4 Hamilton-Area Waterfall Hikes To Do With Your Family

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Smokey Hollow Falls (Joe deSousa/FlickrCC)

What’s even better than a family hike? Why, a family hike to see a waterfall, of course! And the neat thing about waterfalls is that they come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own hint of wonder.

The Hamilton area has more than its fair share of cascading water, and that’s where these hikes are located. So pack the camera, lots of snacks and some good footwear and hit the trail for a hearty dose of fresh air and… you know… go chasing waterfalls.

A Word of Caution

There is risk involved in hiking around waterfalls and in escarpment areas. Be sure you discuss safety rules with kids before you go. Always stay on the trails and within fenced areas, and heed all posted signs. Keep children and pets away from the edges of gorges and escarpments; even adults should stay at least a body length away. Also, beware of slippery rocks around near the bottom of waterfalls. Grippy shoes like hiking boots or water shoes are recommended.

See the waterfalls map.

Smokey Hollow Falls (Sandy Bell/Hamilton Conservation Authority)

Smokey Hollow Falls

We love the fast-moving waterfall at Smokey Hollow for lots of reasons. It makes for great photos, has a convenient viewing platform, and is surrounded by the Bruce Trail. Parking is on Mill Street, not far from Highway 5 in Waterdown.

The nearby Great Falls loop is 3.5 km, but is quite steep, so best suited for slightly older kids who won’t ask to be carried.

Tiffany Falls (Hamilton Conservation Authority)

Tiffany, Sherman, and Canterbury Falls

Tiffany Falls is a lovely 21-metre-high waterfall that tumbles into interesting rock formations. For younger kids, it works to park on Wilson Street East and then walk the 10 to 15 minutes to the falls. If you’re after a longer hike (about 30 minutes one way), make your way across Wilson Street to pick up the Bruce Trail and head over to Sherman Falls and Canterbury Falls.


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Borer’s Falls

Borer’s Falls is located in the beautiful Royal Botanical Garden, so there are lots of other things to feast your eyes on during this hike. You can park off York at the Borer’s Falls Dog Park and take the Ray Lowes side trail.

After seeing the falls you can explore a marsh walk to Cootes Paradise Sanctuary. From York Street, you can also head east on the Pinetum Trail into the Royal Botanical Garden Arboretum. Get the RBG Trail Guide.


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Felker’s Falls

Felker’s Falls Conservation Area is easily accessible by wheelchairs and strollers on the Peter Street trail. There’s a viewing platform to take in the sight of the 22-metre-tall waterfall.

Close by is Eramosa Karst Conservation Area with mini underground caves. Make it a whole day of wonder!

Remember to follow safety precautions and stay on the trail. And, enjoy!

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