Spring has finally arrived here in Ontario. March, which normally shows gradual warm ups, was much like February... Cold. Winter had one last ice storm to subject us to in mid April (not too common an event), but warmer temperatures have arrived. As a result, the Hamilton area waterfalls are filling up with snow and ice melt, and the consistent rains that are hitting the area. That usually means one thing for me: hiking season and waterfall photo season has begun.
I personally prefer parking at Livingstone Drive and using side Bruce Trail next to the tracks to bring me directly to the Tews Trail, but it is a longer hike than the alternate route. This trail is more scenic and gives you access to another small waterfall on the way, as well as a chance to observe birds of prey circling around Dundas Peak.
After about 10 minutes, of hiking along the tracks, you will reach the trail leading north. It is right in the area where Spencer Creek and the railroad tracks intersect (slightly off in the crude map above). When you arrive at this point, there will be two paths: one will take you to a higher vantage point, but further away from the creek, and a second path that takes you down to the elevation of the creek itself. Be warned; the more scenic path to the bottom is much more difficult, as the path doesn't stay defined. There will be parts where you may need to walk through the water, or climb very steep hills. The top path is relatively painless in comparison to the bottom path, but you will sacrifice picture opportunities along the way.
Lower Tews Falls
Eventually, you will come to a fork in the creek. The larger creek, or the path to your left if you're heading north, will lead to Websters Falls. The path to your right will lead you to Tews Falls. On your way, you'll encounter Lower Tews Falls, which is shown in a brief video above. It's only about 12 feet high, but does make for nice pictures. The good news is that getting to this point was the hard part. If you continue to follow your path, it will lead you to Tews Falls, a 41m high waterfall that pictures don't do justice.
The somewhat longer hike is well worth it. In the video above, and the pictures below, you'll see what I mean. For photographers, expect a ton of mist to be sent your way on days with lots of water flow, so try to time your shots between shots of mist sent your way. And bring a cloth to wipe the lens.
Otherwise, enjoy the show.
My advice for this hike:
-First, be reasonable about your level of fitness for this trail; especially if you take the lower trail. You'll going through water, climbing hills and over trees and going through fast moving water. Not ideal for someone who rarely hikes. The higher trial has some hills and trees to climb over, but is much more forgiving.
-Bring some water and maybe some snacks. It can be a long hike for anyone not used to longer hikes. Expect about 2 hours total assuming you don't make a lot of stops.
-If you choose the lower path, go a few days after a good rainfall, or you'll be walking through high water. Not for the faint of heart for those with lots of camera gear.
-Connected to that point, waterproof high boots are highly recommend if you want any pictures anywhere near the falls. Getting to good vantage points means going through water. You can't avoid it here.
A few friends and I took the hike back into the bottom of Tews in early August. It's a much better show with green to contrast the falls. I'll enclose some pictures below. I also aim to return in a month or so when the leaves begin to change colors.