In light of recent incidents at both Tew and Webster Falls, the Hamilton Conservation Authority would like to remind all visitors of some safety information for exploring conservation areas, especially those with escarpment features.
On the morning of Friday, August 24, two hikers, a male and female, were discovered at the bottom of an embankment near Dundas Peak, both with multiple serious injuries consistent with a fall from a height. Two separate high angle rope rescues needed to be carried out by the rope rescue units of the Hamilton Fire Department. On Friday, August 17, a male hiker was rescued at Webster Falls from the gorge, also through a high angle rope rescue, and was transported to hospital.
The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area provides safe vantage points and platforms to see Webster Falls, Tew Falls and the Dundas peak and it is important for people to stay behind the fences and barriers at these vantage points for safety.
We ask that all visitors to conservation areas stay on trails and not climb or otherwise bypass fencing, for their own safety and the environmental health of the areas. Some natural areas and escarpment features may not be fenced. Keep well back from the edge of gorges and escarpment areas, at least a body length. Adults should keep children and pets well away from these areas. If a user falls in an escarpment area, the only way to assist them out of the area is through a rope rescue by the Hamilton Fire Department, who are trained to carry out these rescues safely.
Visitors should keep to marked trails at all times, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of the many rare and sensitive plants and small animals that could be easily damaged or hurt if you leave the trails.
Please stay safe while enjoying your local conservation areas.