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Exploring Hamilton's Waterfalls

Ontario is home to the city of waterfalls: Hamilton. There are SO many falls here to check out - it's literally home to the most in the world. I've been meaning to explore some of the waterfalls here for some time, and I finally had the chance to go! I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. Chasing waterfalls in Hamilton should be on everyone's list!

In this blog post, I'll cover which waterfalls we went to, what I thought, some tips for chasing waterfalls, and some other waterfalls in the area I haven't seen yet but are 100% on my list for future adventures. This is going to be a pretty detailed one, so buckle up! Let's get into it!

Waterfalls on our tour:

  • Swayze Falls

  • Ball's Falls

  • Lower Devil's Punchbowl

  • Upper Devil's Punchbowl

  • Tiffany Falls

First stop - Swayze Falls:

This 45-foot-tall waterfall is located in Shorthills Provincial Park and is one of many falls in the park. This waterfall is the highest in the park but is frequently dried up. Luckily for us, it was running when we visited!

To visit this waterfall, take the Palaeozoic Path and follow it right to a viewing platform above the falls! The trail is 0.8 km and easy. There is access to the bottom via a separate trail that continues along the side of the falls.

Parking at Short Hills is free. To access this trail, make sure to park at the parking lot on Roland Rd! The lot is small, so get there early, as the park gets busy!

Optional Stop - DeCew Falls:

This absolutely stunning waterfall is right down the street from Short Hills Provincial Park. We didn't stop here on this trip, but if you have time, you definitely should. It's beautiful and well worth your time. If you take the trail, there are three waterfalls to see! I would say this waterfall could be a standalone adventure, but it's worth mentioning here! I mean, look at it! You can view the falls from above as well, right from the parking lot at the Morningstar Mill.

The hike at DeCew is difficult! Do your research and plan accordingly!

Second Stop - Ball's Falls:

I'd heard really great things about Ball's Falls, and honestly, it was okay. To be fair, I didn't check out the lower Ball's, just the upper one. I think I'm really partial to waterfalls that I can enjoy from the bottom, as well as the top! Don't get me wrong, this waterfall was beautiful! There are other things to see, like historical buildings as well as the falls, and I didn't do any trails here, so it might be better than I'm letting on!

It was 8$ for parking and quite busy!

Next stop - Devil's Punchbowl:

After Ball's Falls, we hit one of Hamilton's most iconic waterfalls: Devil's Punchbowl. This waterfall was one of the falls I was most excited to visit! It has quite the reputation, and I think it definitely deserves the hype!

There are two waterfalls to see here, and both were amazing, but the main attraction was, of course, the upper falls. To get to the bottom of this waterfall you need to take a Bruce Trail side trail. You walk along the road from the main parking lot and join the side trail to the bottom. The trail is under a kilometre and easy despite a bit of an incline. It's worth it to see this breathtaking waterfall up close. Be careful walking along the road!

The different shades of the rock and the height of this waterfall make it quite spectacular! We stayed here for a while, taking in the sight before we moved on to our final waterfall of the adventure.

Parking is paid, and this spot does get busy!

Last stop - Tiffany Falls:

Okay, this one really blew me away! I was really excited to see this one, and it didn't disappoint. I'm just going to leave photos here so you can see for yourself, because oh my goodness! We finished our adventure here, and it was the perfect note to end on.

This trail is super short and really accessible, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch the Bruce and continue your adventure if you're up for it!

The parking lot is relatively small, and it is paid! This spot is pretty busy but for good reason!

Other falls that I would have loved to see but didn't have time:

  • Sherman Falls

  • Webster Falls

  • Albion Falls

  • Smokey Hollow Falls

  • Canterbury Falls

There is seriously no shortage of waterfalls in the area to check out, so I'll definitely be back!

Best time to chase waterfalls:

This really depends on what you're looking for!

Spring is when they're at their most powerful, and you likely won't be met with dried-up falls.

In the summer you can swim in waterfalls which is a favourite activity of mine! However, some waterfalls might be dried up!

Winter is an amazing time to chase waterfalls! Seeing them frozen adds a whole other layer to the experience.

I hope this itinerary was helpful for you, and that you get out there and explore some waterfalls! Hamilton is definitely one of the best places in the world to do it!

Happy hiking!

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