Ontario is home to some breathtaking natural wonders, including some stunning waterfalls. A day of adventure awaits walking along beautiful woodland trails and admiring these awe-inspiring sites. Although most of these waterfalls are visible in some way by trail, bridge or road, if you really want a spectacular photo, you may get the best shot by canoeing into the open river. Whether you’re capturing the moments on camera or just enjoying being present, strap on your hiking shoes and check out these gorgeous natural and man-made waterfalls, some of which might just be right in your backyard…ok, not literally, but pretty close!
1. Bala Falls, Muskoka Lakes, Bala
2. McCrae Lake Bridge and Waterfalls, Georgian Bay, Honey Harbour
3. Bell Falls, Waubaushene
4. High Falls & Little High Falls, Bracebridge
5. Whites Falls, Port Severn
6. Ragged Falls, Just South of Algonquin Park
7. Lower Rosseau Falls, Port Carling
8. Bridal Veil Falls, Manitoulin Island
9. Hog’s Back Falls, Ottawa
10. Stubbs Falls, Huntsville
11. Hamilton Waterfall Circuit
Where: Muskoka Lakes, Bala
Features: The Bala region is a well-known and popular location in cottage country. It is most famously known for the Kee to Bala and the Bala cranberry marshes. Visitors can marvel at the beautiful waterfalls flowing over the rocky shoal into Bala Bay, part of the Muskoka Lakes, then stop for lunch at the Bala Falls pub. This beautiful natural wonder has been the highlight of movements over recent years to “Save the Bala Falls” due to the proposed build of a hydro plant which would use the current of the Bala Falls to produce energy. To date, this project has not flourished and the falls remain as a beautiful sight to enjoy.
Where: Georgian Bay, Honey Harbour
Features: McCrae Lake is nestled conveniently off Highway 400 to the north-east point of Honey Harbour and is one of the subsidiary lakes connecting to Georgian Bay. The McCrae Lake Conservation trail winds through the beautiful forest leading to an eagles nest observation area. Highlights of this lake region include the McCrae Lake Rapids as well as the McCrae Lake bridge and waterfall. Although this waterfall is one of the smaller scale sights, it’s beauty still ranks high on the visual appeal scale with water flowing over a rocky landscape.
Features: Bell Falls is well known for its beautiful campground situated on 20 acres of picturesque woodland. Open from the May long weekend to Thanksgiving, visitors can enjoy seasonal stays or short camping visits. The campground is bordered by the Sturgeon River and the flowing waters over Bell Falls. If you are looking for a place to stay, play, hike and sightsee, then Bell Falls is the place to visit!
Features: Ranked number four out of 42 attractions to see in Bracebridge by TripAdvisor, High Falls offers a spectacular sight for a day of hiking or picnicking. Located just off of Highway 11, High Falls is easily accessible for a quick visit or a whole-day adventure. The highlight of these falls is the rapid rush of water flowing over a rocky boulder cascade.
While checking out High Falls, make it a day trip to explore numerous other waterfall sites within the Bracebridge region! This beautiful town is home to Trethewey Falls off Hwy 118, the Hana Chute and Muskoka Falls off Morrow Drive and Highway 11, Wilson’s Falls connecting to the Flynn Rapids, and none other than the Bracebridge Falls in downtown Bracebridge.
Where: Port Severn
Features: Located off Muskoka Rd 34 within the Gloucester Pool, White’s Falls is Port Severn’s natural attraction beauty. To control water levels in Six Mile Lake, a dam was created at the top of the falls. Although this restricts large flows, the cascading waterfall is still a wonder to see.
Where: Just south of Algonquin Park
Features: Algonquin Park is the oldest Provincial Park in Canada and one of Ontario’s most well-known nature reserves. Currently, Algonquin park encompasses 7,653 square kilometres of dense forests, lakes and rivers. If you are planning a drive-through, day trip, camping or canoeing adventure at Algonquin Park this summer, be sure to stop and check out the Ragged Falls just south of the park. These falls flow into the Oxtongue River, one of the most prominent rivers flowing through the park alongside Highway 60.
Where: Port Carling
Features: The Rosseau River features two waterfalls flowing into Lake Rosseau, just downstream from Four Mile Point Road. The larger and more picturesque of the two is the Lower Falls located below a bridge on Rosseau Lake Road Three. The bridge offers a beautiful view from the top of the falls and out onto the highly coveted and prestigious Lake Rosseau cottages. This easy to access waterfall is a swiftly flowing stream down a rocky cascade.
Where: Manitoulin Island
Features: Situated on Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater lake island in the world and is known for its native Indian heritage. It encompasses numerous smaller lakes of its own and is home to the Bridal Veil Falls. At approximately 35 feet in height, a steady rush of water drops over a sharp rock ledge, creating the effect of a flowing “bridal veil” which culminates in a round basin. The site of the falls offers two points of access from the top of the falls with a stairway to the bottom or down the river from the basin. Visiting Manitoulin Island is a treat and experience in and of itself, but while you are visiting, be sure to spend some time observing this magnificent spectacle.
Features: The Hog’s Back Falls is a series of man-made waterfalls on the Rideau River located at the point where the Rideau Canal splits from the river. They are alternately known as the Prince of Wales Falls and have been similarly compared to Niagara Falls due to their massive size and water flow force. They are located in the Hog’s Back Falls natural park which offers riverside cycling and walking paths. The Rideau Canal may be a point of interest for its skating trail in the winter, but the Hog’s Back Falls are a wonder to be seen throughout the year. Be sure to visit if you take a trip to Ottawa!
Features: Just north of Huntsville, Arrowhead Provincial Park offers seasonal camping and year-round fun for all. During winter months, skate along the 1.5 km ice trail cleared on the East River. From spring through to fall, a sight to behold is the Stubbs Falls. Enjoy a hike through the park taking in wildlife and nature then view the spectacular rushing waters of the Little East River down a rocky cascade. A must see for the waterfall enthusiast!
In addition to the numerous waterfalls throughout cottage country, some of Ontario’s most picturesque waterfalls are a short drive away in the Hamilton region. Ranging in height up to 41 m, these waterfalls are truly a sight to be seen and simply breathtaking. Tew’s Falls and the Devil’s Punch Bowl peak at 41m and 37m in a straight veil-type stream. The Albion Falls, Sherman Falls, Felker’s Falls and Chedoke Falls all feature strong rushing waters down a rocky step cascade. Other notable mentions are the Borer’s Falls, Cliffview Falls, and Mill Falls set in a lush oasis reminiscent of a tropical locale.