Adventure seekers, this one is for you! Ontario is blessed with several natural wonders and some are even located in your neck of the woods. The Devil’s Punchbowl at Hamilton Conservation Authority is more than just a name, it’s a sight worth seeing and we’re here to tell you why.
Located west, less than an hour and a half away from Toronto, is the Devil’s Punchbowl. If you love chasing waterfalls, the real kind, of course, then you’ll be pleased to find two within the punchbowl – Upper and Lower Punchbowl Falls.
According to the Hamilton Conservation Authority, the Lower Falls is a 5.5-metre classical waterfall, and the main Upper Falls is a 33.8-metre ribbon waterfall.
“The Devil’s Punchbowl is one of the Niagara Escarpment’s most amazing sights, created at the end of the last ice age by huge melt-water rivers that plunged over the Stoney Creek Escarpment, thus carving the Punchbowl and gorge.”
As you inspect the natural wonder and its almost bottomless gorge, you can see the many different coloured rock layers of the Escarpment.
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The Punchbowl is actually the only area where you can see the “large vertical display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rock,” according to the HCA.
“Some of the layers include Queenston Formation red shale, Cabot Head grey shale, limestone, and shale dolomite.”
From here, you can also get a great view of Stoney Creek and Hamilton Harbour. Perfect photo op!
If you’re an avid hiker, the 11.5 km Dofasco 2000 Trail starts here. It features a boardwalk that goes through “the largest intact deciduous swamp in the City of Hamilton,” the Vinemount Swamp.
There are a few important things to note before you embark on your trip. You are not allowed to access the bottom of the waterfall or cross the protective fence along the escarpment and scale the cliffs to reach the bottom.
“Access to the lower escarpment is only accessible via the Bruce Trail Devil’s Punchbowl Side Trail,” according to the HCA.
Visitors are required to hike down a section of Ridge Road before going down the escarpment to connect to the main trail.
Parking is $8.00 per day but it’s free with an HCA Membership Pass. Ad if you’re interested in a pass, click here.
The Hamilton Conservation Area is open from sunrise to sunset all year round.
Where: 185 Ridge Road, Stoney Creek, ON