Hoggs Falls has long been a fixture on my trips up the Bruce Peninsula. I first learned about the falls by trying to find spots to break up my drive to Tobermory. It’s located about half way between Toronto and Tobermory, or about 45 minutes southeast of Owen Sound, which makes it a great place to recharge. While it’s not the largest waterfall, its easy access and wild atmosphere keep me coming back every year.
The falls are a 5-10 minute walk from the Lower Valley Road parking lot. The parking lot appears quickly, so be ready to make the turn! The walk is a little hilly, but nothing too difficult. In the winter it gets pretty slippery in some areas, so you really need to watch your step. Where the trial splits, head down towards the river, you should also see the remains of an old mill on the river’s shore. The lower path will take you towards the falls and the natural lookout.
The lookout gives you a pretty nice view of the falls, which seems to be enough for most people. If you head a little further along the river you’ll see another small platform which gives you a slightly different view. You can see the falls more head on, but the left side is obstructed by a couple of branches. Just beyond the small platform you’ll see an old yellow rope that you can use to help you climb down into the gorge. It’s about an 8 foot climb and it wasn’t too hard to do with a dog and camera gear, but use your own judgement. In the winter that area is extremely slippery and I had to use my own ropes to just get off the platform. You’ve been warned!
The effort is well worth the reward though as the best view is from the gorge floor. The bottom of the falls has a lot of natural debris, which only adds to the wild feeling. The river flows down over a few small drops and then disappears around the bend. The whole area is so picturesque! It truly feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. When we visited in the fall the water was only up to my ankles and was really cold, but also extremely refreshing.
I like that this waterfall and trail gives you a choice. If you’re just looking for a pretty sight and a place to stretch your legs, you can take a quick walk and see a great waterfall. If you’re craving a bit more you can climb down in to the gorge and wade in the waters while getting THE view. Either way, you won’t leave disappointed!