City of Waterfalls

es·carp·ment – long continuous steep face of a ridge or plateau formed by erosion.

Little did I know I have been living near various escarpments around New York state all my life.  These escarpments are the reason for the gorges and waterfalls found around the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario.  The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment in the United States and Canada which runs predominantly east to west from New York and through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois.  Niagara Falls being the most famous geologic formation on the escarpment.

The Niagara Escarpment and other geological formations are what gives Hamilton, Ontario the nickname, City of Waterfalls.  Within the Hamilton city limits and nearby Dundas are some one hundred waterfalls.  Thirty-four of them are protected for public use by conservation groups, private ownership and the city.  A photographer I meet on Google+ who lives in Hamilton was nice enough to tour me around to eleven of the waterfalls.  Being late summer, not all the waterfalls were photographic with little to no water flowing over them.  The following photos are of the ones with good feeder streams or with enough flow to make them interesting.

Webster's Falls is the center piece of a beautiful park setting in the Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Webster’s Falls is the center piece of a beautiful park setting in the Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 360, EV 0, 58mm focal length.

22 meter (72 foot) tall Webster’s Falls is the centerpiece of a beautiful park setting in the Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area. The park has picnic pavilions, a unique Northern White Cedar BBQ pavilion, stone bridges and trails. Unfortunately, the trail to the bottom of the gorge is no longer open and we settled for photographing the waterfall from Dobson-McKee Lookout.  The Lookout is a popular place for people to photograph their parties, themselves, their families, pets, etc. Be prepared to wait.

Darnley Cascade near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Darnley Cascade near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 2s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 11mm (16.5mm DX) focal length, tripod, circular polarizer.

Darnley Cascade may only be a 4 meter (13 foot) drop but is located 225 meters (738 feet) above sea level. Making the cascade the highest waterfall in the Hamilton area.  The cascade is named after the Darnley Mill which burned in 1934.

Albion Falls is a cascading waterfall near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Albion Falls is a cascading waterfall near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm focal length.

Albion Falls is a wide 19 meter (62 foot) cascading waterfall with several terraces. A rocky climb down does not seem to stop people from visiting. Making Albion Falls very popular with the public on hot summer days. It also makes photographing the waterfall a challenge.  Remembering my earlier posts on photographing at busy tourist locations, I included some of the water worshipers visiting Albion Falls.

Tiffany Falls near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Tiffany Falls near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 5s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 11mm (16.5mm) focal length, tripod, circular polarizer, 3-stop Neutral Density filter.

Tiffany Falls is a 21 meter (69 foot) cascade waterfall in the Tiffany Falls Conservation Area. The falls are named after the area’s first doctor, Dr. Oliver Tiffany. While not a lot of water flow was at Tiffany Falls, the ravine was full of colorful rocks, a few logs and lush green vegetation.

I can imagine in the Spring or after a summer rain storm, these waterfalls are even more impressive and, the ones which were not, would be.

These waterfalls alone make Hamilton, the City of Waterfalls.

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7 Responses to City of Waterfalls

  1. Carsten says:

    Wow! Beautiful scerneries.
    The Albion falls looks as a wery good place to be if you need to escape from the worst summer heat.

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  2. Great shots and a great place to shoot Scott, the ones we have here are mostly dry but after a good rain lookout !!

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    • The brochure we were following showed photos which much more flow on the waterfalls. Thinking a drive up in the Spring would yield those kind of photos. The photos I recently took at Taughnnock Falls and Fillmore Glen were after a rain storm had large flows.

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  3. HoaiPhai says:

    Thanks, Scott. More incentive to get off my rump and shoot some of the falls almost in my backyard.

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    • Check out the link at the bottom of the post. It is basically the brochure we used with the bonus of having links to maps. Works on smartphones, too.

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      • HoaiPhai says:

        I’m well ahead of you… I hit that like a day ago and downloaded the PDF versions of the maps. Now all I have to do is figure out how to devise a day off without dentist, doctor, mechanic, or other appointments and/or social commitments so I’ll be free to got.

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