There is nothing quite like hearing the soothing sound of a waterfall growing louder as you approach, being overcome with wonder as you reach the end of the path and get your first peak, or feeling both small and powerful as you move closer to let the water dance through your fingers and toes. And that is why a few months ago I decided to make it my mission to visit all the waterfalls. Since I do a lot of repetitive long drives, changing up the route for a waterfall hunt here and there made my journeys a great deal more enjoyable; while I obviously have not been able to see them all, I have had some fantastic adventures so far!
“Run wild and free like a waterfall.” – Anamika Mishra
I have to give a shout-out to GoogleMaps: I literally typed in “waterfalls near me” and it brought me directly to phenomenal places that I never would have found otherwise (not an ad, I’m just amazed by technology sometimes). And so the Great Waterfall Hunt of 2019 began.
The first waterfall, the one that spurred on the drive to find the others, I found on my way to Barrie. The trail at Hatchery Falls begins with a quiet and serene walk right along the side of the river, surrounded by trees and rocks and the beauty of nature. After about ten minutes of hiking I came upon this beauty and spent some time allowing it to take over my senses, filling me with peace and wonder.
After the wonderful experience I had at Hatchery, I was super pumped to find some more falls and went on the hunt the very next day! These ones were all in the Muskokas (cottage country in Ontario for those who are unfamiliar with the area). First was High Falls, which was right at the end of the road. Luckily, though, I decided to hike the trail instead of getting back in my car because around the bend I found this…
Wilson’s Falls was next on my stop, having a beautiful secluded trail to follow along the side and plenty of rocks for me to perch myself right among the rapids.
Driving with the windows down to my next destination, I got a hint of that wonderful sound I was coming to know so well, and pulled over to find this perfect spot. Could you imagine living in that house, coming out every day to this view?!
Last for the day, but definitely not least, was Rosseau Falls. Tallest of all the waterfalls I had found so far and with many ways to access its splendor from all angles, I spent a good chunk of time just feeling free and absorbing it all. Unfortunately the rain got too intense to continue exploring so I had to give up, but not for long…
I ended up at Onaping Falls completely unplanned; I was actually on my way to an event taking place downtown but something was calling and pulled me here, and boy am I glad! This place definitely had my favourite hiking trail of all the waterfalls I have visited so far; it was extremely picturesque and slightly difficult, adding to the fun.
I have an awesome friend who goes on random adventures with me, one of which brought us to this creepy but beautiful spot where we scaled a steep rocky cliff to get the perfect view of Nairn Falls.
Many of our drives take us past Hamilton, so Cooper and I decided to finally stop and see one of the many waterfalls we have heard are in that area. We were short on time so could only choose one, and luckily Tiffany Falls was that one. At the end of another beautiful path, these falls sit over a shallow creek that we waded through so we were able to stand right under the waterfall! I can’t explain how much this added to the experience: it was absolutely thrilling, and Cooper was so excited he couldn’t contain himself. “I can’t believe we stood under a real waterfall!!!!”
High Park. In some ways the universe is just randomly bringing me together with waterfalls. After spending a fabulous evening in Toronto with my Mom I asked for recommendations of places to visit before heading home. My adventure friend Melissa knew exactly what I was looking for and suggested High Park. If you’ve never been there I highly recommend it (no pun intended), and if you have then you know that there are so many twists and turns and different routes to take you would have no idea where you’re going to end up if you’re not familiar with the place. So I’m walking along randomly turning left and right, exploring seemingly secret hidden paths, when I hear that familiar sound. I followed it over an adorable little bridge and there it was.
After relaxing there for a while I continued around the same path to find this other spot just a few moments away.
After an annual camping trip with my girlfriends, a couple of us took the back way to a concert in Toronto to find this place! Sure there were signs warning us of the dangers, but we couldn’t resist getting right up close!
Most recently a friend brought me to this perfectly named place, Paradise Lagoon. Just a short hike to reach this spot, but it doesn’t end there! Go up a little higher and you find a completely calm lagoon and two mini-falls that flow to the bigger one. Down a little lower and you find the falls continue to cascade on a spectacular twisting route over rocks and under tree branches with perfect spots to rest spattered everywhere.
So there you have it, all that I have discovered in the Great Waterfall Hunt of 2019. I have greatly enjoyed my journeys and am looking forward to chasing waterfalls all over the world 🙂 If you know of any must-see waterfalls, please share in the comments below!