Dundas Conservation Websters Falls Gourge
Wednesday June 22 2011
Welcome to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area – a favourite destination of any outdoor enthusiast.
Current Trail Conditions: Trails are now open to all users. For up-to-the-minute trail updates, please call 905-627-1233.
The valley’s 1,200 hectares of Carolinian forests, fields, cold-water streams and stunning geological formations are home to an array of rare plants, birds and wildlife.
The Dundas Valley is part of the Niagara Escarpment which has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Share the Path
The Dundas Valley’s 40-kilometre trail system is open to hikers, dog-walkers, cyclists and equestrians. Enjoyment and safety among such a diverse group begins with every individual. Visitors are kindly encouraged to visit the Trail Centre for important tips on trail etiquette. Being cautious and courteous helps ensure a great trail experience for everyone.
is a curtain waterfall 22 metres in height. Located at the Spencer Gorge / Webster’s Falls Conservation area in Greensville, its source is Spencer Creek. It is one of two falls within the Spencer Gorge, and with a crest of 24 metres, it is the largest in the region. It is also probably the most popular and widely known fall in Hamilton, and has the biggest park associated with a waterfall. According to Joe Hollick, Webster’s Falls has the highest number of vintage postcards bearing its image, suggesting that it was also the most frequently visited waterfall a century ago as well
This waterfall was originally known as Dr. Hamilton’s falls, after Dr. James Hamilton purchased the land in 1818. (He was also the first president of the Canada Life Insurance Company as well as medical officer for the Great Western Railway.) The waterfalls and 78 acres of the surrounding land were purchased by Joseph Webster after his family arrived from England in 1820. According to the Hamilton Conservation Authority (the current owner), the Webster family manor still stands on Webster’s Falls Road, and their gravestones have been preserved in a small section just off the Bruce Trail, on the way to Tews Falls.
According to romantic legend, an Indian maiden named Na-Go-She-Onong (Evening Star in the Ojibway language), fell in love with a white man. Her lover was killed by a jealous Indian suitor, and rather than live without him, she pressed his dead body to hers and plunged into the roaring waters of Webster’s Falls. A poem about the ill-fated couple was printed in a souvenir booklet put out by the Women’s Wentworth Historical Society.
In 1856, Webster’s son built a large stone flour mill, the Ashbourne Mills, along the creek above the falls. Until an 1898 fire destroyed them, the mills buildings ranked among the largest of their type in the district. In the wake of the blaze, the owner, George Harper, joined a partnership to organize the Dundas Electric Company. One of the first hydro-electric generators of Ontario was installed at the base of the falls. In 1917, the Public Utilities Commission of Dundas bought Webster’s Falls and the surrounding lands for the town’s waterworks department.
When the will of former Dundas Mayor Colonel W.E.S. Knowles was read, it was learned that he had made a bequest to the town so that the area around Webster’s Falls be made into a public park. A foundation was established to channel revenue into park improvements. In 1933, the grounds were landscaped, a stone bridge constructed across the creek above the falls, and an iron fence installed to make the viewing at the ledge much safer.
According to the “Great Lakes Waterfall’s and beyond site, Webster’s Falls shows up in the Sci-Fi movie “Descent”, playing the role of an anonymous waterfall in the Pacific Northwest. A river of lava pours over the falls, nearly killing the star, Luke Perry.
Sam Lawrence Park
255 Concession Street.
Sam Lawrence Park, situated on the Mountain brow at the top of the Jolley Cut, is one of the jewels in Hamilton’s park system. Its features include a rock garden with perennial flowers, ornamental benches and lighting, walkways (most of which are accessible), wildflowers and prairie grasses, and an extensive system of interpretive signs. The park also offers spectacular, panoramic views of the lower city and the harbour.
After having the Car for the Day, I was able to get down to Harbourfront Park in Hamilton and take Images of the Swan family that have lost two more signet’s.
Also a Turkey Vulture flew into my sight of view. To rent a car from Enterprise rent a car only cost me 75$ for more than 24 hours and 20$ for gas. The Hamilton Area is rich in it’s History and has many opportunities for sightseeing.
As Site Coordinator I thank the city of Hamilton for there ongoing support.
Doug Worrall Photographer