Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chedoke Falls/Lower Chedoke Falls, and Denlow Falls

Where do I even start with Chedoke Falls? For me, it was one of the best hikes I've been on in terms of exploration, but my group of friends is currently divided on that issue.

It started casually enough - one of the girls we were going with had been there before, and she said it was no problem. There is one smaller waterfall and you climb up beside it to get to Chedoke Falls.

You can get to the entrance of the whole area from the Chedoke Radial Trail. There is a parking lot toward the back of Chedoke Golf Course, and simply follow the trail until you see an area on the right hand side that is kind of fenced off - that's where you want to go in.

Lower Chedoke Falls
It's kind of hard for me to describe how we got there because we tried four different ways before we actually got there! Once we got to the lower falls we were a bit puzzled as to how to get any further. So we walked back, out of the fenced area, and tried another path that seemed like it might go somewhere. It took us to a bit of an overlook to the lower falls, but ended. So we went back around, through the fence. Still no way to get up. There seemed to be another path that was a bit more indirect; that took us to the top of the escarpment basically, and again just ended! 

We decided to take another route based on how deep my foot sank into this mud...

We were about to give up, but we decided to basically just shuffle across the side of the escarpment for about a half hour. We went down a bit between the two paths, and it looked like there was enough room to walk across, and it wasn't too steep. Except, it was kind of steep and there was no path whatsoever.

At one point, after being separated from the group I got a call from one of my friends, to say that they were pressed up against a sheer rock face (??) and didn't know where to go. I still have no idea where that was, but I went a completely different way.

We eventually re-united somehow, and discovered that we had made it to the top of the lower falls! We still had to follow the stream a ways up though. At this point, one of my friends was completely silent...maybe too much adventure. I, however, was loving it. The only thing was, was that it was getting a bit dark, we had no idea how much farther the falls was, and we had no idea how we were going to get out. So great!

While I was writing this post I was reading about Chedoke Falls, and apparently there was another waterfall on the way there that we failed to recognized as a waterfall. I was just talking with someone who said that Hamilton classifies every little trickle of water as a waterfall...I contested him on that fact, but seeing Denlow Falls, I might have to take back what I said. Ah well, one more to check off! When I found out that there was an extra waterfall I was freaking out, thinking that I didn't get photographic evidence - I have no idea if I would be able to get back there again! Luckily I found this beauty on my computer:

Denlow Falls, in all its glory!

We eventually made it there, even before the sun went down! It was an interesting realization that the waterfall was coming out of a pipe...but whatever. Urban chic? There were also mattresses at the bottom of the waterfall - but I felt like we had accomplished something!

 People I've talked with subsequently who have also been to Chedoke Falls talk about it like it's no big deal to get there... so I'm not exactly sure where we went wrong. If you want to see it, but don't want to risk the hassle, you can see it from above from Scenic Drive, but I'm not sure if there's a place to stop your car on the side of the road, so be careful!

The return journey wasn't so bad (it never is) and we all felt very satisfied with our adventure.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Webster's Falls

I suppose I'll start this blog off with some old photos I found on my computer. These are from a few years ago during the winter, when I went to visit Webster's Falls with my family! This waterfall is a pretty popular destination, and probably considered one of the best in Hamilton.

Check out those ice formations!

Edit: I would recommend that you go here, since it is so gorgeous (especially in the summertime!) but just recently the stairs to visit the base of the falls have been closed! There are still platforms that you can see it with, but it's just not the same as hanging out on the rocks at the bottom. Darn. Hopefully it opens up again soon...! (still go there though - there is an awesome lawn for picnics and you can still relax by the stream!)