Friday, May 17, 2013

Top Five Hamilton Waterfalls to See in Spring!

Spring is the best time to see a lot of waterfalls in Hamilton, especially since some only make an appearance around now! So it's a great opportunity to go and enjoy them. I'll have you know that this list is not just made up of my personal preferences, but is a careful calculation of more than a few factors - these are actually objectively the best springtime waterfalls, so...

5. Borer's Falls. This is a pretty cool waterfall that I just found out about last year, and it's one of those that are hard to appreciate during other seasons because of unpredictable water flow or difficulty accessing it - so springtime it is! Hiking closer to the falls is difficult, but it can be done, and there's also a lower falls to check out. I took these photos in June last year, and so it was drying up a little bit, but still wasn't too bad! You can read more of my hike here.

Lower Falls

4. Sherman Falls is beautiful 100% of the time so it belongs on the list, but you could see it any time and it would be gorgeous:


Since it's so great all of the time, just imagine how great it is in the spring! Sherman is nice for a short little walk or to take kids to, since the path is straightforward. Also I love it. Read more here and here.

3. Canterbury Falls. This is a cute little waterfall accessible from the Bruce Trail and also the Rail Trail. I've written about the hike I took to get there here and here - there are lots of different ways you can get around in that area. It's great for dogs, kids, and generally low-key hiking, but it's still one of my favourite views in the area.

2. Great Falls! Probably the most lush waterfall in the Hamilton area. When you go behind it it looks like this:

- basically tropical! And it's right next to a parking lot so you can be instantly transported into this paradise when you get out of your car. And it's also along the Bruce Trail so you can keep walking if you want to do more than take a peek over the lookout. These pictures were taken in the summer, but it's already SO green with a fair amount of water, so it has just that much more to it in the spring.

More here.

1. Number one, is of course Albion Falls. Albion can also be said to be one of the best waterfalls in the world, but it's at its best in the spring. Other times of the year it is stunning, but in the springtime it fills out, and is just wonderful. Also it's nestled in a gorge you might not even notice while driving past, so going down into the greenery is really nice. Also it's at its most accessible in the spring and summer, just because of the gorge - if it's muddy or snowy it can be difficult/ not a good idea to go down.

Normally I don't use other people's photos here, but unfortunately the only spring Albion picture I have doesn't do it justice at all:

So here's a picture from the Hamilton City of Waterfalls Website:

Photo by Chris Ecklund
It is stunning the rest of the year, but it is always nice to see it at its full flow. You can read more about hiking around Albion here and here.

Lots of beauty to enjoy, and now is the best time to do it!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring makes a difference! Scenic Falls

I have been trying to get decent pictures of Scenic Falls for ages! This is one of the main problems with Hamilton waterfalls - they can be kind of elusive and unpredictable sometimes! But right now is the absolute perfect time to go see one - lots of water from spring rains, but the ground has also dried up enough that you are not slipping in mud, and most of all, everything is getting so green!

Unfortunately I missed the beginnings of green for this past hike, but I was just glad to get out and to enjoy a sandwich by a gorgeous waterfall. Scenic falls is along the Chedoke Radial Trail, which is so great for biking, doing stairs or jogging as well as being able to access some other falls. I have missed Hamilton dearly and it was so wonderful to be able to go ten minutes from my house and be surrounded with trees. Scenic Falls is about a twenty minute walk heading west down the trail, if you start at the parking lot of the Chedoke Golf Course. You are also able to pass by a few other falls; right off the trail you can see Mountview Falls and Upper Princess Falls, and if you want to go a bit into the brush, Cliffview Falls and Westcliffe Falls (upper and lower for both) are right at the parking lot of the golf course. Chedoke Falls can also be found eastwards down the trail.

Scenic falls is marked on the righthand side of the trail with a blue Bruce Trail marker, signifying an offshoot trail. There's a stone wall that is cool to explore and lets you sit at the top of the falls, and there is also a bit of a trail that can take you down to the bottom, but it disappears around halfway down.

I should maybe invest in a tripod...

This is what the falls looked like last summer...
basically just wet rock.

Scenic Falls is a good waterfall for something that is accessible but still a bit out of the way. Spring is when a lot of Hamilton's hidden waterfalls come out, so now is a great (and limited) opportunity to check some out!