Hamilton may be the waterfall capital of Canada yet further up the Niagara Escarpment in Owen Sound, there are many spectacular waterfalls worth visiting. From the popular Inglis Falls to the lesser-known ones in Harrison Park, Owen Sound offers a range of waterfall hikes that can fill a day or a weekend.
You might think spring is the best time for seeing waterfalls; however, in the colder weather, there is still loads to appreciate here. If you’re lucky enough to get snow embrace the adventure and remember to pack appropriate footwear and slow down your pace. Trust us, it’ll be worth it for the views.
Best waterfalls to explore in Owen Sound
Inglis Falls is considered to be one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the region, and for good reason. This 18-metre waterfall is part of a 7km loop on the Bruce Trail. From the rushing spring falls to the frozen icicles in the winter, there are many photo-worthy views here.
Visiting the falls is ideal in the winter as the trails are less busy and the parking is free. The one-minute walk is easy yet doing the full counter-clockwise loop along the Inglis Falls Trail. This trail leads you through impressive forests and across a range of bridges.
As you hike you might come across some great climbing walls, hidden tree forts, and fresh green moss peaking out from the snowy ground. Don’t rush this walk, it’s a magical one where you will feel quite small amidst the towering rocks and trees.
Weaver’s Creek Falls
Weaver’s Creek Falls are located inside Harrison Park, one of Owen Sound’s best places to visit. The falls are located at the south end of the park along a 5km hiking trail (out and back). These falls might not be as majestic as Inglis yet they are a must-visit when in the park.
The falls are technically on private land but can be explored by a city-built boardwalk after hiking through the park. Exploring more of the park is well worth it too.
Harrison Park itself is filled with a range of hiking trails that also lead you to Inglis Falls or Owen Sound’s tallest point – the Centennial Tower. Built for Canada’s Centennial in 1969, this tower overlooks the city and harbour.
The park also offers a skating rink, sledding and snowshoe trails for those exploring this winter. There is also a year-round restaurant called Harrison Park Inn. The Inn offers a wide menu range from soups and salads to heartier burgers and mains to enjoy at the end of your hike.
Located a ten-minute drive from downtown Owen Sound and just off of Highway 6, Jones Falls offers great views and nice hikes. The 12-metre-high cascading falls are a part of the Pottawatomi River within the Pottawatomi Conservation Area.
You’ll arrive and climb a sturdy yet very open metal bridge over the falls before heading into the forest to hike. There are 5km of trails here along the Bruce Trail that take you away from the falls. It is worth taking the marked side trail down the escarpment to the bottom of the falls to experience its true beauty.
Indian Falls is located just north of Owen Sound. The falls are a horseshoe shape created through rock erosion in a similar way to Niagara Falls. Though only 15 metres high, these falls offer gorgeous cascading views a short, yet steep, hike from the parking lot. The whole route is about 1 km.
Indian Falls is named for the local Newash Ojibwe who once lived in the area. These falls are closed in the winter due to safety and open again in May.
Where to eat when in town
The European Bakery for a meal or some delicious baked goods to take on a hike is worth a visit. Consider some of their pre-made meals or food baskets to go. At the very least grabbing a coffee and a box full of their treats is a must.
If local breweries are your thing consider Mudtown Station. The brewery offers food made from scratch with local ingredients paired with a range of beers. The location itself is a lovely restored train station turned into the first brewery in the area since prohibition was repealed in 1972.
If you’re in the mood for live music, consider Jazzmyn’s downtown. Offering live sets on Friday and Saturday nights along with a full menu.
How to make a weekend out of the adventure
Although you could technically visit every waterfall in a day, consider staying the night to enjoy the Festival of Northern Lights happening from November 18 to January 7 in Harrison Park.
If you’re looking for a place beyond the typical hotel scene consider The Highland Manor Inn. The Inn offers large traditional Victorian rooms with a full breakfast. If you’re visiting the area in the summer, camping at Harrison Park is also a possibility on the other end of the budget.