DeCew Falls

This breathtaking waterfall near Niagara will freeze over later this winter

Ontario's Niagara region is home to some of the most beautiful year-round hikes, many of which are blessed with rushing waterfalls and breathtaking views along the Niagara Escarpment.

With the deep freeze of winter upon us, a lot of these waterfalls are soon to transform into spectacular formations of frozen ice, and are a stunning sight to see.

Located out in St. Catharines, DeCew Falls is a gem hidden away from the nearby tourist areas of Niagara Falls. These falls completely freeze over in the winter and look like an idyllic winter postcard, complete with the bright red antique mill that sits above the falls.

The Morningstar Mill is a working grist mill and the only water-operated mill in the Niagara Region. Founded in 1872, it is also one of the first milling operations to be performed by a water-powered turbine. In the warmer months, you're welcome to go inside and take a tour of the mill for free.

Below the mill, you'll find the 72 ft tall waterfalls. The falls are located on the DeCew Creek, which flows into the Welland River.

The falls are made up of three main sections: Upper DeCew Falls, Middle DeCew Falls, and Lower DeCew Falls. Upper DeCew Falls is the highest and most dramatic of the three falls, with a drop of approximately 40 feet. The Upper Falls are what you see from the Morningstar Mill.

Middle DeCew Falls is a smaller, cascading waterfall that flows over a series of rocky ledges. Lower DeCew Falls is the lowest and widest of the falls, with the calmest and serene setting.

If you're planning to visit DeCew Falls, there is a free parking lot and no admission fee. Be mindful of the icy conditions and remember to stay on the dedicated hiking path.

Initially, this article suggested you might be able to hike to the frozen falls. However, we have since become aware of the dangers of going off-trail at DeCew Falls and urge anyone visiting to stay on the blazed trail for safety. 

Lead photo by

HOJ Endo


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