At the foot of the famous Bruce Peninsula, you’ll find an area known as Grey County. While it may not have the rugged shorelines like its northern neighbour, it’s home to a different kind of natural beauty – waterfalls. Not only will you marvel at these natural wonders but their locations will have you exploring plenty of amazing destinations within it. I’ve got all the details on these Grey County waterfalls as well as the most efficient route for exploring them. This is a post waterfall addicts won’t want to miss!
The Grey County Waterfall Tour
Would you believe me if I said it’s possible to visit these Grey County waterfalls all in one go? Similar to the waterfalls in the Niagara Region, all of these waterfalls are within 140km of each other. While it works out to about 2.5 hours of driving, it’s the perfect weekend adventure. Whether you choose to tackle them all in one day or more is up to you!
The southernmost of all of the Grey County waterfalls, the Holstein Dam is located within the town it’s named after. This waterfall might be more manmade than natural but it’s still a fan favourite. Sitting at just 5 metres tall, the cascade waterfall isn’t the biggest but she’s a wide one!
Watch as the water from the Mill Pond flows down Norman Reeves Creek across the dam. Head just a little downstream from the Jubilee Park entrance for the best view of the falls. You can also enjoy the falls from a different angle by hiking to the old railway bridge that runs across the top of the dam. Jubilee Park also offers a picnic area, baseball diamond, pavilion as well as some playground equipment. The Holstein Dam is one of the smallest of the Grey County waterfalls but that just means you’re just getting a small taste of what the area has to offer!
Directions to the Holstein Dam: Take a slight detour from Highway 6 towards the town of Holstein. Hop onto County Road 109 and head towards the Holstein General Store. When you see Lane Street, turn onto it where you’ll find the entrance to Jubilee Park.
As you come into the town of Durham, hop onto George Street East where you’ll find a Durham Conservation Area parking lot right beside McGowan Falls. Similar to the Holstein Dam, McGowan Falls is regulated by the dam above it as it controls the water flowing towards Lake Huron.
Approximately 4 metres tall and 15 metres wide, this cascade waterfall is a hot spot for swimming in the summer months. Despite having a man-made influence, the area itself is beautiful with a wonderful path on the opposite side of the river. There is even a little tunnel which you might be able to swim along if the water level is low enough!
Don’t forget to check out the town after exploring this Durham waterfall. There are a number of beautiful murals and one even depicts McGowan Falls. You’ll find a few places in town for a bite to eat as well as a cafe or two if you need a caffeine boost.
Directions to McGowan Falls: Head north along County Road 109. Hang a right onto Egremont Glenelg Townline then a quick left onto Concession Road 2. This will take you to Highway 4 where you’ll hang a left and you’ll arrive in the town of Durham. Follow George Street East to the Durham Conservation Area.
While many head north from McGowan Falls towards Owen Sound, I recommend heading a little further east just past the town of Flesherton. This is where you’ll find one of the best waterfalls in Ontario and one of my favourite waterfalls in Grey County – Hogg’s Falls!
This plunge waterfall sits just over 7 metres tall and is surrounded by lush wilderness. Named after William Hogg, it was once home to a sawmill that he built in the 1870s. However, you won’t find anything man-made here since the mill burnt down in the late 1880s – except the rope you can use to scale down the escarpment!
Follow the Bruce Trail east along the Boyne River (the water will be to your left). It shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to reach Hogg’s Falls along the main trail. If you don’t hear the falls by 10 minutes in then chances are you’ve gone the wrong way! Looking for a longer hike? You can continue along the Bruce Trail and it’ll take you right to your next waterfall destination… though it’s quite the trek at 14 kilometres return.
RELATED: Want to learn more about Ontario’s famous hiking trail? Check out my guide to the Bruce Trail!
Hogg’s Falls is definitely a waterfall worth visiting in every season. While her flow will be less in the summer months, the bright green vegetation is beautiful. Autumn brings with it the beautiful golds and reds which will just add to the magic. However, winter is hands down my favourite as the icicles are just breathtaking. It also makes climbing down to her base a little easier since the ground should be frozen and not as mucky. Though you may need to dig in the snow a little to find the rope!
Directions to Hogg’s Falls: Follow Grey County Road 4 through the town of Flesherton. Turn left onto East Back Line and then turn right onto Lower Valley Road. The Hogg’s Falls parking lot will be on your left. It’s best to arrive early as Hoggs Falls is becoming more popular.
If that 14 kilometre haul seems a little too intense, hop back in your car to the town of Eugenia and your next natural wonder – Eugenia Falls!
Just steps from the parking lot you’ll see this beauty as the Beaver River tumbles over the Niagara Escarpment. Said to be one of the tallest waterfalls in Eastern Canada, it was once the site of a hydroelectric power station back in the day. This plunge waterfall sits approximately 30 metres tall and is quite an impressive sight to see… in the cooler months. It’s not uncommon for Eugenia Falls to be a trickle in the summer so I highly recommend a winter or spring visit. Enjoy the views of the crest from behind the stone wall before following the trail south.
SOMETHING TO NOTE: While some have accessed the base of Eugenia Falls by bushwacking upstream along the river, it is not recommended due to dangerous conditions is possible, there is no set trail. You’ll be going off-roading as you climb over slippery rocks and fallen trees. I personally wouldn’t recommend it, especially since you can get some great views of the entire falls within a few hundred metres of the lookout.
After you’re done admiring this natural beauty, take a walk around the town of Eugenia. It isn’t the largest place around but you’d be surprised at what’s available. A few of the shops close in the winter months but you’ll have your full pick of eats and treats come summertime.
Directions to Eugenia Falls: From Flesherton, head north along Highway 4. and turn left onto Grey Road 13 aka Beaver Valley Road. I guarantee you’ll see signs for it but once you see the Eugenia Falls Emporium, turn left onto Pellisier Road and you’ll see the parking lot for the Eugenia Falls Conservation Area.
Probably the most visited of Grey County’s waterfalls, you’ll immediately understand why once you lay your eyes upon Inglis Falls. This cascade waterfall sits approximately 17 metres tall as the Sydenham River tumbles over the numerous layers of the Niagara Escarpment. The entire area surrounding the falls is gorgeous and worth exploring. Interpretive signage tells about the history of the grist mill that once stood at the top of the falls.
Rumour has it you can get to the base of the falls by following the Bruce Trail down towards the riverbed. As with many of these waterfalls, it is illegal to access the base of the falls due to safety reasons and concerns for protecting the area. If caught, you may be slapped with a fine.
For me, Inglis Falls is a little different as it will always have a special place in my heart. It brings me a sense of comfort that very few waterfalls do. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every waterfall I visit. However, very few have the level of calm that I feel like I do when I’m at Inglis Falls. I’m reminded of my grandmother telling me stories of how her mother’s father’s brother ran the grist mill in the late 1800s. I still have yet to investigate this to see if it’s true, but if it is then I believe he would have been the gentleman to take over operations from Charles Woodhead in 1883.
Whether you find a spiritual connection to Inglis Falls or not, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she’s the most memorable stop on your Grey County waterfall road trip.
Directions to Inglis Falls: Coming from the south, head north along Highway 6 until you reach the town of Rockford. At the main intersection, turn left onto Grey County Road 18. Watch for Inglis Falls Road and turn right, following it until you see the Grey Sauble Inglis Falls Conservation Area. From the direction of Owen Sound, head south along Grey County Road 5. Watch for Inglis Falls Road on your left, and follow it to the conservation area which will be on your left.
Weavers Creek Falls
You’ll find this Grey County waterfall in the city of Owen Sound. Head to Harrison Park where you’ll find Weavers Creek Falls, the little gem of Owen Sound waterfalls in the heart of the park. Just a short 5 minute walk from the public pool, you’ll follow a well-maintained boardwalk that leads you to a short mulch path. Voila, you’ve found Weavers Creek Falls! The path stops fairly short of the top of the falls, so you’d have to do some serious clamouring to get towards them. However, the falls are on private property so please respect the landowner’s wishes and enjoy the falls from the boundary.
If you’re visiting Weaver’s Creek during the holiday season, you might want to make it a full-day trip and stick around until it gets dark. Harrison Park is part of the Festival of Northern Lights and definitely makes a great trip for a solid dose of holiday cheer! Find out more in this round up of Christmas light displays in Ontario.
INSIDER TIP: If you’re looking for a place to stay to make this a weekend adventure, Owen Sound has a number of affordable hotel options. You’ll also find lots of places to eat, museums, craft breweries and more!
Directions to Harrison Park: Coming from Owen Sound, you’ll want to head south along Grey County Road 5. You’ll see the entrance to Harrison Park on your left. Follow the driveway towards the pool and you’ll find the parking lot.
Located inside the Pottawatomi Conservation Area, Jones Falls is another one of the best waterfalls in Grey County. Follow the kilometre-long trail to Jones Falls where you’ll see the Pottawatomi River drop 12 metres down the Niagara Escarpment. This cascade waterfall truly is beautiful as you admire the numerous layers of bedrock the water tumbles over. For best views of the waterfall, I recommend crossing over the arch bridge to the south side of the falls.
The old-growth forest here is gorgeous and it would be a sin not to take some time to explore it. You won’t be surprised to see the Bruce Trail one again as it runs through the area. While Jones Falls is gorgeous in the springtime, it’s not uncommon to see little to no flow by the time late summer rolls around.
Directions to Jones Falls: From Owen Sound, follow Highway 6 west out of town. At the intersection past the gas stations, turn right to stay on Highway 6 and you’ll see the parking lot for the Jones Falls trailhead on your right behind the Owen Sound Transportation building.
While I slightly cringe every time I hear, read or say its name, Indian Falls is truly beautiful and not to be missed. At the end of the parking lot, you’ll see a clearing and the start of the trail. Follow the trail along the river to the right. After about 10 minutes, you’ll come to a staircase which will have you huffing and puffing by the top but it’s worth it as you’ll catch a glimpse of the falls just a few minutes later!
INSIDER TIP: If you’re hoping to capture the colour, your best chance of getting a photo is in the morning. The sun sets right behind Indian Falls so that’ll cause your photos to be backlit!
Indian Falls is a 15 metre tall ‘bridal veil’ beauty with a horseshoe-like shape. It was formed by the erosion of soft Red Queenston shale beneath the hard nature of the Manitoulin dolomite, very similar to how Niagara Falls came to be! The various colours of rock along the cliff edge are reminiscent of the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hamilton. As for the base of the falls, I’ve heard rumours of hikers trekking along the river to get to them. However, this is strictly prohibited. I’m unsure if fines or tickets will be given out but if you choose to not heed this warning, you do so at your own risk.
RELATED: Looking for more places to explore in the area? I highly recommend checking out the town of Wiarton. Just 30 minutes from Indian Falls Owen Sound,I can tell you it’s one seriously underrated gem along the Bruce Peninsula.
While brochures will say this trail is challenging, the toughest part of it is the uneven terrain. I wouldn’t want to tackle it without sturdy hiking boots or some footwear with a good grip, especially if it has rained recently. If we have had a bout of rainy weather, the trail can be washed out so closures may occur periodically.
Directions to Indian Falls: Head north of Owen Sound either by 13th Street West and Grey Road 17 and 17A or by heading through the city Grey Road 1. You’ll see the driveway for the Indian Falls Conservation Area on your left approximately 1.5 kilometres north of Grey Road 17A.
3 Bonus Grey County Waterfalls
While the eight waterfalls listed above make up the Grey County Waterfall tour, there are a few more gems that you can add to make this waterfall adventure even more epic. Keep reading for all the details for these additional Grey County waterfalls!
This is the newest addition to any Grey County waterfall route. The Bruce Side trail that leads right to this waterfall was only added in September of 2019! It’s not on Google yet, however if you head to this location, you’ll see a parking lot on your left side. Follow this road to the end where you’ll find a Bruce Trail access which will take you to the start of the Stew Hilts Side Trail. At the end of it is where you’ll find the magical beauty you see above.
This trail is one of the longer ones on this list so it will take a bit of time. I’d recommend leaving approximately one hour to tackle this one. Also, be sure to have a good set of footwear as the ground is very uneven!
Directions to Hils Falls: Heading north along Grey County Road 32 from Highway 10, follow it until you come upon Johnstons Side Road. Turn right and on your left, you will see the parking lot for this trail.
The Webwood Falls Nature Reserve was established thanks to the generous donation of Mr James Horwood who has been a supporter of the Bruce Trail Conservancy for a long time. Named in memory of his parents, Webwood Falls and the area surrounding it is now permanently protected by the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
Webwood Falls is one of the smaller Grey County waterfalls but its location adds to the magic. Two small streams meld to form the flow that converges as their water tumbles over the crest. While it is possible to get to the base of the falls (albeit it’s a slippery slope!), it’s better if you don’t. Webwood Falls is located within a very delicate eco-system and it’s already falling victim to significant erosion. Please admire her from the top of the falls so that this important habitat can stay intact for the bees, butterflies, deer and more who depend on it for survival.
Directions to Webwood Falls: Head north along Grey Road 13 until it forks and take a left for Grey Road 7. At the intersection with Sideroad 25, turn right and after about a kilometre you’ll come to the Webwood Falls Nature Reserve. Parking is VERY limited and it is not safe to park on the road.
Walter’s Falls was once an official stop along the Grey County Waterfall Route but due to a lack of respect by some visitors and an abundance of people exploring during lockdowns, public access has been revoked… but there’s still a way to visit.
This waterfall is located on private property and is owned by the fine folks who run The Falls Inn & Spa. By enjoying a meal, spoiling yourself at the spa or staying overnight in one of their beautiful guest rooms, you can enjoy the added perk of viewing Walters Falls!
Head over to the viewing platform where you can watch Walter’s Creek plunge into the riverbed below. Both the creek and falls were named after John Walter and his family, pioneers who settled onto the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Odawa many years ago. Here the Walters established a grist mill which has since become The Falls Inn & Spa. I haven’t stayed here myself but I’ve heard it’s a beautiful spot for a weekend getaway so click here to book a night or two!
There really isn’t much in the village other than the inn and falls making it a great spot to disconnect from the world. There are a number of great lookouts in the area and it’s not too far away from Owen Sound, Meaford and other Grey County destinations that you can either call it home base or add it as a little splurge to your waterfall chasing itinerary.
Directions to Walters Falls: Take County Road 7 and head north where you’ll hang a left on County Road 40. You’ll come to Grey Road 29 where you’ll turn right which you’ll follow straight until the road ends. In front of you, you’ll see The Falls Inn & Spa.
Ready to Chase Some Grey County Waterfalls?
Are these natural wonders calling to you as they do to me? Whether you’re looking for an epic day trip or a weekend adventure, I highly recommend this waterfall tour. While I absolutely loved my autumn trip to Grey County, I truly recommend doing this tour in the colder months. Plus Grey County is an amazing winter destination so it’s a win-win, really!
However like a lot of Southern Ontario, Grey County’s winters are getting milder but it’s no stranger to heavy snow. As such, some waterfalls are not the most accessible in the winter months. The Holstein Dam, Eugenia Falls, Webwood Falls and Indian Falls are said to be closed in the winter months. This gives you McGowan Falls, Hoggs Falls, Walter’s Falls, Inglis Falls, Weavers Creek Falls and Jones Falls as targets for snowy adventures. If you choose to visit these waterfalls anyway, just remember you are doing so at your own risk. This goes for the summer months, too! Make sure you always come prepared with the proper equipment to avoid accidents and if the weather’s awful, plan for another trip. The waterfalls will still be there!
So, ready to hit the road? Click here for the Grey County waterfall tour map which should help you when planning your trip. Don’t forget about this detour to Hilts Falls too! There’s plenty to see and do in the area from exploring some of South Georgian Bay’s highlights to indulging in delicious eats, craft beer and more. You may come for the waterfalls but I guarantee you’ll be coming back for everything else Grey County has to offer!
RELATED: If you’d like some gorgeous lookouts to go with your waterfalls, don’t miss these top views across South Georgian Bay!
It’s also easy to make this a weekend adventure (or longer!) so take a look at some of the accommodation options below if you’d like to stay awhile. Personally, I’d recommend staying somewhere around Owen Sound as this gives you easy access to amenities as well as the waterfalls you’re here to chase. Collingwood is also an option but most of the waterfalls are more west, so you’ll need to travel a bit more. Plus staying near Owen Sound means you might be able to check out some Bruce Peninsula waterfalls like Sauble Falls! Whatever you choose, you’ll have a fabulous time exploring Grey County.
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