Devils Punchbowl Falls (or simply Devil’s Punchbowl) was probably the lone disappointing experience we had of the six waterfalls we visited in the Hamilton area during our October 2013 trip. As you can see from the photo at the top of this page, Stoney Creek (on which the falls belonged to) had little flow, and for a tall 40m plunge waterfall like this, these factors made the falls difficult to see (let alone photograph). We were aware that our visit was late in the season so I’d imagine that late Spring and early Summer would be better times to see this otherwise thin falls.
Given the low flow, we only bothered to view the falls from the limited viewpoints on the rim of the deep and semi-circular Devil’s Punchbowl Gorge. The gorge itself was interesting and the surrounding Autumn colors would’ve been the real icing on the cake had the falls flowed better. In addtion, we also noticed there was a trail that descended on the north side of the escarpment (facing Hamilton) before swinging around towards the punchbowl amphitheater itself. Since we didn’t do this latter option, we can’t really say more about it.
Perhaps what we appreciated more about this waterfalling experience was the gorgeous view over the City of Hamilton near some kind of tower shaped like a cross. Although Hamilton was better known as the City of Steel (a reputation that seemed fitting as we were definitely able to see some hideous smoke stacks in the distance as well as a Niagara Falls border guard questioning why we would even bother visiting the city), it seemed like the city was really trying to rebrand itself as the City of Waterfalls. And the view over the city from this vantage point seemed to reflect that focus on beauty while attempting to move beyond its Mordor-like reputation.
Heading east on the Lincoln M Alexander Parkway through Hamilton, take this freeway to its end where it becomes Mud St. Follow Mud St past a couple of lights towards the Upper Centennial Parkway. Turn left at this light, then continue for 1.5km towards a fork where you leave the main road for Ridge Road on the right. Then, follow Ridge Rd for about 1.4km towards the car park for Devils Punchbowl on the left.
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