For about a month now, basically since it started getting nice and warm in Southern Ontario, Curtis and I have been trying to get to Hamilton, ON to explore some waterfalls with the pup. Of course, every time we happened to have a day off together, scheduled or manipulated, it would rain. And not just a little bit of rain, downpour, thundershower, Molly doesn't even want to think about going outside kind of rain. This past Thursday we FINALLY lucked out, and got to go on our little local adventure in Hamilton, ON.
The first time Curtis and I ever went to Webster Falls together was just about 7 years ago, and it was basically our first date. You could still go down into the bottom of the waterfall and spend some time exploring and playing in the water, and it was still free. Over the years, Webster Falls has seen massive increases in visitor numbers. Increased crowds have caused damage to the escarpment and people often put themselves in danger. You now have to pay $10 to park, access to the bottom of the falls has been barricaded off, and the 60-year-old stairs leading down to the bottom of the falls removed. The Hamilton Conservation Authority has made statements that there will be implementation of photography and viewing areas, but no timeline has been released.
We always go to Webster Falls first. Even though we try to go at least once a year, for the past 7 years, we still start at Webster Falls because it's such a special place for us. Thursday, we got to bring Molly for the first time. We got there, and quickly realized two things. One, you can only use a credit card to pay for parking when there isn't an attendant. Two, that access from Webster Falls to Tew Falls and Dundas Peak has since been cut off. There is some private property near by, so it's not surprising.
We did a quick walk through the Webster Falls area, and then decided to drive over to Tews Falls and finish the 1.6 km hike to Dundas Peak from there. We held onto our parking voucher, and the workers at the next parking lot let us in without any problem once we explained what had happened.
The hike from Tews Falls to Dundas Peak is fairly easy, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. The main trail is only 1.6 km, but there are multiple side trails if you'd like to extend your hike. Since this was Molly's first hike with us, we decided to stick to the main trail. The main trail has very little elevations, and the hardest part of the trail even offers another route that's much easier. I'd say this trail is great for anyone.
Molly, according to her vet, is a very healthy dog, and she still slept for the majority of a day after our hike to Dundas Peak. She gets multiple walks per day, and we've tried some light jogging, so her endurance is quite good. Make sure you are just as aware of your dog's abilities as you are of your own before you take on any new hikes or adventures with your pup.
The view from Dundas Peak is pretty great; you can look over Hamilton and Dundas, and out over the trees and escarpment as well. I've been experiencing some major longing for the mountains (we took a trip to Western Canada last summer), and this almost satisfied the wanderlust. Sometimes you just have to get outside; locally or otherwise.
The hike back to the car always seems so much faster. We got back to the car, and made our way home. Next time, we're going to check out a dog friendly patio in the area.
Have you done the hike to Dundas Peak? What's your favourite trail hike in South Western Ontario? Let me know in the comments!