the sound of water

Waterfalls & Water features

Spending time next to flowing water is a proven stress release. Seeking out these waterfalls and stretches of whitewater is a great way to unwind and explore some of the most beautiful corners of the Haliburton Highlands. Some of these are roadside, some are accessed by short hikes, and some are only found on a day long adventure.

Easy to find Waterfalls

We love wild water, and with good reason. The combination of rock, elevation, and water creates beautiful spaces to rest and explore: artists, photographers, fishers, and paddlers are drawn to these places. As well, solid research shows that spending time next to running water is a proven way to relieve stress. The air just feels different next to a cascading stream; a little more energized, a little cleaner. The sound of running water helps us find a space of our own, where the sounds of a busy world disappear and we can sit in contemplation.

Below we have the most recommended places to visit.

Buttermilk Falls

John Hewitt recounts: “Buttermilk Falls [is] one of the best known beauty spots in the province. It derives its name from the crests of white foam created by the tumbling, churning water below the dam. There are always sightseers around the Falls picnicking or taking pictures. The gorge above the dam is a favourite haunt of artists and photographers, and pictures of Buttermilk Falls have found their way to may parts.” Source: Lakes of Haliburton Which Form “The Island”, Haliburton County Echo, 1971

Furnace Falls
This park allows visitors to enjoy the sounds of nature and the Irondale River in a picturesque setting. Although it isn’t dramatically high, this series of short ledges is a lovely spot for a picnic as the water cascades gently down a couple of meters. The public park right is right on the shore, and a good swimming hole just below the last ledge.
Gull River - Minden White Water Preserve
A natural canoeing and kayaking whitewater park located on the Gull River just north of Minden, Ontario. You will find hiking trails to explore on both sides of the 600m world class whitewater.
Hawk Lake Log Chute
In the late 1800s there were thousands of wooden chutes around the province and dozens in the county of Haliburton, but they’re all gone now.

There’s been a log chute on this site since 1861 and this chute is now the only one of its kind in Ontario.

This historic site is a testament to the tenacity and perseverance of the tens of thousands of men who made their living in the logging industry, and whose courage helped forged the communities of rural Ontario.

High Falls
This one is a 6m high slide located in the southern panhandle of Algonquin Provincial park. High falls has one very large slide followed by a series of lovely drops. The hike in starts very level, then is rocky and steep for the last ½ km.

Pack a picnic and spend the day slipping & sliding down the polished granite stone.  This popular swimming hole should be enjoyed with caution as the waters can be dangerous at certain times of the year.

Ragged Falls
The highest falls in the Haliburton Highlands, Ragged falls is a series of slides with a breathtaking overlook at the top. A short, steep hike takes you to the lip of the falls and a short rocky trail along the actual drops. Another short trail heads upstream along the Oxtongue river. The photography is particularly dramatic here in the last hour of the day during the winter when the sun sets right at the foot of the falls.

Ritchie Falls

Sitting right along the Haliburton County Rail Trail, this series of small drops is easy to access and a welcome spot to relax or picnic after a hike or bike ride. The main drop is right below the bridge, with 2 more drops just down stream.

Access to path is located on the west side of the river.

view of different levels of Ritchie Falls

Explore, Experience & spend the Night

Spirit of the Waterfalls & Gaia's Den
Enjoy self-guided hikes, a creekside picnic, wildlife sitings, storytelling, Moon labyrinth walks, a dip in the creek & sitting beneath a waterfall, sketching or painting, writing & journalling, solitude, rest & healing.

Your stay includes: stationary RV rental at a magical, offgrid Sacred Sanctuary in Nature with access to 74 forested acres of private land, a private creek with 3 Waterfalls, private canopied outdoor sitting area, shared firepit with grill for outdoor cooking. Also included per unit is one Fire Circle with singing & drumming & one 7 Terraces Guided Meditation (if desired)… More Details

Sunny Rock Bed & Breakfast

Haliburton Highlands largest and most spacious adult only bed and breakfast

At Sunny Rock, relax with a beverage and binoculars on the huge decks overlooking the Scotts Dam Falls. Watch the wildlife play in this stunning oasis located on the Drag River

You will always be in the company of the sound of moving water while you take time for yourself during your stay which is located close to Snowdon Park – Welland & Forest Preserve.

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