I have never been one to turn down a good adventure. So, when a friend invited me join her family hiking at DeCew Falls in St. Catherine’s last weekend, I couldn’t wait to go.
I had never heard of DeCew Falls before, so I did some research online. It looked pretty interesting. Two waterfalls – Upper Decew Falls and Lower DeCew Falls, hiking the gorge and possible caves for exploring. There was also a swimming hole that the kids could look forward to using to cool off during our hike.
The first stop when we arrived was the Morningstar Mill and the Morningstar family home. This is right at the top of the gorge, and you can view the Upper DeCew Falls safely from inside the mill.
The Morningstar Mill itself is pretty awesome. It features a working grist mill, that grinds grain into flour. If you are lucky and show up on the right day, you can purchase some freshly ground flour to take home with you. The entire mill has been beautifully preserved, and really gives a glimpse of how things used to be.
Next we took some time to explore the Morningstar family home. This was home to Wilson Morningstar and his family. The lumber used to build the home was cut by Wilson himself in his sawmill, and then he hired carpenters to build the home.
The kids headed out before finished the tour of the home to hike down the gorge, looking for the Falls. We followed shortly afterwards, and soon arrived at the swimming hole that was at the bottom of the escarpment. We spent a fair bit of time there before continuing on, hiking along Beaverdams Creek to get to the Lower DeCew Falls.
The Falls were pretty amazing. The kids (including the adult ones) played in the water below, and the brave ones even sat in the falls and let the water pour down on them. The only complaint would be how rocky the area is. Water shoes would have definitely been helpful.
To be fair, while it was a lot of fun, this is not a really easy hiking trail. I would rate it as moderate in difficulty as it included the descent down the gorge and then climbing over rocks, boulders and fallen trees. The climb back out was challenging, and put how deep the gorge was into perspective.
Our hike did not progress to the Upper DeCew Falls this time, as that is a more difficult section to hike, and with it being an extremely hot day, the kids just wanted to get back to the swimming hole.