Decew Falls

Decew Falls is where to swim next to a waterfall in Ontario

Decew Falls is the perfect road trip for waterfall lovers less than 90 minutes from Toronto.

Update: Decew Falls is temporarily closed for swimming.

Situated along the Niagara Escarpment in St. Catharines, it's an ideal spot to explore year-round. It's home to two main waterfalls and tons of hiking trails nearby.

The main waterfall, Upper Decew Falls, has a large ribbon plunge, and Lower Decew Falls has a smaller, steep cascade just below.

Upper Decew Falls is the main attraction though, with a 22-meter drop, and best viewed from the top next to the Morningstar Mill- a fully restored 1872 grist mill.

The area around the Morningstar Mill has a pioneer village-like feel to it with a 1920s cottage garden, Miller's House, Blacksmith Shop, and the Mill itself, which has been a designated provincial building of significant heritage.

There is also access to the Bruce Trail near the falls, with plenty of paths to choose from depending on length and difficulty. For example, you can easily follow the main trail west into Short Hills Provincial Park, a Carolinian forest home to Swayze Falls.

When hiking near Decew Falls, remember to take caution and beware of slippery or falling rocks, and don't ignore the signs. There have been a few major accidents here over the years.

In the summer, the falls has also become incredibly popular for people wanting to take a dip and shoot that perfect Instagram. Although it's legal to get to the base of the falls using marked trails to go swimming, it's illegal to jump a fence to get there. Be careful but have fun!

Lead photo by

tylerjmcdermott


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