Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

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Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area
Waterdawn Webster Falls5.jpg
Nearest cityHamilton, Ontario
Coordinates43°16′59″N 79°58′0″W / 43.28306°N 79.96667°W / 43.28306; -79.96667Coordinates: 43°16′59″N 79°58′0″W / 43.28306°N 79.96667°W / 43.28306; -79.96667
Governing bodyHamilton Conservation Authority

Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls Conservation Area is located on the Niagara Escarpment in Dundas, Ontario, a constituent community of Hamilton, Ontario, and is owned and operated by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. It has views over Hamilton and a two major waterfalls that are accessible via a system of trails.[1] The natural features found in the area are considered to be provincially significant. A shuttle service runs from Christie Lake Conservation Area to Spencer Gorge/Webster Falls Conservation Area,[2] for visitors to access this conservation area on weekends and holidays.


The main feature of the area is the Spencer Gorge, a "Y"-shaped gorge around 1-kilometre (0.6 mi) in length, with the depth reaching 100 metres (330 ft).[3] The walls of the gorge are very steep, contrasting the gently sloping landscape found in the nearby areas. The gorge was incised by the melt streams of the Wisconsin glaciation about 10,000 years ago.[1] The gorge displays a near-complete stratigraphic section from the red shales of the Queenston Formation to the caprock of the Lockport Formation (dolomite and limestone).[4]


Measuring 41 metres (135 ft) in height, Tew's Falls is the tallest waterfall found in Hamilton,[5][6] among 96 others.[7] Located at 219 metres (719 ft) above the sea level, it is also the highest waterfall in the city.[6] Webster's Falls is another major waterfall. With its 30 metres (98 ft) crest, it is the largest within the city.[8] The gorge is an excellent example of the process of waterfall recession. At least 10 bowl-shaped basins have been identified within the area, indicating the earlier positions of the waterfall. Some of the largest and the oldest identified basins have the diameter of up to 350 metres (1,150 ft), with depth of up to 60 metres (200 ft), making them comparable to the present state of the Horseshoe Falls.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls brochure". Hamilton Conservation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  2. ^ http://conservationhamilton.ca/shuttle/
  3. ^ "Natural Areas Report: SPENCER GORGE". Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-02.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Webster's and Tews Falls". Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-02.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Hamilton Waterfalls". Hamilton Travel & Tourism. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
  6. ^ a b "Tews Falls - Virtual Field Trip" (PDF). McMaster University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-12-11. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
  7. ^ "Hamilton - The City of Waterfalls". Hamilton Naturalists' Club. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
  8. ^ "Webster's Falls". Hamilton Conservation Authority. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-03-02.

External links[edit]