• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

118-1867_IMG_hermitagefalls86Hermitage Falls

Hermitage Falls (Rating=B) is a small Hamilton area classical cascade waterfall measuring 4 m in height as Hermitage Creek drops over the escarpment.


Hermitage Falls is located in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. A pay parking lot is located on Sulphur Springs Road in Ancaster (Hamilton) near where this road meets Mineral Springs Road. A hydro line is nearby for reference.
Falls Type: complex cascade   Falls facing: N
Falls Latitude: N43.23637    Longitude: W79.99804    
Height: 4 m    Width: 2.5 m
Click on the Road Map button below for a Google map and directions. The Falls Locator button shows a map of other waterfalls in the area.


It is just 20 m to the waterfalls behind the Hermitage Gatehouse building. Click on the Trail Map button below for area walking trails.


Overall Rating: Hermitage Falls = B

Waterflow: A -year round flow but greatly reduced in summer
Falls Size:  C - > 15 m -very small
Aesthetics: A -nice location, park-like setting, good close viewpoint

Nearby Falls

Heritage Falls, Canterbury Falls, Sherman Falls, Mill Falls.

  TRAILMAP trailmap
   ROADMAP road
   LOCATOR hamilton region waterfalls


hermitage-fallsThe falls has a crest of 2.5 -3 m and while it has year-round flow, the amount of water is relatively small. To see the waterfall, walk from the parking lot to behind the Hermitage Gatehouse. The falls is to your right and you are viewing the falls from the top.

The property was originally purchased by Otto Ives in 1833. George Gordon Browne Leith purchased the Hermitage in 1855. The main Hermitage building was a spectacular mansion with a magnificent dining room, drawing room, library, and main entrance. It was furnished in opulent fashion with great pieces of art and high-end furniture.  Leigh spent a small fortune to upgrade the place. His daughter Alma bought the place from the family after his death in 1901 and lived there until 1934. That was when a fire broke out during a party and the house burned to the ground. Today all that is left is the ruins with a few braced standing sections of walls and a few small out-buildings along with the Gatehouse right by the falls. Today the gatehouse is open for viewing on some summer weekends.

One of the main draws of this old property is the legend of the property being haunted. There are ghost tours run throughout the summer with the tour guides telling haunted stories of the land and the surrounding country.Nearby is also the Griffin House which I was able to view inside on Doors Open in 2008. Public visits are available holiday Mondays from May to October for a small admission charge. The inside is remarkably well preserved and restored and it's spaciousness is surprising with two floors and a basement. The structure doesn't seem that large from the outside. The Griffin House is located up the hill off Mineral Springs Road where it overlooks Dundas valley to the north. The house shows the stamina and perseverance of the black African-Americans who fled slavery in the United States and escaped to Canada for their freedom. The house, owned by George Hodgeboom, was sold to Enerals Griffin in 1834. Mr Griffin was born into slavery in the USA and escaped into Canada through the Underground Railroad. The Griffin descendants lived in the house until they sold it to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority in 1988.


Bruce Trail, Headwaters Trail, Griffin House Trail, Hermitage Gatehouse Trail, Homestead Trail. For a map of area trails, click on the Trail Map icon above.

hermitage_148_4886_23From the pay parking lot, the Hermitage Falls is behind the Hermitage Gatehouse to the right. To visit the Hermitage ruins, head straight ahead past the gatehouse to meet the Bruce Trail. Turn left on the Bruce Trail and follow the white blazes on trees. Continue on past the start of the Headwaters Trail. Upon meeting a private rd, the trail turns right and takes you to the hermitage ruins straight ahead. The distance is about 0.5 km.

You can visit Griffin House by leaving the parking lot and walking right on Sulphur Springs Road. At the road intersection, keep left on Mineral Springs Road. Partway up the hill by the large hydro tower, you will see a sign and a path on the right leading uphill to the griffin House. This distance is less than 0.5 km. To visit Heritage Falls, head to the back of the Griffin House and head downhill and to the right towards the large tree. There is a local path here that leads out to the Homestead Trail. Continue ahead on the Homestead Trail until it crosses a branch of Sulphur creek passing under the roadway in a metal culvert. To your left in the woods is Heritage Falls.


 L09F Dundas Valley Ancaster Waterfalls


warningIt is possible to cross over the fence and scramble down the slope to the base of the Falls without too much difficulty -although the rocks may be slippery.


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