Grey County’s waterfall tour draws many visitors to the region in the spring and summer months, but winter is a unique and amazing time to visit some of the waterfalls that are accessible during the snowy months.
With the Niagara Escarpment running through our backyard, rivers plunge over cliff faces to create beautiful cascades. In the winter months, these cascades often freeze solid and with no leaves on the surrounding trees, the photographic possibilities are endless. This winter put on your snowshoes, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, grab your camera and experience our amazing winter waterfalls.
Visiting waterfalls in the winter is amazing but it’s key to respect the difference in trail conditions that snow and ice can bring. Cracks and crevices on the escarpment are harder to see beneath fresh snow, so always stay on marked trails and be mindful of falling ice and snow, staying well back from cliff edges. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and consider snowshoes when the hike to the falls is longer. Remember that during the winter months some waterfalls may be more difficult to access and some parking lots may not be plowed, especially immediately after a heavy snowfall.
*Please note that Indian Falls and Eugenia Falls Conservation Areas are closed for the winter months.
The first step to planning your winter waterfall tour is downloading our Winter Waterfall Guide. This printable guide offers directions and descriptions of our winter-safe waterfalls: Inglis Falls, Weavers Creek Falls, Hoggs Falls, McGowan Falls and Jones Falls. Using the guide, you can choose which waterfalls you want to visit based on walking distance to the falls and the type of cascade you’ll see. Remember, walking times are generally longer on snowshoes. It can be slow going after a fresh snowfall so always leave extra time when planning your visit.
Get the Gear
With a winter waterfall in mind, you’ll need to be sure that you have the proper gear. Trails can be snowy and icy and snowshoes are great for reaching the frozen cascades more easily, and safely. A pair of ski poles can also be a big help. If you need to rent snowshoes, there are several local options. In Owen Sound, rentals are available through At Last Adventures and Hills Meaford. In Hepworth, Suntrail Source for Adventure can hook you up and just into Bruce County, Thorncrest Outfitters in Southampton also has rentals. You will want to dress for the weather, in layers with warm winter gear and a backpack filled with snacks, water, your camera and a cell phone.
Post-Waterfall Treats and Eats
One of the best parts of venturing out on a winter adventure is heading back inside to warm up and enjoy a well-earned treat. Thankfully, Grey County’s amazing local food and drink scene is ready and waiting for you after you explore our winter waterfalls. Consider a hot cocoa with chili at Casero Kitchen Table in Owen Sound, warm up with a Meredith’s Ginger Latte at the Ravenna Country Market or visit Georgian Hills Vineyards or Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery for a wine and cheese tasting plate by the fire or inside a cozy igloo. For more ideas, check out our Trip Idea: Warm up with Local Wine, Beer and Cider. You can also make a lunch or dinner reservation at the The Falls Inn to get a close up view of Walter's Falls. The falls are only accessible to those eating or staying at the Inn.
Stay the Night
If you’d like to see several of our waterfalls in one trip, consider spending a night or two in Grey County for a weekend of adventure. There are many accommodation options that will put you within close proximity of our many waterfalls. You can stay right beside a rushing waterfall in Walter's Falls at The Falls Inn. This waterfall is only accessible to those staying or eating at the Inn. A stay at Best Western Inn on the Bay or Cobble Beach puts you close to several Owen Sound waterfalls (Inglis Falls, Jones Falls, and Weavers Creek Falls). The Village at Blue Mountain offers several great accommodation options and there are many great bed & breakfasts around the Beaver Valley. For more options, check out the Stay section of our website.
This Winter Waterfall guide has been developed to assist in planning your visit to waterfalls throughout Grey County. Users of this guide are responsible for their own safety and use these routes and trails at their own risk. Each user should consider not only weather, road and trail conditions, but also his/her own level of fitness and experience. Please note that some waterfalls are harder to access during the winter months than others. Some parking lots may not be plowed, especially immediately after a heavy snowfall. The trails suggested are not maintained by the County of Grey, and caution should be practiced when using them. This guide is not intended as a guide for children or pets.
Grey County Tourism and others involved in developing this guide are not responsible for any loss or damage any user may suffer as a result of using this guide. The County of Grey, and their elected officials, directors, officers, employees, owners, volunteers and staff do not warrant the safety of any route, highway, road, street, trail or designated waterfall area shown in this guide. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this guide, inaccuracies or changes may occur and the County of Grey is not responsible for any variations from the above information.
Waiver of Liability - Having read the foregoing material and as a condition of using this Winter Waterfall/Snowshoe Guide, the users of this Guide waive, release, and discharge, for themselves and their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, any rights or claims which the users have or may hereafter have against the directors, officers, employees, owners, volunteers and staff of the County of Grey and other sponsoring businesses and organizations, for any and all damages which may be sustained by the users directly or indirectly in connection with their use of this Winter Waterfall Snowshoe Guide or the designated routes and trails.