Down in the Dundas Valley below Hamilton

Down in the Dundas Valley below Hamilton

Saturday October 9 2010

Valley fall colours

The Dundas Valley is an incredible biodiversity blessed with urban, rural and natural forested areas. The height of the land separating  the Dundas Valley from the drainage system to the Grand River is composed largely  of coarse washed sand with broken shales in several places.   The escarpment shows a clear face of hard Niagara Limestone and Niagara Shale lying upon the shale beds of Clinton and Medina formations. A stream always ran in the middle of the Valley from Dundas to the Bay.  In the north end it was partly clear water.  Fish came from the Bay,  and the outlet from the Bay into Lake Ontario.    The channel is about 4 miles wide at the eastern end and gradually narrows, until at Binkley’s Corners on the Hamilton-Ancaster Road ( currently , Main St. West, Hamilton and Wilson Street, Ancaster in Hamilton).    The Dundas  Valley  Rail Trail starts at Main St. West  and goes up the Jerseyville Rd. in Ancaster then onto Brantford for a total of 32 km.

But behind University Plaza in Dundas is the Ancaster Creek.  This Creek comes from over the escarpment in Ancaster, across Wilson St., then over Mills Falls and down Old Dundas Road and over Sherman Falls into the Dundas Valley and eventually comes just by the bridge area on the Rail Trail behind University Plaza heading towards Main St. West entrance.    Across from University Plaza is the Binkley Hollow Trail off Osler Drive, Dundas.  This trail goes to parking lot M of the underground parking at McMaster University.  Deer  and birds are often spotted in this area especially during Spring and Fall.  This area in West Hamilton  was originally the Binkley Hollow Forest, but the elm trees were hit with Dutch Elm Disease, and many died. Then urban areas moved to this western fringe of Hamilton. The Creeks in Binkley Hollow and areas surrounding McMaster University enter Cootes Paradise Marsh and then into Hamilton Harbour.

Tiffany falls

The Rail Trail

Just up from the Binkley’s Corners off Wilson St. Ancaster is the Tiffany Falls Conservation Area.  This is fed by  Tiffany Creek which tumbles 6.5 meters from a broad valley above the escarpment into a V shaped ravine below.  It is on the short side that lead you to the waterfall.  The bridges make the path to the waterfall an easier climb.  Tiffany Falls, off Willson St. Ancaster in Hamilton is a 21 meter Ribbon Waterfall.  It was a medical doctor from the U.S.A. who lived at Filman Road in Ancaster, where the Creek went through his property in 1796, that Tiffany Falls was named after him, Dr. Oliver Tiffany.  The Tiffany Trail leaves the conservation area, near Old Ancaster Road.  You enter the Bruce Trail terrain, rocks to sped over, steep descents and the waterfalls.  Ancaster Creek goes over the escarpment, fed by springs from its headwaters and has a strong continuous flow.  It continues through the scenic ravine in the Tiffany Creek Valley until you cross Wilson Street.   The Tiffany Creek is below Ancaster Creek, and both of these feed into the Dundas Valley once they go over Wilson St.   Today,  took many photos at Tiffany Falls with the sun shining and the beautiful fall colours.  Some people even crossed the Creek and up the hillside by the Falls and had their lunch.  Others were out with children, and they climbed the rocks to the Falls, even washing their hands in the water.  Along the pathway at Tiffany Falls  there was a nice scent from the Creek which may have been mint from pine needles.
BY J Darby
Doug Worrall