Hiking & Backpacking
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Another one of the many waterfalls in the greater Hamilton area, this waterfall is a little smaller, though no less pretty than its neighbours. Falling about 16 m, the waterfall is a true plunge waterfall, with water not contacting the bedrock until it reaches the base of the falls. This is a great place to observe the layered nature of sedimentary rocks. Each layer represents a period of deposition during the Odrovician and Silurian periods, both occuring about 450 million years ago.
The waterfall is not visible from the parking lot. You will need to backtrack along the road to the sharp turn to the right. This takes 5 minutes at most, but be sure to watch for cars coming around the blind corner. For the best overall view of the waterfall, continue around the curve to the far side of the river, and follow the little trail along the left side (when looking downstream) of the river. This short trail takes you to a break in the vegetation for a good view of the falls.
For the more adventurous, who aren't afraid to get a little dirty, walk back to the road, go back around the curve, and try to find a weak path through the woods to the edge of the gorge. BE CAREFUL HERE! PLEASE! The cliffs are steep! There is a spot along this side of the gorge where people have lowered themselves over a short exposure of the bedrock and on to a huge boulder pile. There may still be some yellow ropes that people have used for access. The "cliff" is only about 1-2 m high, and if you are carful, you can use the jagged rock edges and tree roots to lower yourself on to the boulder pile. From here, scramble down the talus slope to the base of the falls. Provided there is a fairly good flow in the river, you should be able to walk behind the falls.
You can also access the lower gorge by taking the walking trail from the parking lot into the conservation area, and then following a trail to the base of the escarpment. You will need to walk through the woods (there may or may not be a trail - I couldn't find one) until you get to the river, and then walk upstream to the base of the falls. This route took me about 45 minutes, and you can expect lots of short steep hills, fallen logs and large boulders. The scenery down here is pretty, but the hiking is really "messy". There are a few small secluded cascades along the river located a few hundred metres downstream from the falls.
This waterfall is covered in the print version of Waterfalls of Ontario.