Albion Falls

City of Hamilton / Mt Albion, Ontario, Canada

About Albion Falls


Hiking Distance: 600m round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2013-10-12
Date last visited: 2013-10-12

Waterfall Latitude: 43.20031
Waterfall Longitude: -79.81981

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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!

Albion_Falls_078_10122013 - Albion Falls
Albion Falls

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

Albion_Falls_003_10122013 - People going around the physical barricade to access the trail to the bottom of Albion Falls
People going around the physical barricade to access the trail to the bottom of Albion Falls

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.

Albion_Falls_096_10122013 - Some people managed to traverse this very sketchy and narrow traverse to reach the ledge beneath the upper tier of Albion Falls
Some people managed to traverse this very sketchy and narrow traverse to reach the ledge beneath the upper tier of Albion Falls

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.

Albion_Falls_044_10122013 - Context of people enjoying the bottom of Albion Falls
Context of people enjoying the bottom of Albion Falls

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.

Albion_Falls_011_10122013 - View of Albion Falls from the sanctioned overlook
View of Albion Falls from the sanctioned overlook

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.

Albion_Falls_097_10122013 - Following the Bruce Trail in pursuit of a third way to experience the Albion Falls
Following the Bruce Trail in pursuit of a third way to experience the Albion Falls

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.

Albion_Falls_104_10122013 - Wide open view of Albion Falls from a cliff near the Bruce Trail
Wide open view of Albion Falls from a cliff near the Bruce Trail

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.

Authorities

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.

Albion_Falls_008_10122013 - Partial distant view of Albion Falls from near the parking lot for the sanctioned overlook
Albion_Falls_004_10122013 - At the sanctioned overlook for Albion Falls, I couldn't help but notice that there were people already at the bottom of the falls
Albion_Falls_023_10122013 - Our first partial look at Albion Falls from one of the official lookouts
Albion_Falls_017_10122013 - Our daughter was sharing a moment dropping broken leaves through the official overlook at the Albion Falls
Albion_Falls_024_10122013 - Looking over the top of Albion 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
Albion_Falls_029_10122013 - Angled view towards the impressive Albion Falls as I was making my way down to the base
Albion_Falls_037_10122013 - Another pleasing look at the Albion Falls as I was only part way down the descent to its bottom
Albion_Falls_051_10122013 - Finally at the attractive base of Albion Falls with its very pleasing rippling characteristic
Albion_Falls_052_10122013 - Partial portrait view from the base of Albion Falls, which made me think that this waterfall was better photographed in landscape
Albion_Falls_055_10122013 - Another look as I was toying around with various compositions of Albion Falls
Albion_Falls_058_10122013 - Focusing on the rippling characteristic of the lower part of Albion Falls
Albion_Falls_067_10122013 - Another look at the Albion Falls from top to bottom as I scrambled closer to its base
Albion_Falls_070_10122013 - This partial view of Albion Falls was composed to try to bring more attention to the texture of the water rippling over the rocks
Albion_Falls_082_10122013 - Looking downstream at dozens of people enjoying the base of Albion Falls
Albion_Falls_092_10122013 - Looking across Albion Falls as I was making my way back up out of the closure area, where I noticed this ledge between the top and bottom tiers that some daredevils have managed to scramble onto
Albion_Falls_098_10122013 - The Bruce Trail looked like it was once a road, but it was now becoming overgrown
Albion_Falls_099_10122013 - The side trail leaving the Bruce Trail and leading me to the precarious lookout across the gorge for Albion Falls
Albion_Falls_108_10122013 - Looking at the cross-gorge view of Albion Falls with some people enjoying the falls at its base for scale. This was the view from the spur deviating from the Bruce Trail

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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.

Albion_Falls_001_10122013 - The parking lot off Arbour Road (just off Mud Street) on the south side of the bridge above Albion Falls
The parking lot off Arbour Road (just off Mud Street) on the south side of the bridge above Albion Falls

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.

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

Trip Planning Resources


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Tagged with: hamilton, ontario, canada, waterfall, mt albion, mount albion, city of waterfalls



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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