Hamilton, Ontario: City of Waterfalls and Dog Fun

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Spring, fall, summer and even a mild Sunday winter afternoon, are the best times to check out the Waterfall Capital of the World with dogs in tow, as we did with both Sasha and Victor in December 2014.

(Note: This post was updated April 7, 2022)

And we weren’t alone. Despite on-leash rules (yes, really) we passed at least a dozen others letting the dogs run free, and no wildlife was harmed during the making of this walk.

Where the dog-friendly waterfall hikes in Hamilton, Ontario?

Hamilton, Ontario has re-branded itself as ‘The Waterfall City,’ listing more than 100 natural falls within the extended boundaries of a city closely associated with steel production and the Hamilton Tiger Cats CFL football team.

Check out the dogtrotting.net complete guide to Hamilton, Ontario with your dog here.

But thanks to an enthusiastic marketing effort, more information about scenic opportunities in The City by The Bay are being widely distributed, and this includes a guide, produced by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, featuring ten clearly identified and groomed walking/hiking trails. Check out the guide here.

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Sasha looking for Victor

Many of these paths overlap or hook up with the well-marked (with white lines on trees) Bruce Trail (a 725-kilometre footpath extending from Niagara Falls to Tobermory and founded by Hamilton’s Ray Lowes).

Some trails meander off the beaten path to take walkers past many of the boasted about waterfalls, including Webster’s, Tews (the highest at 41 metres) and the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. The latter can be driven to from Ridge Road in Hamilton because the 2.5 km Battlefield Creek Walk, starting in Stoney Creek, is the only of the ten hikes ranked ‘difficult.’ It’s largely uphill (though a rewarding accomplishment and the dogs love it).

The Devil’s Punchbowl is a 37-metre majestic ribbon of water pouring into a circular stone formation created by the swirling action of glacial melt water thousands of years ago.

The Easy Dog-friendly Trails in Hamilton

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Canterbury Falls in Ancaster, Ontario

Three of the ten hikes – Crooks Hollow Heritage Walk in Flamborough, Scenic Iroquoia Walk in Ancaster and Felker’s Falls on East Hamilton Mountain – are listed as easy, which means the trails include hard-packed earth, pavement and sometimes stairs, and can be easily walked while the dogs lead the way.

Although the Ancaster Village Waterfall Walk, which starts near the Ancaster Old Mill Inn, is listed as moderate in difficulty, we easily transversed the hard-packed gravel route along the Heritage Trail from the Old Dundas Road parking lot to Canterbury Falls – which is shallow and slow moving enough for the dogs to wet their feet.

Dog-friendly Devil’s Punchbowl in Hamilton

Victor and Sasha, of course, loved the walk along both the Ancaster Village Waterfall trail and uphill to the Devil’s Punchbowl (where Hamilton residents are less intense about rules). Although there are signs at the entrance of each trail indicating dogs should be kept on leash, few are especially the friendly and curious ones.

Rocky crags and cool water streams (some waterfalls are little more than trickles during some times of the year) make for great canine exploration. Wooden bridges make crossing over waterways easy for everyone, yet our four-legged buddies opted to scramble under.  (Checkout out our other Waterfall Trail experience at Albion Falls here).

Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research.


  1. […] km if you do the entire thing, which I haven’t. I did start with the shorter section – called Heritage Trail which starts near the Ancaster Old Mill Inn. This trail is listed as moderate in difficulty and […]

  2. […] out Hamilton’s list of waterfall trails and our previous hiking adventure in Ancaster. Or, if you prefer art, check out Hamilton’s SuperCrawl Arts […]

  3. […] out other Hamilton hikes and waterfalls adventures […]

  4. […] out other Hamilton hikes and waterfalls adventures […]

  5. […] dog-friendly adventures. Three dogtrotting.net has left paw prints through are Albion Falls, the Ancaster Village Waterfall and Devil’s Punchbowl, starting at Battlefield Creek heritage site. Our complete ‘Dog-friendly […]

  6. This was the exact information i was looking for. Thank you very much. My dog is going to love it.

  7. […] small list of Dog-friendly trails to explore this summer for Southern Ontario, as well as in just Hamilton. When adventuring, always remember to stick to the trails, and keep in mind that dogs can be more […]

  8. […] about other dog-friendly outdoor adventures nearby in Hamilton here. Also, Port Burwell has a doggie beach. Check it […]

  9. […] Ontario, west of Toronto) and follow the hard-packed gravel trails from the parking lot on Old Dundas Road through the forest to Canterbury Falls (about one hour walk) …  or beyond if you want to see […]

  10. […] Like San Antonio? Let us know in the comments sections. Then checkout another post about Hamilton trails. […]

  11. […] For more about Victor’s recent adventures, click here. […]

  12. I love hikes that have waterfalls. This looks like a lovely place!

    1. If you’re ever in the Hamilton, Ontario area I do recommend the climbing up to see the Devil’s Punchbowl – large, strange almost complete circle of rock with a tall narrow waterfalls running out of it.

  13. Oh, we love hiking with our pups! Victor & Sasha must have been in heaven 🙂

    1. Victor (the little black one) loves, loves to smell stuff so he was very happy. Sasha spends her time following him around. She’s crazy about him.

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