Monday, November 26, 2012

Dundas Valley Hike - almost too pretty...!

This hike was such a good hike. It wasn't too chilly, there was the first snow just barely on the ground and the trails through the Dundas Valley are pretty relaxed, so it's nice to just go for a stroll around the forest. We did a modified version of this hike from Geotrail Hamilton and ended up seeing four different waterfalls and a couple historical sites as well! This hike starts you from the Hermitage parking lot off of Sulphur Springs road, but we opted for another trailhead.

We started at the entrance to the Heritage Trail across from the Ancaster Old Mill on Old Dundas Road. We followed that to the Main Loop, did a side loop on the Homestead Trail (via Headwaters Trail), went around the Main Loop to where it meets up with the Bruce Trail, followed that down past Canterbury Falls and Sherman Falls, to come out on the Old Dundas Road again. Here is a map of the route we took (we are the pink dotted line that has clearly been added in Paint):

The woods looked so awesome - you could still see the orange leaves and green moss under the little bit of snow we got, making for very dynamic forest scenery! Of course I would forget my camera, so all the pictures are from my phone. Pictures never seem to do it justice anyway and you'll just have to take my word that it was incredibly gorgeous out that day!

 The first waterfall we came to was off of the Main Loop, and is right off of the parking lot on Sulphur Springs, the Hermitage Cascade.

I am slightly camouflaged.

Taking a detour along the Homestead Trail led us to Heritage Falls (aka Griffin Falls), which I was seeing for the first time. It was in a nice little valley, but unfortunately it was pretty dried up - maybe in the spring!

Along the Main Loop we came across the Hermitage Ruins, which are pretty cool and have some interesting history (as well as some legends surrounding it!) It's a nice little interest piece during the hike, and is especially ambient surrounded by barren and creaky trees. If you want to check out another historical spot in this area, you can duck out a bit earlier along the Headwaters Trail which will take you to the Griffin House, which is a neat little piece of Black Canadian History.

The rest of the hike through the Main Loop took us through some well-maintained paths with a lot of maps along the way! They're very helpful for a low-maintenance and easily accessible hike (or bike ride!)

I really cannot emphasize how scenic this hike was! The Main Loop brought us back around to where we came off of the Heritage Trail, but at that point it also forks into the Bruce Trail, which leads to Canterbury Falls (see the link for summer pictures!) This waterfall is probably one of my favourite lesser-known ones - so, so pretty.

sometimes I even forget I'm in this picture

Following the Bruce Trail will also take you another one of my favourites, Sherman Falls. This was probably the prettiest I have ever seen it - I don't think it will ever get old!

After this we just followed Old Dundas Road to the car. The hike took us around three hours, but we went at a pretty leisurely pace and stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery. I really cannot get over how stuff like this is just in the middle of the city.

I thought I had missed the peak time for fall colours, but the leaves are just as pretty on the ground as in the trees. The Dundas Valley has great trails for winter as they are very well-maintained and fairly well-traveled so they are not too risky when it's slippery out. It's good for dogs, kids - I am practically begging you to enjoy it, so I'll just leave it at this...


  1. I was looking for a good early winter hike to take this weekend and I ran across this. I'm sold! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    One quick question: where did you park before commencing on this hike?

  2. In town from Los Angeles on business with a couple co-workers - led them on this exact hike today using your blog post as my guide. We had a great time and got to see a beautiful non-touristy part of the area. Thanks for doing what you do!

    1. I'm glad you mentioned its non-touristy. I am in a similar situation as you - organizing a hike for co-workers, and I just wanted to make sure that this wasn't touristy so we can avoid the crowds of people!