hiking to the Dundas Peak. Tews Falls is the tallest waterfall in Hamilton at 41 metres (134 feet).
To put it into perspective, the Horseshoe Falls of Niagara Falls stands at 51 metres high, and the American Falls is 36.5 metres at its highest point. So, Tews Falls is nearly as high as the Horseshoe Falls and it’s actually taller than the American Falls.
It is a ribbon waterfall, which is a waterfall whose height is at least twice as big as its width. So, while Tews Falls might not be quite as spectacular as Niagara Falls (both waterfalls are quite wide and tall), it’s a stunner that you really do need to visit. The water source for Tews Falls is Logie’s Creek in Greensville.
Over 10,000 years ago, the Spencer Gorge was carved by a body of water that eventually became Spencer’s Creek. The Spencer Gorge has many layers of rocks that originated from the ancient seas that used to cover this part of the world, including fossils of animals and sea plants. Spencer’s Creek flows through Flamborough and Dundas, and eventually into Cootes Paradise Marsh.
On your hike between Tews Falls and the Dundas Peak, you’ll be walking along the edge of the Spencer Gorge, although the views are mostly obstructed by trees. You’ll be able to best view the gorge from the Dundas Peak, as you can clearly see the rocks and cliffs that make up the gorge unobstructed by trees.
Please note that you can only view Tews Falls from a platform above the waterfall. It is no longer possible to hike the trails to the base of Tews Falls, as you’d need to cross private property to reach it (and it’s considered trespassing).
Dundas Waterfalls: Websters Falls
Webster’s Falls is another amazing waterfall in Dundas, Ontario. It is a 21 metre (72 foot) high classic curtain or plunge waterfall. Its water source is the Spencer Creek, which flows beneath a stone footbridge in the park before it plunges over the cliffs.
The waterfall is named after Joseph Webster who used to own the property around Webster’s Falls in the 1800s. In 1856, his son built a stone flour mill just above the waterfall, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1898. After the fire, one of the first hydro-electric generators in Ontario was built at the base of the waterfall. In 1931, a former Dundas mayor, Colonel W.E.S. Knowles, generously bequeathed monies so that the area could be made into a public park.
The Webster family manor still stands on Webster’s Falls Road, and their gravestones have been preserved along a section of the Bruce Trail, just beyond Webster’s Falls and on the way to Tews Falls.
You can view Webster’s Falls from a couple of vantage points at the top of the waterfall. It is no longer possible to witness the beauty of Webster’s Falls from its base. There used to be a set of stone stairs leading down to these Hamilton falls which was closed a while ago.
Furthermore, you can not hike the former forest trails that lead to the base of Websters Falls because it’s considered trespassing. I really hope that this changes in the future as I have many great memories viewing Webster’s Falls from down below, and I hope that you can someday see it, too.
Ancaster Waterfalls: Tiffany Falls
Tiffany Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Hamilton that you need to add to your bucket list. Much like Webster’s Falls, it is a 21 metre (72 foot) high waterfall, although it’s a ribbon waterfall like Tews Falls.
To visit Tiffany Falls, head to a small parking lot off Wilson Street in Ancaster, Ontario. On the Tiffany Falls side trail, it’s only 360 metres from the parking lot to the waterfall. The trail crosses two short bridges and continues along a short path to the main attraction. It takes only about five minutes to reach Tiffany Falls by foot.
Tiffany Falls is likely to dry up in the summer heat. It was flowing nicely in the fall, but not at its greatest intensity. While it is best viewed in the spring, I highly recommend going there in the winter. Tiffany Falls completely freezes over in the winter and it is breathtaking. In fact, some people participate in ice climbing at Tiffany Falls, too!
Hamilton Waterfalls Trails: Sherman Falls
Sherman Falls, otherwise known as Angel Falls and Fairy Falls, is a 17 metre high curtain waterfall that flows from the Ancaster Creek. It’s just off the Bruce Trail on private property, although the property owner allows the public to visit. This generous offer could be revoked at any time if people decide to misbehave, so be sure to leave this area free of litter.
The waterfall is named after the Sherman family who once owned the property and were important community members. The Sherman family managed Dominion Foundries and Steel Co. (Dofasco) for decades. As you probably know, the steel industry was the main industry in Hamilton for many years and gave the city the title of “The Steel City”.
To reach Sherman Falls, you’ll need to park your car at a parking lot on Artaban Road (the Artaban Lot of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area). Then, take a quick walk down Artaban Road and Lions Club Road until you see the trail. It’s really easy to figure out when you’re there as there are signs pointing you in the right direction.
You have a few options if you’d like to see more than one waterfall. I suggest hiking from Sherman Falls to Canterbury Falls as it’s only a short, 10 minute hike. You can also walk between Sherman Falls and Tiffany Falls for a longer trek (it’s a 4km walk). However, Tiffany Falls has its own parking lot if you don’t want to hike for 8km+.
Bruce Trail Waterfalls: Canterbury Falls
If you choose to hike on the Bruce Trail in Hamilton, you’ll be able to visit Sherman Falls, Canterbury Falls, and even the Hermitage Cascade all in one trip. It’s one of the best Hamilton waterfall hikes. Follow the white trail blazes from Sherman Falls in a westerly direction and you’ll reach Canterbury Falls in no time. This is one of the most beautiful sights in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
Canterbury Falls is a 9.5 metres (31 feet) high waterfall, and its water source is the Canterbury Creek. You’ll be able to view this waterfall all year long. It’s possible to witness its beauty from above and down below. There is a small viewing bridge above the waterfall, and you can also hike down to the bottom.
I loved visiting Canterbury Falls. Although it’s a little smaller than some of the other waterfalls, I had this one completely to myself on an autumn weekday. Many people either don’t know that it exists or they don’t feel like going for a little walk to see it after viewing Sherman Falls. Definitely take a little extra time and see Canterbury Falls for yourself.
Once you hike to Canterbury Falls, you can continue walking on the Bruce Trail until you reach the Hermitage Ruins in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Not only are the Hermitage Ruins one of the most haunted places to hike in Ontario, but there’s also a small waterfall to view, too.
The Hermitage Cascade is a cascade, meaning that the water flows over a series of continuous steps. It’s a teeny one at only four metres (13 feet) in height, and there are no guarantees that it flows all year long.
The last time I went to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area in the fall, the waters of the Hermitage Cascade were flowing. I’m sure you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing this one. Then, take a hike around the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Here’s a thorough trail guide to the conservation area.
Borer’s Falls, also known as Rock Chapel Falls, is a 15 metre (49 foot) high curtain waterfall, and its source is the Borer’s Creek. This waterfall used to power the Rock Chapel Village Sawmill. The sawmill was owned and operated by the Borer family, which is how the waterfall and creek got their names.
You can view the waterfall from above at a couple of vantage points. The first is from the old stone bridge, which dates back to 1868. While this offers a lovely view of the Borer’s Creek, you won’t see much of the waterfall. You’ll need to continue walking to the eastern side of the gorge for the best view.
During parts of the spring, summer, and fall, the waterfall may be obscured by trees and plants that partially block your view. I suggest going in early spring, late fall, or winter for the best views. You’ll soon see why it’s one of the best waterfalls in Hamilton.
You can park all year long at the Borer’s Falls Dog Park for free, and then hike on the Ray Lowes Side Trail towards the waterfall. Park at the Royal Botanical Gardens Rock Chapel Sanctuary parking lot for the quickest and easiest way to see the waterfall (for a small fee). It’s only a very short walk from the parking lot to the waterfall.
There is no easy way to reach the base of the waterfall. It is possible to get there, but there’s no proper trail. You’ll likely need to hike over rocks, boulders, and through the water. I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t offer any great advice here, but be sure to let me know if you do!
Albion Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Hamilton, and the best one to see in the east end of Hamilton. It is 18 metres wide and 19 metres tall, and classified as a cascade with many steps as the water flows to the bottom. Its water source is the Red Hill Creek.
I visited picturesque Albion Falls for the first time a few years ago when it was still possible to walk down to the base of the falls. Unfortunately, you can only view Albion Falls from its viewing platforms above. There is no access to the base of the falls. Hopefully this changes in the future.
You can leave your car at a parking lot on Mountain Brow Blvd, which is really close to Albion Falls. However, I suggest parking at the Buttermilk Falls parking at Oak Knoll Park. You can see Buttermilk Falls first, and then hike along the Mountain Brow Side Trail towards Albion Falls. This gives you the chance to view Albion Falls from a couple of different vantage points.
Buttermilk Falls is a smaller waterfall in Hamilton. It’s worth checking out if you’re already visiting Albion Falls, but it isn’t amazing enough to seek on its own. The water from Buttermilk Falls doesn’t flow all year long. I went there in July, and there was barely a waterfall at all. But, I’m sure that you’ll have better views in the spring.
This ribbon waterfall is 23 metres (75 feet) high, and its water source is the Grindstone Creek Tributary Creek. You can only view Buttermilk Falls from the top of the waterfall, and it’s worth a peek on your way to Albion Falls.
Felker’s Falls and the Felker’s Falls Conservation Area is right in the middle of a residential area, and there’s a big, free parking lot. Felker’s Falls is a 22 metre (72 feet) high ribbon waterfall that plunges over a rocky stepped ledge. It flows all year long.
The only time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Felker’s Falls was in the middle of the winter. It’s a frozen beauty in the wintertime. It is possible to walk to the base of the falls, although I didn’t attempt it in the winter. Felker’s Falls is one of the top Hamilton waterfalls in all seasons, and I feel like it doesn’t get as much credit as it should.
Hamilton Waterfall Hikes: Devil’s Punchbowl
Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area consists of an incredible geologic wonder, the gorge, and its waterfalls. The Devil’s Punch Bowl formed at the end of the last ice age when huge meltwater rivers plunged over the escarpment. There are many colourful layers of rocks in the gorge, such as Cabot Head grey shale, Queenston Formation red shale, shale dolomite and limestone.
There are two waterfalls at Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area. The Upper Falls is a 34 metre (111 foot) ribbon waterfall that’s only three metres wide. It does tend to dry up at times, so it’s best to visit in the spring or after a rainfall. This waterfall also completely freezes in the winter.
The Lower Falls is a curtain waterfall that’s seven metres wide and seven metres high, only steps from the Upper Falls. It’s possible to hike from the top of Devil’s Punch Bowl down to the bottom so you can see the Lower Falls. Take the Devil’s Punch Bowl Side Trail. It is steep, so you’ll need to be careful and wear the proper hiking shoes.
To visit the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area, there is a parking lot on Ridge Road where you can leave your car for $5. It’s right beside the gorge, so you won’t need to walk far to witness the Upper Falls. Then, if you want to continue your hike, take the trail down to the Lower Falls.
Waterdown Waterfalls: Smokey Hollow Falls
And I’m not picking favourites here, but I’ve saved one of the best for last. The Smokey Hollow Waterfall is one of most easily accessible Hamilton waterfalls. Technically, this waterfall is in the town of Waterdown, between Dundas and Burlington. There’s a small free parking lot directly beside the top of the waterfall. You can’t get much closer than that!
This parking lot fills up rather fast, even on a weekday, but you can park on nearby side streets for free. I visited on a weekday afternoon and it was full, so I left my car on Union Street. Be careful if you decide to walk down Mill Street South as there aren’t any proper sidewalks.
Smokey Hollow Falls is also known as Grindstone Falls, Waterdown Falls or Great Falls. The waterfall is 10 metres (32 feet) high, which isn’t the tallest out of all the Hamilton falls, but it’s one of the most magnificent. Its water flows from the Grindstone Creek in Waterdown, and it also used to power a sawmill.
You can view Smokey Hollow Falls from a platform at the top or hike down to the base of the falls. You’ll need to walk across some rocks and uneven surfaces to reach the bottom of the waterfall. It’s well worth the trek as it’s incredibly beautiful from the base. Be careful as you navigate across the rocks as they can be slippery, even on a bright and sunny day.
Visiting Smokey Hollow Falls is only the beginning. This is one of the best Hamilton waterfall hikes. Continue walking on the Bruce Trail by following the white trail blazes that run along the Grindstone Creek. You’ll be able to admire pretty views of the creek as you descend into the ravine.
Hamilton Waterfalls Itinerary Planner
Now that you know the best waterfalls in Hamilton to visit, you might be wondering how you can plan out your journey. While many of these waterfalls don’t require too much hiking, you might want to incorporate some hikes. It’s also possible that you want to simply see as many Hamilton waterfalls as possible. Here are some suggested itineraries to make the most of your trip.
Day 1: Ancaster Waterfalls (Sherman Falls, Canterbury Falls, Tiffany Falls)
Sherman Falls, Canterbury Falls, and Tiffany Falls are all very close to one another in Ancaster. You can hike between Sherman Falls, Canterbury Falls and the Hermitage Cascade, along with a jaunt around the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. It’s also possible to walk between Tiffany Falls and Sherman Falls, or you can drive over to Tiffany Falls, too.
Day 2: Dundas Waterfalls (Webster’s Falls, Tews Falls, Borer’s Falls)
Webster’s Falls, Tews Falls, and the Dundas Peak are fantastic scenic locations in Dundas. You can no longer walk between Webster’s Falls and Tews Falls, so you’ll have to move your car to visit both. Borer’s Falls is also situated at the edge of Dundas, so you can visit that one in the same day quite easily.
Day 3: East Hamilton Falls & Stoney Creek Waterfalls
Albion Falls, Felker’s Falls, and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are waterfalls at the east end of Hamilton and Stoney Creek. It’s possible to hike between Albion Falls and Felker’s Falls. Then, you’ll need to drive over to the Devil’s Punchbowl. Eramosa Karst is also around that general area if you’re looking for some hiking trails in Hamilton.
As for Smokey Hollow Waterfall, it’s located in Waterdown between Dundas and Burlington. I suggest visiting Smokey Hollow Waterfall either on your Ancaster or Dundas waterfall itinerary. Smokey Hollow Waterfall also has a lengthy and scenic section of the Bruce Trail surrounding it, so you could easily set this one aside and make an afternoon of it all on its own.
I’m slowly hiking the entire 900km of the Bruce Trail! You can read all about my journey on the Bruce Trail as I chronicle each of my hikes.
Hamilton Waterfalls Map
Here’s a helpful Hamilton waterfalls map to assist you in your trip planning. You’ll be able to plan out which waterfalls to visit in the same day by using my detailed itineraries above and this map.
Where to Stay in Hamilton
If you want to visit all of the best waterfalls in Hamilton, I suggest staying the night and making an overnight trip of it. There are many more hiking trails in Hamilton beyond the waterfalls. Plus, you should spend the day in Dundas, Ontario, one of the most charming towns in southern Ontario. Here are my top choices for hotels in Hamilton, from luxury to budget and everything in between.
Best Hotel in Hamilton: The Barracks Inn (Ancaster)
The Barracks Inn is one of the most delightful places to stay in Hamilton, technically in the town of Ancaster. It’s a great location if you’re planning to visit Tiffany Falls, Sherman Falls, and Canterbury Falls. The Barracks Inn is a gorgeous property that will truly make you feel like you’re away on a holiday.
The rooms are bright, spacious, and modern. There’s a beautiful terrace where you can relax, and you can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the accommodation. It’s my top pick if you want a luxury vacation in Hamilton (and it won’t break the bank). Here’s where you can read more reviews by trusted travelers who have stayed the night.
Best Hostel in Hamilton: Guesthouse at the Pring
Hamilton Guesthouse at the Pring is a picturesque and cozy dorm in the historic William Pring home. It’s located in the middle of downtown Hamilton close to all the action, and you’re perfectly in the middle of most Hamilton waterfalls hikes. It’s also very close to the bus and train station.
There are shared and private rooms, as well as a women’s only semi-private room. Also, there are common areas with games and books, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a shared kitchen. You can get a tour of the home upon arrival. This is a really highly rated hostel, and I invite you to read more reviews by travelers who have stayed there.
More Hamilton Accommodations
Here are many hotels from Hamilton and the surrounding regions all displayed in one convenient map so you can compare prices and locations!
Best Waterfalls in Hamilton: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any additional questions about visiting these amazing Hamilton waterfalls? I’ll try my best to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. Feel free to ask more in the comments section below and I might add them to this blog post!
There are over 100 waterfalls in Hamilton. Hamilton is officially known as the City of Waterfalls due to the sheer amount of waterfalls in one place.
The best waterfalls in Hamilton are: Albion Falls, Borer’s Falls, Canterbury Falls, Devil’s Punchbowl, Felker’s Falls, Sherman Falls, Smokey Hollow Waterfall, Tews Falls, Tiffany Falls, and Webster’s Falls,
You can visit Albion Falls, Borer’s Falls, Canterbury Falls, Devil’s Punchbowl, Felker’s Falls, Sherman Falls, Smokey Hollow Waterfall, and Tiffany Falls without any reservations in advance. You will need to book a time slot to see Tews Falls and Webster’s Falls.
You used to be able to go swimming at Albion Falls and Webster’s Falls. Unfortunately, you can no longer hike to the bottom of these waterfalls. They are closed off and you can only view these waterfalls from an upper platform. Chedoke Falls is located on private property and you should not hike there or swim there (or you could get a trespassing fine).
Some of these waterfalls flow all year long, but it’s best to visit in the spring during the winter thaw or after a heavy rainfall. Going to the waterfalls in the winter can be amazing too, especially if they’ve frozen over.