• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

IMG_HiltonFalls86Hilton Falls

Hilton Falls (Rating=B) is a quite pretty classical plunge waterfall in Halton where Sixteen Mile Creek drops 10 m over the escarpment. It has a crest of 6 m.


Hilton Falls is located in Campbellville, Ontario in the Hilton Falls CA and is operated by Conservation Halton. This is a pay parking lot. From Highway 401, take Highway 25 north to 5 Side Road (Campbellville Road). Go west on 5 Side Road for 5 km to the park entrance.
Falls Type: classical plunge   Falls facing: S
Falls Latitude: N43.50945 Longitude: W79.97915
Height: 10 m Width: 6 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.


Access is moderate by hiking along a network of trails on a 5.3 km loop. I believe it's wheelchair accessible with some effort as the trail is undulating. Click on the Trail Map button below for area walking trails.


Overall Rating: Hilton Falls = B

Waterflow:B -seasonal flow
Falls Size: B - < 15 m
Aesthetics: A -nice setting and observation platform with a staircase to the base of the falls

Nearby Falls

Grindstone Creek Falls, Borer's Falls, Cataract Falls, Elora Gorge Falls.

  TRAILMAP trailmap
   ROADMAP road
   LOCATOR central region waterfalls


hilton-fallsLower observation areaThe Hilton Falls Conservation Area is a natural environment park that is 1592 acres in size with 15.5 km of nature trails. The park includes unique geological features, extensive forests, a water control reservoir and a beautiful 10 m waterfall that cascades over the Niagara Escarpment. The conservation area has a significant natural habitat for numerous plants and wildlife.

Two tributaries of Sixteen Mile Creek wind their way through the wooded and rocky landscape. Significant plant species include walking fern, small-fruited bur-reed and yellow lady’s slipper. Besides over 100 species of birds, the area supports a large population of white-tailed deer as well as mammals such as the northern flying squirrel, beaver, porcupines and the American water shrew. Four species of salamanders can be found in the wetland pools making this one of the few areas in North America where all four can be found together.

A pothole is located near the side trail just before reaching Hilton Falls. There are much larger ones in the area that have not been excavated. A plaque erected by the Niagara Escarpment Commission states the pothole was drilled into the rock by water currents when the glaciers melted, and mentions "loose stones being spun around by the force of water flowing over the Escarpment at this point" but this does not make sense according to some geologists. The potholes must have formed some other way.

The area was named after Edward Hilton, the first of a number of pioneers who build and operated a mill at the base of Hilton Falls. Burned down around 1863, the ruined mill is still evident at the base of the falls. Other scenic features include part of a spectacular Escarpment outcrop, Halton Forest, extensive beaver meadows and a 14-hectare water reservoir. There are also numerous cycling trails.


Bruce Trail, Hilton Falls ST, Red Oak Trail, Beaverdam Trail. For a map of area trails, click on the Trail Map icon above.

hilton-fallsFor a 5.3 km loop hike, from the visitor’s centre, the trail enters a rocky area and gradually climbs upwards. At the first T-intersection (Point A) go left and follow the wide gravel trail as it winds through the forest. At Point C, continue on straight ahead. The trail winds gracefully through the forest arriving at a Bruce Trail side trail. Go left and follow this side trail. Soon the Bruce Trail crosses another one of the Hilton Falls trails but continue on the marked side trail with the blue blazes straight ahead into the woods. The trail now enters a pine forest carpeted in pine needles but rocky and nears the edge of the Escarpment. By now you can hear the roar of Hilton Falls up ahead. Soon you will see a dry well with a sign outlining its geological formation.

The trail continues ahead along the Escarpment until you reach Hilton Falls. Here you will find picnic tables and a BBQ as well as a staircase down to the bottom of the Falls. There is also a good viewing platform above the crest of the falls. The falls are created by a branch of Sixteen Mile Creek pouring over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. Early settlers saw the potential of the falls. Between 1835 and 1867, three separate sawmills were built over the falls. None lasted long either being abandoned or burnt down.

Leaving Hilton Falls, continue to follow the Hilton Falls Side Trail. The trail moves away from the river and climbs a hill showered with rocks all the way up. The rocks continue along the path for some distance. The trail now descends down into a wet swampy area with somewhat of a dam partway across the small creek. Some logs in the lower area enable you to keep dry if you cross this wet area with care. Once across the wet area there is a very rocky cliff face about 4 m high with a relatively easy climb to the top. The trail becomes laden with flat rocks as it winds through the woods and crosses a small creek with some branches and rocks enabling an easy crossing. Numerous beds of white trilliums in bloom carpet the area in Spring.

The trail comes to a turn and another wet area and follows along a rusty fence. The trail comes out at one of the wide Hilton Falls main trails. Here we leave the side trail (which continues straight ahead) and turn left to follow this main trail. Soon you will arrive at point F where a map of the area can be seen. To return to the parking lot, head south along the wide trail that connects with the Red Oak Trail. Turn left and follow this new trail. Soon you will come to a cascade falls where the water often overflows the trail as the water plunges down into the Hilton Falls Reservoir. This is a very interesting area with some good views all around. Just before this point there is a blue-blazed trail that heads along this flow and climbs to the escarpment top. This is a very nice walk on the more wild side that heads back to the parking lot. For a longer hike, add the northern Beaverdam Trail loop to the hike. This will add another 5 km to the walk length. For an even longer hike, see Hilton Falls in the Hike section.


warningYou don't have to be very adventurous to walk down the metal staircase at Hilton Falls to the base of the falls. But you might want to climb over the fence to get a better photo. It is also not too difficult to descend the cascade flowing into the reservoir. Descending on the west side is easiest but it is rocky with large boulders. Still I had no trouble doing it.


 L51F Hilton Falls Conservation Area


Share a comment, photo or experience about the above article in the comment box below.
For other posts, please use our Members Blog. Login at top of each page.

Comments (0)
There are no comments posted here yet
tohi winter footer 1200x100b