A Waterfall Day

Most of you have probably never heard of Hamilton, Ontario … and if you did, it likely wasn’t in a complimentary way. Hamilton’s gritty, rough reputation as a steel town has stuck to it like a bad odour.

I’m also guessing that you wouldn’t think a Steel Town could be a destination for a hiker needing a recharge in nature.

But it is.

And that’s because Hamilton just might be the Waterfall Capital of the World. It is reported to have over 100 waterfalls. I’ve visited a lot of them, both big and small, but the novelty never seems to wear off.

… and that’s where Deb (Widow Badass) and I decided to take our hike this week.

Tews Falls, 41 metres high (134.5 ft)

On this trip, however, I was taken by surprise.

The plan was to visit two specific falls – Tews Falls and Websters Falls – and a section of trail which runs along the top of the Niagara Escarpment. I remembered it to be a beautiful rugged trail.

But that’s not what we found.

I appreciate that municipalities need to “idiot-proof” their green spaces – to protect both humans and the ecology of the area – but the changes still made me sad.

The rugged trail is now a superhighway:

And there are fences everywhere:

Maybe it’s just my memory that’s wrong. It’s times like this that I mourn the loss of my photo library.

Webster’s Falls, 22 metres/72 feet.
This is a huge waterfall – as wide as it is tall – but unless you have drone, this view is pretty well it.

That doesn’t mean I had a bad time. On the contrary, I had a great time. All it takes is a beautiful day outdoors and great company to share it with.

Deb at the edge of the Escarpment … and noting it’s a long way down.

The scenery is just a backdrop.

43 comments

  1. I used to work for the magazine for Slovenians living abroad, and I’m pretty sure Hamilton was mentioned as a place where many live. There may even be a club. A Steel Town? It figures… At least they have waterfalls. And you have Deb. Happy for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hmmm – you may be right about many Slovenians living in this area around Hamilton. I remember seeing a Slovenian club on one of my hikes, but I couldn’t say where exactly.

      Hope you are doing well in social isolation. I had my first major meltdown today. That’s not too bad … I made it to day 4 :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, Joanne, I remember that photo! Or maybe it was from somewhere else? I vividly remember a gate with the inscription that it’s a home for Slovenian community.

        Funny, amore had his first one too today… Italians, can’t have life without drama. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, I understand, it’s tough. To be at home and do nothing… just terrible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Seriously though – all well to you. It will pass.

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  2. Iโ€™ve visited Hamilton a few times and enjoyed really good Italian food there but I did not know about the hiking. Another thing to add to my โ€œthings to do in Ontarioโ€ list which is getting quite long thanks to you and Deb.

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  3. Wow, Joanne, Many mixed emotions in this post. You had the opportunity to see โ€œthe before.โ€ So the changes are obvious. I am glad it was a beautiful day and as always, great company. I am also not the hanging off the cliff edge type of person๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. I have to admit that until I read this, Hamilton would not be on my radar as a hiking destination. Time to brush away some old stereotypes and add it to the list for our next visit to the region.

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    • No one was more surprised than I was when Helen and I first hiked through Hamilton on our Bruce Trail End-to-End. I liked it enough to return to this area on many occasions … and each time seems to be different. Changing seasons tends to do that ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You’re right about stereotypes though. Things are sometimes not as we think, but letting go of preconceived opinions can be hard.

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  5. I might be on my own here, but I actually prefer it when the trails are not full of ankle breaking rocks and slippery stones. Falling over the edge looks quite likely from your photos! And the fencing is rather lovely if you take time to examine it closely. Proper weathered wood, almost like driftwood, it doesn’t offend me at all. And nice that you have managed to get out for a proper hike again with you badass buddy! Now that alone is worth posting about ๐Ÿ˜

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    • That’s exactly what we said! Let natural selection weed out the herd.

      However it is a sobering thought when we realize that we too are in that category of ‘idiots’ who would be blithely picking our way down a steep icy incline to get to the rocky bottom at the base of the waterfall. My biggest fear is needing to make a 911 call to be rescued.

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        • When Helen and I were hiking the Bruce Trail, we were very cognizant of the fact that cellphone service could be nonexistent in many of the remoter areas. It made us more cautious than we already were. In the event that one of us was injured, getting help could take a very long time ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

          Liked by 1 person

          • Iโ€™m constantly amazed here how many people set off into the bush without proper clothing, food, water, etc and then get into trouble. The volunteers who perform search and rescue are absolute heroes. Iโ€™m not sure Iโ€™d risk my life to save anyone so stupid.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Omigoodness, Hamilton is the only part of Ontario I’ve been in! In 2000, I met up with 3 Internet friends (1 from Alberta, 1 from Buffalo and 1 from Pennsylvania — our 4th lived in Hamilton, and feted us with a giant Italian feast!). I believe the Travelodge we 3 travelers stayed in was in Hamilton as well, but anyway, it was clean and quiet and I found it lovely. I’m not surprised it has many waterfalls!

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    • I suspect they are counting the many, many small no-name waterfalls tumbling along the rock face of the escarpment. We encountered many of them on the Bruce Trail … but its the big boys like these two that grab the attention.

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    • I like to believe I’m a daredevil but the truth is I have a deep respect for the edge. I like to pretend I’m brave and see how far I can creep out onto the rock before my knees start to get shaky. It’s further away from the edge than you might think ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love these outings, Deb. It was a great day and we saw the best of it ๐Ÿ™‚ I drove home through a snow squall. Turns out the weather forecast was right after all!

      I can hardly wait until the next time ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. The idiot proofing part of this is annoying! I can imagine what prompted the fencing. UGH. On the flip side, glad ya had a fun time and the waterfalls still look like beauties!

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