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Borer’s Falls

You have to peer through the trees to see this impressive curtain waterfall at the top of the escarpment on Royal Botanical Garden land. When the vegetation grows in, the waterfalls have a bit of a mystical quality to them. Also called Rock Chapel falls, you can get to it from the bottom of the escarpment or the top.

Waterfall Description

  • At 15 metres high, Borer’s Falls was once used to power a local sawmill.
  • A stone bridge dating back to 1868 provides a great view of the top of the falls. On the east side of the ravine, a lookout offers equally spectacular views.

Parking and Proximity to Falls

  • There is parking off York Road at the Borer’s Falls Dog Park. Take the Ray Lowes Side Trail up the main Bruce Trail and follow signs for Borer’s and Rock Chapel Sancutary.
  • Or, take Rock Chapel Road from Highway 5 and park in the lot at the top. Parking is metered.

Accessibility

  • The trails to Borer’s Falls are hard-packed dirt with the odd roots and rocks.

Hike Nearby

  • If you park off York, further west you’ll find a trailhead (cars parked on the shoulder) that will lead you down a marsh walk to Cootes Paradise Santuary.
  • You can also head into the Royal Botanical Garden arboretum from here, heading east on the Pinetum Trail from this side of the street.
  • If you stay on the north side of York and head east, you’ll encounter the Berry Tract, another RBG hiking route.

What to Do

  • The Royal Botanical Garden’s Arboretum features various collections in bloom at different times of the year, as well as more trails to explore. Bring seeds to feed the birds!
  • Dyment’s Market & Bakery is a perfect family friendly rural destination where kids can play mini golf or explore a pumpkin patch while parents can enjoy the gorgeous country views and delicious farm-fresh treats.

What to Eat

  • Royal Botanical Gardens boasts various delicious on-site restaurants. The recently restored Rock garden has a lovely cafe with garden views and kid-friendly options.
  • In nearby Waterdown, The Dutch Mill Country Market has a tea room where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Pick up some baked goods for the way home!

Enjoying Hamilton Waterfalls Safely

Please consider these tips to help keep you safe while respecting the environment and surrounding neighbourhoods.

  • Waterfalls are located in environmentally sensitive areas – please stay on marked designated trails and obey closure signs; there are many rare plants that can be easily damaged or destroyed.
  • Park in designated parking areas only.
  • Do not cross active CN rail tracks to access waterfall areas and vistas. Crossing rail tracks is prohibited and illegal.
  • Stick to marked paths and stay well back from slopes, edges and other fall or slipping hazards.
  • Keep children and pets close.
  • Do not climb or otherwise bypass fencing.

Please watch this safety video from the City of Hamilton.

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