Places to Run: Ball’s Falls Niagara Ontario

When I tell people where I grow up, I generally just tell them I grew up near the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It’s a much easier reference than St. Catharines. Most Americans that are familiar with that name associate it with a somewhat notorious street in Montreal.

The Niagara region is home to many more waterfalls than Niagara. All come down the same escarpment. While none are as massive, some are spectacular in their own right. While visiting my parents recently, I tried to visit one of my favorites (Rockway Falls), but couldn’t find the herd path down to the base of the falls. I guess that’s what you get when you visit rarely.

My parents suggested I visit Ball’s Falls in Jordan, Ontario. It was only about 15 minutes away from their home, but I had never been. The land is held by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation authority. On site are heritage buildings (some of which can be rented for weddings, funerals and other social events), a large conservation center, two waterfalls and a few miles of trails. The property also links up with the Bruce trail for longer distance adventures.

Parking is near the conservation center and there’s a day use fee. Parking is $5 self pay after hours.

I visited shortly after a tunderstorm so some of the trails were a little flooded. The trails are easy and the falls can be reached by wheelchair.

There are some beautiful woods in the area and some interesting balanced rocks. As well as ruins of a woolen mill.

The falls

There are two significant waterfalls in the conservation area. The Lower waterfalls are located closer to the historical buildings. They are a 90 foot high waterfall which can be viewed from a platform next to the falls. I’m told that they can somewhat be viewed from below if you are willing to explore the gorge, but I didn’t attempt it.

I loved the Upper Ball’s Falls, while only 35 feet high the secondary falls come right out of the rocks. This indicates that the rock is not particularly stable, but it’s amazing for now.

There are a few places to view the upper Falls. When the water levels are similar to those I saw, it’s easy to follow a herd path at the base of the gorge. There’s a couple fences near the top of the falls from which the falls can be viewed. It’s apparent that people circumvent the fences regularly.

I made a little video of the waterfall and some of the trails I ran