Winter waterfalls – not just Niagara!

Niagara Falls – the Niagara River thundering over the Niagara Escarpment creates the largest, most famous waterfalls within the region. But did you know that the escarpment is home to many smaller waterfalls?

The Niagara Escarpment runs 725 km from Queenston through Ontario up to Tobermory and Georgian Bay. It covers 1923 km2 and in some places is up to 335 m high. As a result, rivers and streams running over the escarpment create beautiful waterfalls especially during spring runoff, with a few smaller ones becoming dry in summer.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy exploring the escarpment to discover many of these charming falls. Beautiful at any time of year, waterfalls of any size can be especially pretty in winter with the frosty spray turning the surrounding landscape into an icy wonderland.

Waterfalls can be grouped into a number of different categories, ribbon falls, curtain falls, classical falls and cascade falls.

  • A ribbon waterfall is higher than its crest is wide creating a high, thin stream or ribbon of water.
  • A curtain waterfall has a wide crest that typically has a wider span than the height, creating a curtain of water.
  • A cascade waterfall descends in steps creating a series of small waterfalls over an incline.
  • A classical waterfall has a crest that is about the same width as its height.

There are dozens of waterfalls in Niagara Region, and some of the more well-known waterfalls in the area are Balls Falls near the village of Jordan, Rockway Falls just east of Balls Falls near St. Catharines, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls which is a ribbon waterfall in the Hamilton area that tends to become during the summer months, Albion Falls which is a roadside waterfall in the Hamilton area, and Webster’s Falls just outside of Hamilton near Dundas.

Hiking, picnicking and exploring different waterfalls in Niagara region can provide many enjoyable day trips at any time of year. For more information on conservations areas and to help plan an outing visit the Hamilton Conservation Authority or the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. Most of the region’s waterfalls can also be accessed from the Bruce Trail.