Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls: Complete Guide (2021)

One of the most spectacular things to do in the Hamilton, Ontario area is to visit some of the 150+ waterfalls and jaw-dropping lookouts atop the steep cliffs that run along the Niagara Escarpment.

At the top of your list of waterfall adventures and hikes should without a doubt be Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls. The three sites sit boldly along the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area just outside of Hamilton in the town of Dundas.

Perfect in any season, a daytrip to Dundas Peak and its neighbouring waterfalls will fulfill your sense of awe, adventure, and connection to the outdoors.

Table of Contents

What is Dundas Peak?
Where are Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls?
Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls Hours
The Falls Shuttle Bus from Christie Lake
Site 1: Tew Falls and Dundas Peak
Dundas Peak Trail
How long is the Dundas Peak hike?
Site 2: Webster Falls
How do I get to the bottom of Webster Falls?
Can you hike from Webster Falls to Dundas Peak?
How to get to Dundas Peak from Toronto
Our Wrap Up: Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls

What is Dundas Peak?

Dundas Peak is one of Hamilton’s most beautiful lookout spots along the Niagara Escarpment. It is a rocky outcropping above the Spencer Gorge that boasts stunning panoramic views of the nature and city below.

Dundas Peak Panorama

“Dundas Peak” refers to the lookout spot itself, however, it has come to be synonymous of the lookout, its neighbouring Tew Falls, and its nearby sister site of Webster Falls.

Because each of these three nearby sites offer something unique, we recommend making the point to visit all three in the same day.

Where are Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls?

Dundas Peak and Tew Falls are located in the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, which is 15 kilometers west of the city of Hamilton, in the town of Dundas. Webster Falls is also located in the conservation area, but has a separate entrance.

Dundas Peak Parking Lot

Current to March 2021, visitors to Dundas Peak and Tew Falls must park in the designated lot at the address of 581 Harvest Rd, Dundas. The cost of parking as of March 2021 is $15.50.

Note: The parking fee of $15.50 can be transferred for parking for any of the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) sites that you visit on the same day. This is all the more reason to get out and see as much as you can in one day!

Webster Falls Parking Lot

The best way to access Webster Falls is to park at the designated lot at 99 Fallsview Rd, Dundas. This is the official Hamilton Conservation Authority parking location. The cost of parking is $15.50, but your parking ticket can be transferred to multiple HCA locations for same day use.

There is also the option to pay for parking at Greensville Optimist Park (277 Brock Road, Dundas). This involves a slightly further walk to Webster Falls, by the on-road trail (on Fallsview Road).

We believe it is important to support the conservation authority who maintains the sites, and so we recommend parking at the official falls parking lot and using the transferrable parking pass to visit more sites the same day.

Note: There are multiple signs around Webster Falls and Tew Falls/Dundas Peak informing drivers that it is illegal to park along the roads. Our understanding is that there really is no “free” parking anywhere in the general vicinity of either falls, and parking illegal could land you a hefty $250 fine!

Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls Hours

Both sites of Dundas Peak/Tew Falls and Webster Falls are open everyday from sunrise to sunset.

Dundas Peak Reservations

Before visiting Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls, it is best to check whether reservation requirements are in effect. Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) required reservations from September 19-November 15, 2020, in an effort to eliminate crowding at the sites. Reservations cost an additional $10 on top of the entry fees to the park. Be sure to check whether reservations are required at the HCA website.

The Falls Shuttle Bus from Christie Lake

Prior to the spring of 2020, visitors on weekends and holidays during the peak season of April-October could only visit the peak and its falls by parking at Christie Lake Conservation Area and taking the shuttle to each site. As the state of the world continues to change, visitors during April-October should check the HCA website to see whether the shuttle has resumed its service.

Photo from the bottom of Webster Falls
Our visit to Webster Falls in 2018 using the shuttle

The cost of the shuttle service is included in the cost of admission to Christie Lake Conservation Area, which is $10 per vehicle, plus $5 per person. When the shuttle is in service, the falls parking lots are closed.

Site 1: Tew Falls and Dundas Peak

Tew Falls holds the title of being Hamilton’s tallest waterfall, with its 41-meter-tall cascade straight down into a limestone basin. The Dundas Peak Lookout offers a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area, that peaks in popularity during the fall when the leaves are changing colours. Regardless of season, Dundas Peak is worth the visit. 

Tew Falls in Spring

Dundas Peak Trail

To hike the Dundas Peak Trail to Tew Falls and the Dundas Peak lookout, your adventure begins at the Tew Falls Parking Lot. There are multiple signs directing you in the way of Tew Falls and Dundas Peak (along Tew Falls Side Trail), and warning you of caution along the cliff. The trail is often well trafficked, particularly around the various lookouts.

Dundas Peak Tew Falls Sign

Within a few short minutes of walking you will get to the first of two lookouts. 

Tew Falls lookout platform 1

From here, you will reach a set of stairs that will take you up to the second lookout.

Tew Falls lookout platform 2

Tew Falls offers beautiful views in all seasons! Of course, when there is more rainwater, the falls offer the most picturesque view, but the snow-covered icy view is arguably just as beautiful (and certainly worth weathering the cold temperatures!).

Tew Falls in Winter

After viewing Tew Falls, you can continue along the Tew Falls Side Trail which is well-marked with blue (and at some points, orange) markers. The trail to Dundas Peak is wide, and fairly easy, with some inclines that could get slippery when wet. It is not a difficult hike and is quite accessible even to people not accustomed to hiking. Good footwear with traction is a must if you’re hiking with snow or wet ground.

Tew Falls Side Trail

The Tew Falls Side Trail leads you along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment atop the canyon of the Spencer Gorge. You will find a few natural lookout spots to rest and enjoy the view before reaching the Dundas Peak lookout.

From Tews Falls to the Dundas Peak lookout, the hike takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on how quickly you walk and how long you stop to enjoy the views.

Reaching the Dundas Peak

You will know that you have reached the Dundas Peak lookout when you get an area lined with black metal fencing, leading you to a large lookout.

Walkway to Dundas Peak

If you’ve seen pictures prior to late 2020, you may have been expecting the Dundas Peak lookout to be unfenced with a short graffiti-filled brick wall that was popular for Instagram photos.

Dundas Peak before the fence was built

In 2020, this wall was removed and a metal fence was installed to line the entire peak area. This came as a way to improve safety and discourage risky (and sometimes fatal) photo-ops on the rocky edge.

While this does limit the thrill of the cliff, it is definitely better safe than sorry. Fortunately, the view is still spectacular!

Dundas Peak view in Winter

After spending time at the Dundas Peak lookout, continue on the main trail for another couple minutes.

You will then see a sign with arrows pointing left, directing you onto the Glen Ferguson Side Trail. This is the return side of the loop trail that will lead you back to Tew Falls and the parking lot.

Dundas Peak

Note: You can continue straight instead of turning left, for more of the same type of view along the escarpment. This trail eventually leads down the escarpment into the town of Dundas, but it would be illegal for you to make the trail’s eventual crossing at the CN Rail tracks (as this is not a designated public crossing of the tracks). Unfortunately, this means that turning around is your only safe and legal option.

How long is the Dundas Peak hike?

Hiking the Dundas Peak loop trail from the parking lot at Tew Falls to the Dundas Peak Lookout should take you around one and a half hours, if you stop to enjoy the views. If you are an avid hiker, you will find the trail relatively easy and you may complete the loop in an hour.

Site 2: Webster Falls

Webster Falls is Hamilton’s widest waterfalls, with a crest of 30 meters. It is completely picturesque and definitely one of the highlights among the 150+ falls that make Hamilton the “waterfall capital of the world.”

Webster Falls in Winter

The paved trail between the Webster Falls parking lot and the falls is short (about 100 meters) and is wheelchair accessible. There are beautiful stone bridges and walkways around the falls, with picnic areas and large grassy clearings.

Webster Falls in Winter

There is a short, easy loop trail along the escarpment that can be walked within minutes. This is not a site for a long hike, as the former trail connecting Webster Falls to Dundas Peak is now closed.

How do I get to the bottom of Webster Falls?

Visitors can no longer access the bottom of Webster Falls. There used to be a staircase to the bottom of the falls, however, there are now fences that prevent access below.

Webster Falls in Summer
Trickle of Webster Falls in a Dry Summer

Can you hike from Webster Falls to Dundas Peak?

Hikers used to be able to hike from Webster Falls to Tew Falls and Dundas Peak by taking the Webster Falls Side Trail, however, hiking between the two falls is no longer permitted. It is now illegal to hike the Bruce Side Trail to get from Dundas Peak to Webster Falls, as it requires crossing the CN Rail line at undesignated crossing spots. HCA authorities monitor this path and trespassing is a serious offence.

Note: The section of trail connecting Webster and Tew Falls was previously called Webster Falls Side Trail. It is now closed and the whole trail has been renamed to Tew Falls Side Trail.

How to get to Dundas Peak from Toronto

Getting to Dundas Peak from Toronto will take about an hour (if you avoid rush hour!). Take Highway 403 W towards Hamilton. Take Exit 74 (Highway 6 N) for about two minutes. Turn left onto Highway 5 (signs for Paris). Continue for about 5 minutes then make a left onto Ofield Rd S. Turn right at the first intersection, onto Harvest Rd. After about one minute you will see the entrance to the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area for visitors to Tew Falls and Dundas Peak.

Note: This is the only entrance to Tew Falls and Dundas Peak. While hikers used to be able to hike from Webster Falls to Dundas Peak, it is no longer legal to do so. Additionally, images on Google Maps for this entrance to the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area are deceiving, as they primarily show Webster Falls, which has a separate entrance.

Travelling by Public Transportation

If you don’t have access to a car or prefer to use public transit, rest assured that it is possible to access Dundas Peak without a car. It will just take a little extra planning!

If travelling from Toronto, take the GO Train/GO Bus to Hamilton. From Hamilton, you can take the HSR city bus Route 5 to Dundas. From here, you will need to walk on paved roads to get to both sites. Since this would take quite a bit of time, you might want to consider taking a taxi or an uber.

Note: It is no longer legal to hike from the base of Dundas Valley (including the town of Dundas) to Dundas Peak, as this requires crossing a CN Rail line, which is considered trespassing. It is also illegal to hike the trails to get from Dundas Peak to Webster Falls, as it also requires crossing the CN Rail line. HCA authorities monitor this path and trespassing is a serious offence.

Tew Falls in the Summer

Day Tour to Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls

If you’re looking to book a tour, Parkbus offers a daytrip from Toronto to the three sites of Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls, via Christie Lake Conservation Area in Dundas. Visitors will use the shuttle service that operates from Christie Lake to see each site.

Note: Current to March 2021 Parkbus and the shuttle service from Christie Lake have been suspended until further notice.

Our Wrap Up: Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls

If you find yourself in the Hamilton area with a few hours to spare, we highly recommend strapping on your hiking shoes and visiting these three, beautiful sister sites.

This site would also be complimented by a visit to the many other spectacular waterfalls and mountaintop views that you can find along Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment. Remember to keep your parking pass for free same day access to other HCA locations!

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    3 thoughts on “Dundas Peak, Tew Falls and Webster Falls: Complete Guide (2021)”

    1. Pingback: 33 Exciting Day Trips from London, Ontario for All Seasons - Everywhere Ontario

    2. Seriously gorgeous!!! It is incredible there can be this many waterfalls in one city! Thanks so much for sharing, excited to check out more of these waterfalls for our next Hamilton visit!

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