When you visit Walter’s falls you will discover it is in a different setting than most of the other larger waterfalls in our area. It is not in a park or conservation area, but rather on private property in the village of Walters Falls where the owners of the property operate a lovely inn decorated with fine hardwoods which were produced on the site. Throughout the inn are pictures of the old mill and its operation. It is a lovely spot for you to stop and have a delicious snack or lunch, sit by a window with a good view of the falls, or if you prefer at a table on the balcony. The parking is free and there is an area for you to stroll around and take pictures. You can also climb down into the gorge or stand on the viewing platform where Walter’s Creek plunges over the 14 m escarpments for a better view. A dam has been built at the top of the crest which controls the water flow but it is still sufficient to make a lovely picture and the setting is beautiful. The falls were discovered by John Walter and his wife over 153 years ago. They settled there and harnessed the water to power a sawmill, a feed mill, and a woolen mill. After their death, they were buried in the churchyard of St. Phillip’s Anglican Church.
This is a stone church next to the Inn which was built in 1880 and is open to visitors. The sawmill was owned by the Omstead brothers until it was sold to Willard Hallman in the mid-1940s. It expanded increasing its power capacity in the ’50s, converted to hydro in the early ’80s, and burned down in 1984. It was rebuilt on the edge of town by John’s son Paul. The feed mill is still operating on water power and the woolen mill building is still standing. If you feel like hiking there is a loop trail there that you can follow. You start by following the east bank downstream, past some magnificent boulders, and through a cedar bush. Follow Grey Road 29 and soon you will see a sign Walter’s Creek Side Trail. On this trail, you will pass the ruins of an old farmstead, to the river which you will cross, and on the Bruce Trail turn left to the town line. The trail climbs to the glacial deposits and back to Grey Road 29 and returns to the west side of the creek.
Toward the end of the hike, there is a fairly steep bank so be careful. You may prefer to drive the short distance to Bognor Marsh which is an easily accessible wildlife area. There are about 12 kilometers of trails through 668 hectares of the Niagara Escarpment upland forest. There are also boardwalks with interpretive signs and a viewing tower on Grey Rd. 18.