Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Webster's and Tew's Autumn Edition

This might be the best photo I've ever taken.
Last week I had the pleasure of taking some friends who were only a little bit familiar with Hamilton's waterfalls on a hike to the bottom of Tew's and Webster's falls. I've done this hike twice before, both times in the summer. Which, as it turns out, is much easier than during the fall. My poor friends were told that the hike would take around an hour, hour and a half ended up tramping through the Dundas Valley for five hours. I don't even know how it happened! It was a bit muddier, the path was harder to find in spots due to leaf coverage, and it is a lot more difficult to cross a river that is not warm and shallow! I'll also factor our lunch break in there, and the time we took enjoying the beautiful, beautiful scenery.

Honestly, it was so beautiful! I've also never experienced so much water over Webster's, and despite the chilly weather, everyone was game to go behind the falls. We crossed the river on a log, chilled on some huge mossy rocks - it was a good afternoon.

To get to the bottom of Webster's, you can follow the Bruce Trail - so if you're looking for something more accessible, and maybe not five hours, this would be it. It's relatively wide most of the way, and although you're a bit distanced from the river, it is still very scenic.

If you're driving, the best place to park is along Woodleys Lane, which is a left turn from going up King St. W in Dundas. Head under the railway bridge and follow the tracks (safely!) for one or two minutes until you see a marking on your left to a path that has a Bruce Trail left turn marking that is black for some reason. You will hear or see Spencer Creek very soon!



There is a sort-of path that runs alongside the river, but it's easier to find and follow during the summer, as it gets a bit muddier during the fall. Following the stream close by makes it easier to see where the river forks if you are planning on heading toward Tew's as well. Usually we stop at Tew's along the way, but since the river was quite high, we decided to go straight to Webster's.




These rapids occur right after the fork in the river leading to Tew's









Baby Webster's Falls - the cutest waterfall name out there!

I have been to Webster's so many times and I think I got a bit bored of it - but it was so gorgeous, and I loved showing it to new people. And there was so much water going over! I think I am used to a more dried up version...


Here it is now though! This is really the best I have seen it ever! There were rainbows everywhere and the sun was shining. So magical.





photo credit to Ginnie Wong!






We were a bit chilly and damp after going behind the falls, but it was worth it. It might be getting too cool to do that now though... make sure the sun is shining so you can dry off a bit if you go! We decided to keep an eye out for a good place to cross the river to get to Tew's, and our best course was to shuffle over a log. Which also afforded me this amazing shot...



so adventurous!
Walking on the other side of the river is a bit more challenging, since there is not as much of a trail. It's do-able and the scenery makes up for it, but it was a bit of a challenge!







The fork in the river brings you to Lower Tew's falls, where you need to cross again to get to the trail to get to the trail. There are fallen logs and much shallower here, or you can bring some rubber boots and you'll be set! 












This hike in the fall is so beautiful! And it definitely doesn't have to be as long as we took. There is a trail coming back from Tew's that is a lot easier than following the river - when the trail forks, the higher path will still bring you out by the railway tracks. We did not do this and spent a lot of time scrambling along the river and trying to find another place to cross.

Going to see one waterfall or the other is worth the trip - especially before winter comes! It makes me so sad that I miss so much hiking these days, but I loved showing friends all this beauty in Hamilton!



(If you want to see some other hikes to these falls you can check out here and here!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Classic Thanksgiving Hike



Everyone who is anyone was at Dundas Peak this weekend. It is the classic Thanksgiving or Sunday afternoon activity, particularly in these few weeks when the colours are flourishing. It makes me sad that I am so removed from hiking in Hamilton these days, but I'm glad I can still get some in every now and again! The hike to Dundas peak is probably one of the most populated hikes in the area, so you'll want to catch it in the off hours - usually the morning and during the week will help reduce the traffic. But it's a popular hike because it has a lot to offer in terms of accessibility (great for older people, pets, and kids), a waterfall view, and a view overlooking the city. Parking can be found going north on Hwy 8 and turning right onto Harvest road. The parking lot will be on your right.

If you're a bit more adventurous, you can get to the bottom of Tew's Falls by a gorgeous trail. I'll be going there tomorrow, but you can check out an older post here!










parents are cute.


There are a lot of different lookouts along the path and a few offshoots of the Bruce Trail if you're looking for something a bit longer. This is probably one of Hamilton's most popular hike, so if you haven't been there yet, you're missing out on a Hamilton classic!