Monday, November 2, 2009

Decew Falls

Sunday promised a partial sunny day, so I picked up James and headed for a waterfall in the St Catharines area, namely Decew Falls. (link for mill).
The famous Laura Secord adventure of the war of 1812 involved Decew’s farmhouse as her final destination to warn that the Americans were coming. The site has an operation Mill, but my favourite part was that the mill had always used a turbine to produce power, but everyone who came would ask why there wasn’t a water wheel. So, in 1995, they built one just to make the tourist’s happy!!

Anyways, it’s a long way down, and as a result, a kind soul has put in a climbing rope to help you get to the Valley floor. Its still a tough ascent and descent, and my thighs are still feeling the burn! But it really is worth it, as it’s a beautiful falls to see. Unfortunately, Saturdays wind had pretty much stripped the trees of colour, but it did make for a nice valley floor.

We then headed to Balls Falls, specifically the upper falls. Man, the conservation authority has really confused people with the parking. It used to be you used this lower lot for parking, but now it’s a “token system”, so you drive down to what looks like a ticket gate, but it says you can only use tokens, and no credit cards. So, you back out of the driveway, drive back up the road and go into the building, where your told you can’t park down there, as its handicapped parking only? So you pay your money, and take this long switch back path way (which probably cost a good amount, and required the reconstruction of a large portion of a hillside) to end up at the same location we used to park in at the bottom! Oh well….

The upper falls had some good flow, but was very murky water, with the classic pollution foam “stuff” floating in the air. We thought it looked kind of like Niagara Falls. On the east side, the water fall was not coming over the rock, but through it, so it wasn’t as nice as the major portion of the fall. So we said that’s like the American Falls in Niagara. Nice, but no horseshoe falls!!

Since we were there already, we also went to the lower falls. The last time we were there, you could stand on the edge of the falls, right in the middle of the river. Nothing was really flowing, and anything going over was also just through the rocks rather than over. This time there was a good flow, so unless you were on the bottom, it was difficult to get any interesting shots. So I didn’t take any!!

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