Decew Falls Loop

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
37 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Decew Falls Loop

The Decew Falls Loop is a quick and easy adventure near St. Catherines that features some amazing natural and historic elements, making it appealing to a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way past the site of an old 19th Century grain mill before looping through a serene stretch of forest to visit Decew Falls. Whether you decide to try this hike for the waterfall, the history, or the chance to just reconnect with nature, there is no shortage of fun to be had on the Decew Falls Loop.

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Route Description for Decew Falls Loop

This trail is a nice and easy adventure that won’t see you traverse any challenging or technical terrain; however, those adventurous hikers that are looking to reach the base of the falls will need to utilize some ropes along the steep hillside. Exercise caution in these areas and wear proper hiking footwear. Additionally, this is a popular hike in the area, so make sure to arrive early in order to secure a parking space.

One of the great things about this hike is that there are elements that will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts with different interests. Whether you want to check out the historical site of the Morningstar Mill, explore the natural beauty of Decew Falls, or simply get a bit of exercise, there will be something for everyone on this short trail. With well-maintained paths that are easy to navigate, there is no reason why the entire family can’t tag along for this fun outdoor adventure.

Setting out from the parking area, make your way north to pass by the historic site of the Morningstar Mill on your left. This building and the accompanying house once belonged to Wilson Morningstar, who operated the mill and produced grain products in the late 19th to 20th Century. The mill sits just above Decew Falls and utilizes Twelve Mile Creek to harness enough power to operate the mill. In fact, they still produce grain here several times a year.

After exploring this fascinating historic site, continue north to pass through the tree cover and receive some nice views of Decew Falls themselves, which plunge 21 m into a pool of water below. Bearing left at the junction, keep left over the next 0.5 km to follow the Laura Secord Trail as it runs parallel to the creek. Once you have arrived at another junction, take the path on the right.

Follow this path as it turns to the northeast and skirts along the edge of an open clearing to your right for the next 1.0 km. Arriving at a fork in the trail, keep to the right to make your way along the scenic shore of Lake Gibson. Enjoy the lovely views across the calm water for the next 340 m, where you will make a right on the trail for the return leg of the journey back towards the falls. Head to the southwest for the next 325 m to arrive back at the Morningstar Mill having completed the Decew Falls Loop. If you are looking for an added bit of adventure and happened to bring your swimsuit, make your way along the designated pathway for a refreshing dip in the scenic pool below the falls before heading home!

Trail Highlights

Decew Falls

One of many waterfalls that can be found along the Niagara Escarpment, Decew Falls is a beautiful waterfall near St. Catherines that is situated along Twelve Mile Creek and plunges 21 m into a pool below. Above the falls, you will find a charming historical site that features a grain mill that utilizes the power of the rushing water to produce flour and other crushed grains.

Morningstar Mill

One of the few mills in the province of Ontario that features its original equipment, the Morningstar Mill is a 19th Century grain mill situated along the rushing waters of Decew Falls. This charming historical site utilizes the mill and nearby house that were once owned by operator Wilson Morningstar to provide a great insight into a time when the power of moving water was harnessed as a means to produce a variety of grain products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim in Decew Falls?

Accessing the pool below the falls is allowed, although you will need to follow designated trails to get there. Exercise caution when approaching this area, as a number of serious accidents have occured here from people slipping on the wet surface of the rocks.

Can you fish near Decew Falls?

Several species of fish, including smallmouth bass, muskellunge, and carp can be found in the waters near Decew Falls. Follow all fishing regulations and utilize your best judgement when choosing a fishing spot in the area.

Insider Hints for Decew Falls Loop

  • Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear when setting out on this hike.
  • Don’t forget to check out the nearby historical site at Morningstar Mill.
  • Accessing the base of the falls will require a bit of climbing and the use of ropes to descend some steep terrain. Exercise caution in these areas.
  • Parking can be limited at the trailhead, so make sure to arrive early.

Getting to the Decew Falls Loop Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for the Decew Falls Loop from Montebello Park in St. Catherines, head southeast on Ontario Street for 550 m and turn right onto St. Paul Street. Follow this for 850 m and turn left onto Pelham Road, continuing on for another 2.2 km. Make a left here on Pelham Road/Regional Road 69 and follow it for 2.1 km before turning left onto First Street Louth. After 900 m, the road will veer left and become Decew Road. You will find the parking area on the left in another 900.0 km.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Decew Falls Loop Elevation Graph

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