Devil’s Punchbowl, Hamilton, Ont.

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Something about water surrendering to the force of gravity at a precipice along it’s cyclical journey draws tourists, hikers, photographers, and Instagrammers by the millions every year. It’s a simple combination of physics and geography, and yet, there is always a sense of awe around these natural formations.

Many waterfalls come along with tales and folklore, too. One of my favourites is the Legend of Green Mantle of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario.

Another consistent theme humans seem to like to attribute to waterfalls is naming them in association with the leader of the underworld:

Did the people naming these waterfall features fear their immense power? Or were they named so in an effort to keep children clear of their slippery slopes? Perhaps it is as simple as the water falling the direction believed to be that of the devil’s home?

There is certainly nothing devilish about the Devil’s Punchbowl, however, and no story to go along with the name. The open, unfenced area had families, couples, and many eager puppies climbing on the steep, rocky banks and enjoying the birds-eye-view of Hamilton and Lake Ontario.

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The lazy visitor to this park can only just get a peak of these fantastic falls before they disappear into the canyon, covered by trees. Take the climb down, around, and back up the banks of the falls, and you’ve still not seen the best part of it yet.

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It takes some determination to see the full beauty of these falls, especially in the sharply cool weather of early spring, when Ry and I took off our shoes…

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…to trudge through the river and muck to stand in the presence of the cascading water.

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If you enjoy a good mental and physical challenge, I dare you to try early spring. Otherwise, I’d recommend going in the summer/fall after some heavy rain for the best show (and best pictures)!

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