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Borer's Falls

Today we hiked the Borer’s Falls/Rock Chapel trails. Its 2.3km (4.6km return). This is my 3rd time walking this trail and I wanted to share with my friend. But from the very first time, I fell in love with this trail. Not only do I get a good cardio workout, but there’s so many fun and exciting things to see and discover. And I can experience solitude and inner peace.

Take Hwy 403, exit on Aberdeen Road. Turn left on Longwood, then left on Main St W. Continue past McMaster University Children’s Hospital, turn right onto Cootes Dr. Follow Cootes Dr,  then turn right unto Olympic Dr. Follow Olympic Dr which turns into York Rd. Just as you pass under the railroad tracks park on the left at Borer’s Dog Park.

Our walk begins towards the south west side of the parking lot with the Ray Lowes side trail. We headed north and started the climb up the escarpment until we got to the Bruce trail intersection. To our right the trail continued towards Valley Road, and to our left it continued up the escarpment to Borer’s Falls. Once we reached the top we followed the signs to Borer’s Falls whose source is Borer’s creek. There is a small lookout point from which we can view the falls.

From the falls we proceeded to Rock Chapel Sanctuary which is owned and managed by Royal Botanical Garden (RBG) Hamilton. Along the escarpment  trail we came upon an old abandoned Sugar shack where Maple Syrup was made many years ago. Just opposite the sugar shack is a wooden platform. Here was another great view overlooking the escarpment, I could see the Burlington Skyway from here. Next to this platform was a few picnic tables with benches. We met 2 women on the trail walking their dogs, they stopped to chit chat with us, and upon inquiry, they told us that many years ago RBG made pancakes and Maple syrup and served here every Sunday.

We said our goodbyes and continued along over a wooden/concrete bridge which was built over the Sugar Shack Falls. This was dried up by the way. We got to the end of the trail which continued onto a residential street. We turned around and on our way back, took the Rock Chapel Loop trail to the parking lot, and then back down the escarpment. It was a wonderful morning walk. I felt alive and free.


Borer’s Falls also known as Rock Chapel Falls is a 15 metres high, 5 metres wide ribbon – style falls that has a year round flow. With more than 100 years of history, the falls originally powered the Rock Chapel village Sawmill, which was run by the Borer’s family. However, after years of land clearing, the creek’s flow was altered and could no longer provide sufficient energy to power the mill. The family then switched to steam power for the mill.

Did you know?

Ray Lowes is the founder of the Bruce Trail. This trail is 850km long. It starts at the Queenston Heights Park in Niagara Falls, and ends in Tobermory. It is North America’s longest volunteer maintained footpath. Mr. Lowes passed away in 2007.

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