Heritage Falls (Rating=C) is a classical cascade 3.5 m high and 2.5 m wide as a branch of Sulphur Creek drops down the Niagara Escarpment.
Heritage Falls is located in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. The nearest 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.
Falls Type: classical cascade Falls facing: N
Falls Latitude: N43.24015 Longitude: W80.00376
Height: 2.5 m Width: 8 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 poor. Park in the pay lot off Sulphur Springs Road at Hermitage Falls and hike a few trails to reach the falls. It's a 1 km walk to this small falls. The falls is not wheelchair accessible. Click on the Trail Map button below for area walking trails.ToHi RATING
Overall Rating: Heritage Falls = C
Waterflow: C -peak storm flow; branch of Sulphur Creek is dry from late spring to late fall
Falls Size: C - < 15 m
Aesthetics: A -substantial deep gorge, pretty and wooded surroundings, very quiet
Hermitage Falls, Canterbury Falls, Mill Falls, Sherman Falls.
THE HERITAGE FALLS AREA:
The waterfall is sometimes known as Griffin Falls because Enerals Griffin bought the 50 acres from George Hogeboom in 1830. Mr Griffin was born into slavery in the USA and escaped into Canada through the Underground Railroad. The Griffin descendants lived in the house on the property until they sold it to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority in 1988.
The Griffin House, which I was able to view inside on Doors Open in 2008, has public visits on 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.
Nearby is Hermitage Falls. This 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.
HERITAGE FALLS AREA WALKING TRAILS:
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. 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, easily missed in the woods, is Heritage Falls.
From 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 road, the trail turns right and takes you to the Hermitage ruins straight ahead. The distance is about 0.5 km.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS ONLY:You can find a gradual slope to descend further down the ravine edge to view the falls lower down. it is quite rocky and slippery so some scrambling will be necessary.
HIKES VISITING THIS FALLS: