Journeys in ancient and old growth forests
Spencer Gorge 
One of the most beautiful walks in the Hamilton area, but only for the adventurous. Old hardwood and hemlock occur in the gorge, but safe access is only possible by hiking back up the valley from below.
Park Name: Spencer Gorge / Webster Falls Conservation Area 
Size: 25 ha
Age of oldest known trees: 200 years
Forest Type: Mixed Hardwood and Hemlock 
Conservation Status: Protected 
Land Use Designation: Conservation Area 
The valley bottom of Spencer Gorge is home to a variety of forest types and ages, including old hardwood and hemlock trees. The stairs near the falls are closed so the only access is via a trail from lower in the valley near Highway 8. The trail has eroded at one point and passage is possible in dry weather, but only for adventurous hikers. A ring count of hemlock in the gorge shows that the forest is at least 200 years old, but visual characteristics of sugar maples suggests they are 300+ years-old. Spencer Gorge sustains the northernmost example of Chinquapin Oak talus woodland in Canada, as well as successional talus stands of White Cedar, Hemlock and White Birch.
Latitude: 43.27460           Longitude: -79.97860

Google Map Link:,-79.97860

Other Maps:   Directions: Although people park at Woodley Lane, there is no legal parking. Another option is to park, or take public transit to, Fisher's Mill Park at the base of the hill and walk back up Highway 8. Access is described here: "Parking on Woodley Lane, by the Dundas Golf and Curling Club, I followed the railway service entrance along the north side of the CN railway tracks and followed them in an eastern direction towards Spencer Creek. The trail I was looking for can be found just to the west side of the creek and it follows the western bank taking you north towards Webster’s Falls. Please be extremely careful in this area. These railway tracks are active and there have been accidents in the past. Please ensure that you walk leaving plenty of space between you and the tracks."

Hiking Trail:
  Spencer Gorge (unofficial trail)
  Length: 3.0km
  Difficulty(1=Easy, 10=Hard): 8
  Location: 43.27350, -79.97240
  Trail is approximately 3 km return and is quite technical with uneven rock strewn areas, narrow sections with steep drop-offs and plenty of tree roots to navigate over. Boots with good traction are a must.