Top
  >  Adventure   >  Hamilton Autumn Day Trip: Itinerary + Everything you need to know

This year, with restricted travel and most places in lockdown, I’ve been quite the travel-starved travel blogger, welcoming any and all opportunities to explore new places. Since we were apprehensive about staying anywhere (that changed quickly and we later visited Mont Tremblant, renting an Airbnb), we drove down to Hamilton for a day trip- on a particularly freezing and windy Autumn day. But what a day it was, full of everything lovable about autumn and an itinerary that’s worth sharing!

Visiting the falls and getting there:

Famous for its waterfalls, Hamilton is a dream for those who enjoy hikes and a great autumn landscape. Foliage around the falls is so beautiful, almost all imaginable fall colours are in full view. Hamilton is all about the slow life and perhaps it was because we visited on a day when everything was shut, but I found that Downtown Hamilton was quite a little square of hustle and bustle, which didn’t extend beyond the main DT area.

Famous for its waterfalls, Hamilton is a dream for those who enjoy hikes and a great autumn landscape. Foliage around the falls is so beautiful, almost all imaginable fall colours are in full view. Hamilton is all about the slow life and perhaps it was because we visited on a day when everything was shut, but I found that Downtown Hamilton was quite a little square of hustle and bustle, which didn’t extend beyond the main DT area.

The falls are a little away from the main city, so if you’re planning to take public transport to Hamilton, you would need to Uber it or rent a car in order to reach the falls. Some of the falls lie along the same trail but others are a short ways away from each other. If you’re visiting for a day, it might not be ideal to walk from one waterfall to the next. Albion Falls has a wonderful, long trail running beside it, while also having a lookout point that allows you to see the falls in a distance. A lot of the waterfalls require a ticket or permit, so it might be wise to book in advance- at least during popular holidays or during the summer.

We couldn’t visit most falls since the last-minute plan didn’t allow us to reserve our spots. I would recommend picking the best one through a quick google search as some of those might be better options than the one we visited (Albion Falls).

Toronto to Hamilton:

Trains and buses run from Toronto downtown to Hamilton. But the journey is significantly longer by public transport than it would have been if you just drove down. Unless you have someone to drive you around or unless you intend to remain only in the downtown area, taking public transport might not solve the problem of traveling within/around the city. You would need to Uber it between falls, which could cost quite a bit. The best way to explore them is to drive around.

Full-Day Itinerary:

1. African Lion Safari:

Start the day by visiting the African Lion Safari, where you can drive through, opt for a tour bus ride and even a boat cruise. They also have a scenic railway ride. This is an activity you could explore with friends, a partner or even your kids. It’s a full-fledged family experience. It’s a conservation park that is also home to many other declining birds and animals. There is so much to see and experience here that the visit is a blend of education and entertainment. With over 1000+ species of animals and birds, this is such a fun place to spend time!

2. Brunch/Lunch at MERIT Brewing Company:

This brewery serves excellent beer and even better food! The vibe during the evening is far better than it is during the day, so if you intend to hang around then, it may be worth visiting once office hours are over and the place starts to get a little crowded. The food is delicious and the sausages are incredible! A lot of their food is a fusion of flavours and cuisines, which makes it unique and adds a fun twist to “every day bar food.”

Food Recommendation: Butter Chicken Sausage (super recommended), Chicken Wing Sausage

3. Stop for souvenirs at JNGS (James North General Store):

This tiny shop is right next to MERIT Brewing downtown, selling mugs, wall signs and other home collectibles. There’s some cute stuff to be found, some unique some very generic. They have limited hours of operation though!

4. Albion Falls and Trails:

This is one of the falls that doesn’t require much effort- that is, if you’re okay with a distant peek. There’s a long hike leading to the bottom of the falls, which is often closed off, so it might be helpful to check in advance. The hike is beautiful and covered in yellow leaves come Autumn, with many a spot for pictures. The viewing point is right beside the parking, so you can easily check it out, click some pictures and hop back into your vehicle. It’s a convenient visit and while driving past, it’s also a good place to view the falls. Unless you plan to walk down to the bottom of the falls, the experience may not be the same and you might not find the drive worth it for a viewpoint that’s quite a bit away from the fall.

5. Hanes Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch:

If you’re visiting Hamilton in Autumn, this is the one thing you can’t miss! And for a true corn maze experience, I can’t recommend Hanes enough. As soon as you arrive, you will notice the Tiny Shop Bakery which, true to its name, is an adorable hole-in-the-wall cafe that serves incredible baked goodies (and I never joke about dessert!) with a long line of customers outside its door.

The corn maze is a huge, massive maze that takes 2 hours to complete, although you can step out at any point. There’s a map with different points to look for and tick off. It’s a great place to monkey around with friends and family! The corn maze also has a pumpkin patch right next to it, with pumpkins of all sizes. You can choose from hundreds of pumpkins, straight off the vine and take them home with you. I reckon there’s no better way to experience fall than at one of these places. There are photo props and other games as well (such as shoot-a-pumpkin!!) and it’s a full day of activities if you choose to spend the entire day here.

Recommended baked goods: Butter Tart (super recommended), Cinnamon Donut, Raisin Scone

Nikita Butalia is a solo 20-something traveler who documents her experiences around India and the rest of the world in witty narratives and travel tales that are best read curling up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate on a winter evening.

post a comment