If you love waterfalls, then you do not want to miss this serenely beautiful trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall, called the Smokey Hollow Falls, in Hamilton area in Ontario.
At 10 metres tall, this isn’t the area’s biggest waterfall, but this short and fast-flowing waterfall is surrounded by a great section of the Bruce Trail. It has a rugged footpath tracing its way up and down the ravine formed by Niagara Escarpment.
Don’t be confused by the multiple names for Smokey Hollow Falls – also known as Grindstone, Waterdown or Great Falls. They all describe the same beautiful ribbon waterfall in its leafy forest setting that flows from Grindstone Creek in Waterdown.
A parking lot can be found just off Mill Street, not far from highway 5. Parking is available, however limited, so plan going there on weekdays. On a Saturday, we had to wait for 30-40mins in the main parking area.
The best part of the visit and viewing this mysteriously hidden fall is the path towards discovering this waterfall, which begins on the observation deck, which is a viewing platform beside the waterfall.
There’s a winding staircase built on the hillside, but if you want to avoid walking down the staircase or the slippery rocky path, you may want to enjoy the waterfall view from the viewing platform.
There is a lot of elevation and be prepared to give your legs a good workout. While the staircase is well maintained, once you are off the staircase, it can get rocky and then slippery in some parts. There is also a stream that follows you along for a bit of the trail that gives off a nice and misty cooling effect. Perhaps the name smokey comes from this effect?
What a beautiful way to end your hike and immerse yourself with the mist generated by this beautiful waterfall.
It is a very good walk, the trail is beautiful, rocky at times and slippery and a very good workout for the legs. While most Hamilton waterfall areas are now open, however, Spencer Gorge (Webster Falls, Tew Falls and Dundas Peak) remains closed until September.
Tourism Hamilton says given the popularity of these waterfalls, consider planning your visit during off-peak times (early morning or weekdays) and avoid parking on roadways if parking lots are full. Please practice physical distancing and avoid gathering in large groups is what Tourism Hamilton advising.