Hamilton’s 100+ Waterfalls!
Most locals know that Hamilton used to be called “Steel City”, but do you know about Chris Ecklund? In 2008 Ecklund happened upon several photos of local waterfalls. Others had been documenting Hamilton waterfalls, but few people were aware of their work.
Chris Ecklund turned the spotlight on this local, dramatic natural wonder and worked to redefine Hamilton as the “City of Waterfalls” and the “Waterfall Capital of the World.”
Promoting Waterfalls has paid off for both locals and tourists with a growing appreciation for the waterfalls, the escarpment and natural beauty of Hamilton!
Ecklund’s work includes online information cityofwaterfalls.ca, bannered vehicles and events like the dramatic multicolored backlighting of the waterfalls at night!
Where are the Waterfalls and Which Ones are Best?
One popular self-guided hike is on the Dundas’ Spencer Adventure Trail where visitors enjoy nature and view Webster and Tews Falls.
The Devil’s Punchbowl Falls in Stoney Creek off Ridge Road is another favorite. Albion Falls off Lincoln Parkway in Mt Albion is very popular.
The Hamilton Conservation Authority’s website (waterfalls.hamilton.ca) is an excellent resource for waterfall pictures and info, how to find them, and best times to see.
They also have blog posts with hiking tips.
Waterfalls and the Niagara Escarpment.
Hamilton waterfalls would not exist without the Niagara Escarpment. Putting the spotlight on the waterfalls has promoted a broader appreciation of Hamilton’s entire natural area, the 12,000 acres of protected conservation land, hiking trails, wildlife, native plant species, scenic views and Hamilton’s natural beauty.
In 1990 the Niagara Escarpment was recognized as a natural wonder of the world and designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve!
The Niagara Escarpment is Huge!
All Hamilton residents know about the local section of the Niagara Escarpment–defining the lower northern part of the city from the higher southern and western ares. Hamilton is one part of the massive Niagara Escarpment, which encompasses a huge arc-shaped geologic formation starting in Watertown, New York, running through Ontario Province, Michigan, Wisconsin, and finally southward into Illinois.
Geologists tell us the escarpment we see today was formed by glaciers, wind, waves and water erosion. It’s hard to imagine that millions of years ago this area was an ocean floor. Eventually the ocean waters receded and the escarpment was exposed. The top of the escarpment was hard rock and the softer rock layers underneath were eroded, exposing the rock face formations we see today.