Albion Falls

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Rating: 4     Difficulty: 2
Albion Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Albion Falls was probably one of the prettiest (if not THE prettiest) waterfalls we encountered while waterfalling in and around the City of Hamilton. Ever since someone contributed a photo of this falls on our Facebook page, we eagerly anticipated a visit to this two-tiered waterfall and we weren't disappointed! It looked to us to be impressively large though the literature seemed to have proclaimed that the falls was about a modest 19m in height and 18m wide. The falls also had plenty of character with its rippling texture over its cascading drop as well as a nice flow even as late as our October 2013 visit (suggesting it should have year-round flow). Indeed, I had spent plenty of time taking photographs of this falls and I still had the urge to spend even more time to take more photos. Add it all up and this could very well have been our favorite waterfall in the Hamilton area.

The photo you see at the top of this page was taken from its base. However, during our visit, it appeared that the trail to get there had been closed since August 2013. Yet that didn't stop hundreds of people from crossing Mud St then finding ways to go past the barricade to continue down the steps and scramble down the somewhat steep and slippery escarpment slopes to make it to the best seat in the house so-to-speak. How long this access will persist will remain an uncertainty I'm sure, but the high scenic rating we've given this waterfall was largely based on our experiences from getting down to its base.

Albion Falls was conducive to many different compositions making it a photographer's dream All along the descent, there were intermediate views where I was able to see the falls at more profile angles (even seeing some people taking risks by scramble along the uppermost tier of the falls). There were also attractive frontal views from ledges and openings before finally getting down to the bottom to join the many people enjoying themselves around the plunge pool or taking numerous long exposure tripod shots. The final section of the descent was definitely a bit steep and slippery, but with adequate footwear and a healthy respect for the hazards, I thought it wasn't bad at all. And for so many people to disregard the closure notice to get down here, I'd imagine the closure was largely driven by the fear of erosion, which made me wonder if they'd be better off building steps to minimize the erosion.

In any case, the base of Albion Falls wasn't the only way to experience the waterfall. We also did a more sanctioned way of crossing Mud Street, then walking over the bridge crossing Red Hill Creek towards another car park on the opposite side of the creek. There were viewing platforms there to take a more distant view of Albion Falls though it was a little on the disappointing side due to the overgrowth and lack of intimacy with the falls.

A third way to see the falls involved following the Bruce Trail to the right of the stairs leading to the base. I followed this trail around the gorge until I noticed a spur trail to the left leading towards a guard rail as well as an open ledge where I was able to get a frontal birds-eye view of Albion Falls from across the gorge containing the falls. I had to be careful not to get too close to the edge of this ledge considering it was a sheer drop below. But if the trail closure to its base started to be enforced, then I would recommend seeing the falls from this spot as the next best alternative.

All in all, I had spent nearly 90 minutes at the falls. The hiking was short (possibly less than five minutes or so to get to its base slowly) or less than 2 minutes to get to the alternate overlooks. So most of my time spent here was really for enjoying the waterfall, and that further enhanced the experience. See the rest of the photos and videos on this page to get a better sense beauty of Albion Falls. Words could only say so much.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was a slightly more elevated frontal view of Albion Falls on the way down to its baseThis was a slightly more elevated frontal view of Albion Falls on the way down to its base
This was the full contextual view of Albion Falls from across the gorge accessed from a short detour off the Bruce TrailThis was the full contextual view of Albion Falls from across the gorge accessed from a short detour off the Bruce Trail
Not far from Albion Falls was the Devil's Punchbowl Falls which featured this overlook back towards the city of HamiltonNot far from Albion Falls was the Devil's Punchbowl Falls which featured this overlook back towards the city of Hamilton
Albion Falls was probably one of the signature waterfalls of Hamilton, but roughly an hour's drive to the east was Toronto, which was Canada's largest city and well worth visitingAlbion Falls was probably one of the signature waterfalls of Hamilton, but roughly an hour's drive to the east was Toronto, which was Canada's largest city and well worth visiting
This was the car park at Arbour Rd and Mud StThis was the car park at Arbour Rd and Mud St

Our first partial look at Albion Falls from the official lookoutsOur first partial look at the falls from the official lookouts

This was the second and more distant yet somewhat overgrown official view of Albion FallsThis was the second and more distant yet somewhat overgrown official view of the falls

Looking over the top of Albion Falls from the bridge over Red Hill CreekLooking over the top of the falls from the bridge over Red Hill Creek. Notice the people across the gorge, which gave me the idea that there were more viewing possibilities.

A couple of ladies walking some dogs weren't deterred by the trail closure to access the base of Albion FallsA couple of ladies walking some dogs weren't deterred by the trail closure to access the base of the falls

Angled view towards the impressive Albion Falls as I was making my way down to the baseAngled view towards the impressive falls as I was making my way down to the base

Finally at the attractive base of Albion FallsFinally at the attractive base of Albion Falls

I was toying around with various compositions of Albion FallsI was toying around with various compositions of the falls

This partial view of Albion Falls was composed to try to bring more attention to the texture of the water rippling over the rocksThis partial view of Albion Falls was composed to try to bring more attention to the texture of the water rippling over the rocks

Looking downstream at dozens of people enjoying the base of Albion FallsLooking downstream at dozens of people enjoying the base of the falls

As I was making my way back up to the top, I noticed other paths that led to the upper waterfallAs I was making my way back up to the top, I noticed other paths that led to the upper waterfall

Following the Bruce Trail towards a different view of Albion FallsFollowing the Bruce Trail towards a different view of the falls

The trail looked like it was once a road now becoming overgrownThe trail looked like it was once a road now becoming overgrown

The side trail leading me to the precarious lookout across the gorge for Albion FallsThe side trail leading me to the precarious lookout across the gorge for the falls

Looking at the cross-gorge view of Albion Falls with some people enjoying the falls at its base for scaleLooking at the cross-gorge view of Albion Falls with some people enjoying the falls at its base for scale


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Looking up and down at the falls from across the gorge before panning over to the trail that got me here


Checking out the falls from its base before panning over to the plunge pool area where many people were enjoying the falls


Left to right sweep from the disappointing official overlook of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From downtown Hamilton, take Main Street East to Wellington Street and turn right (to go south). Follow Wellington Street onto the Claremont Access, and follow the Claremont Access for about 2km, which would then become Upper James St. Continue south on Upper James St for 3km towards the Lincoln M Alexander Parkway East. Then follow the Lincoln M Alexander Parkway East for about 5.6km towards the exit for Dartnall Rd. Take the exit, then turn left onto Stone Church Rd, turn left Pritchard Rd after about 850m, turn left onto Albion Rd after 750m, and finally drive 350m on Mud St towards Arbour Rd. Turn left onto Arbour Rd where one of the main car parks was on the right.

There was also more parking further along Mud St on the right side a short distance after the bridge over Red Hill Creek (above Albion Falls). That appeared to be the more "official" car park as it was closer to the distant overlooks that it seemed the authorities wanted you to go to (instead of the base of the falls).

For context, Hamilton was 70km (an hour drive) southwest of Toronto, 73km (under an hour drive) west of Niagara Falls, and 309km (over 3 hours drive) east of Detroit, Michigan.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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