Just under an hour from Toronto, towards Hamilton, sits a couple of pretty cool waterfalls; Webster Falls and Tew Falls(there's lots of waterfalls in the area, perhaps a later article).
It's a beautiful area of the Escarpment and portions of the Bruce Trail allow amazing views of the valley. Webster Falls is a 22 meter classical style waterfall fed by Spencer Creek. Tew Falls, fed by Logie’s Creek, is a ribbon style waterfall and is actually just a couple meters shorter than Niagra falls at 41 meters.
I last visited this area a few years ago and I recall being able to access the base of both waterfalls via a Bruce Trail side trail that started with a staircase next to Webster Falls, as well as a trail that ran along the top of the escarpment from Webster Falls to Tew Falls.
This visit was much different. The stairs have been removed and been replaced with metal fencing that runs along all trails ensuring no entry (although on this visit people had climbed the fences). The trail running from Webster to Tew is also gone, replaced by privacy fencing and multiple “no trespassing” signs.
It turns out that, during peak time, the area was seeing over 3000 people on a single weekend. People were going off trail and damaging sensitive areas and plant life. It also turns out that the private citizen that owns the land between the two waterfalls, had seen people leave the trail and go where they shouldn’t have, use his property as a bathroom, and even been met with name calling. These actions caused the landowner to end an agreement with the local conservation area for access.
In an effort to lower the crowd count, The Conservation Authority introduced higher admission fees and paid parking. Its now $5 per person and $10 per vehicle. Hopefully the collection of these fees will allow them to build a new set of stairs and trail improvements to the Bruce Trail lower side trail.
If you do plan on visiting the area, be prepared for the admission fees and I would recommend taking a lunch and enjoying not only the waterfalls, but also the amazing views as well as historic elements of the Conservation area. Also, please respect the trails and the neighbours so that we can enjoy the region for years to come.