About Albion Falls
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.
As you can see in the photo above, Albion Falls also had plenty of character with its rippling texture over its cascading drop.
Its nice flow even persisted 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 from a variety of positions, and yet I still could get enough of the experience.
Add it all up and this could very well have been our favorite waterfall in the Hamilton area.
Experiencing Albion Falls from its base
The photo you see at the top of this page was taken from the base of Albion Falls.
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.
Just beyond the barricades, there were steps that then led down to a scramble on somewhat steep and slippery escarpment slopes.
All along the descent, there were intermediate views where I was able to see the falls at more elevated profile angles.
I also noticed some people deviating from these intermediate ledges and taking risks to scramble towards the uppermost tier of the falls.
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.
So it made me wonder if the authorities would be better off building steps to minimize the erosion of this lowermost section.
Anyways, only after making it to the bottom of the scramble were we able to get right in front of Albion Falls for that close-up look at its character.
Now given that getting down here required an act of rebellion, there was indeed some uncertainty around how long this access will persist.
Nevertheless, the high scenic rating we’ve given Albion Falls was largely based on experiencing it from its bottom.
Experiencing Albion Falls from the Sanctioned Overlook
The base of Albion Falls wasn’t the only way to experience the waterfall.
We also did a more sanctioned way that involved 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.
However, it was a little on the disappointing side due to the overgrowth and lack of intimacy with the falls.
From the immediate area around the overlook here, there was definitely no safe way to reach the bottom of the waterfall to improve the views.
A third way to experience Albion Falls
A third way to see Albion 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.
This ledge was where I was able to get a frontal birds-eye view of Albion Falls from across its gorge.
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.
Personally, I found it to be an improvement over the sanctioned overlook mentioned just above.
All in all, I had spent nearly 90 minutes at the Albion Falls to experience it in all the manners described above.
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.
Albion Falls resides in the City of Hamilton in the province of Ontario, Canada. It is administered by the City of Hamilton. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.
To drive to Albion Falls from downtown Hamilton, we took Main Street East to Wellington Street and then turned right to go south.
We followed Wellington Street onto the Claremont Access, and then followed the Claremont Access for about 2km, which would then become Upper James St.
Continuing south on Upper James St for 3km towards the Lincoln M Alexander Parkway East, we then followed the Lincoln M Alexander Parkway East for about 5.6km towards the exit for Dartnall Rd.
Taking the exit, we then turned left onto Stone Church Rd, then turned left onto Pritchard Rd after about 850m, and then turned left onto Albion Rd after 750m, and finally driving 350m on Mud St towards Arbour Rd.
We then turned 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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