Waterfall Safety

Hamilton is home to more than 100 waterfalls, and with one of the highest number of waterfalls of any urban area of its size, has been called the Waterfall Capital of the World. Many of the waterfalls are found along the Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Trail, and can be easily accessed from groomed trails and viewing areas.

Most waterfalls are situated beside steep drops and ground can become unstable. Residents and visitors should exercise extreme caution when visiting Hamilton’s waterfalls, and should aim to enjoy the waterfalls as safely as possible.

Safe viewing tips

  • Stick to the marked trails to access the waterfalls, creating your own trail is dangerous and is considered trespassing.
  • Respect posted signage, stay on trails and do not climb or bypass fencing.
  • Check out the falls from a viewing platform, this is the best place to see the falls and enjoy the view!
  • Stay away from the bottom of gorge, waterfall or escarpment areas – there is a chance of falling rocks and you could slip and fall on wet or algae-covered rocks.
  • Stay away from slopes and edges of the escarpment –  ground can become unstable in these areas and pose a fall hazard.
  • Be mindful that some areas are prone to flash flooding – pay attention to weather conditions. 
  • Stay at least one body-length back from the edge of gorges, waterfalls and escarpment areas.  This is especially important for children and pets.
  • Some waterfalls in Hamilton have polluted water, do not swim or wade in them.
  • Stay away from dangerous areas to take a photo – your life is more important than  a selfie or landscape shot.
  • Ensure you wear appropriate footwear and only visit the falls during the daylight hours.
  • Do not consume alcohol or take medication that may affect your balance while walking near the falls.
  • Enjoy the plants and wildlife near the waterfalls, do not litter or trample the delicate plants.
  • Parents/Guardians keep a very close watch on children and take the time to discuss safety concerns before and during your visit.