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Albion Falls


Chris Ecklund's video of Albion Falls roaring like a tiger. Shot in August 2009.

Albion Falls
Albion Falls Photo by Frank Greco. Click to enlarge.

Albion Falls
Albion Falls in Winter. Photo by Dan Court. Click to enlarge.

Albion Falls is a Complex Classic Cascade waterfall 19 metres in height. Located at the southernmost tip of King's Forest Park in Hamilton, its source is Red Hill Creek. Albion Falls enjoys year-round flow.

Albion Falls is the premier waterfall in Hamilton's east end. Two viewing platforms were constructed by the City of Hamilton in 2005 - 2006 at a cost of approximately $350,000. The Project Manager at the City of Hamilton for designing and constructing the two viewing platforms that were built in 2005/2006 was Steve Barnhart, Landscape Architect for the Public Works Department. He also is one of the City of Hamilton representatives on the Hamilton Waterfall Group that meets several times each year.

Rocks from the Albion Falls area were used in the construction of the Royal Botanical Gardens' Rock Garden.

In July 2009 a weekend rainstorm altered the gorge at Albion Falls. Entire sections were carved out of the earth and the shifting of rocks in the 100 foot wide, forty feet deep space created a third 'shelf', making the waterfall more accessible than ever before.

See some videos of the new Albion Falls.

History

This waterfall has a rich history. It was once considered as a possible water supply source for Hamilton, and rocks from the surrounding area were used in the rock garden of the Royal Botanical Garden. The land on which Albion Falls is located was once known as Albion Mills or the Village of Mount Albion.

Albion Falls in 1883

The original property owner was William Davis, a plantation head who supported the British during the American Revolution. After the British defeat, Davis fled his home in North Carolina in 1792 and came to Canada. After being granted the waterfall and 500 acres of land that surrounded it, Davis established Albion Mills. This small settlement grew into an important community as the nineteenth century progressed, featuring a grist mill, blacksmith shops, taverns, a church and a general store. In 1880, its name was changed to Mount Albion.

The main road through the village was -and still is- called Mud Street. A stone toll road to the city of Hamilton was built in 1880. The keeper collected fifteen cents per return trip for one-horse wagons, and twenty cents for two-horse wagons.

The mill continued to operate until 1907, when Robert Grassie, the owner, fell into the wheel pit and was killed. After that accident, the mill was never run again.

Mount Albion had a strong sulphur spring bubbling up from a shallow drill-hole. According to historian J.E. Turner, who addressed the local historical society in January 1946, "The water does not freeze easily. It is too strong for domestic use, yet is valuable for farm stock."

Half a mile down the valley, two streams join, one from Buttermilk Falls and another from what was once called the Mill Falls. A dam and a primitive sawmill was located there during the mid-1800s. One day a group of workmen there quarrelled and one of them was killed. His ghost was often seen thereafter, hovering over the stream, travelling along the roads, or flitting through the woods. One tipsy patron of the Black Horse Tavern in Mount Albion was sure that he saw the spirit lurking beside a tree one night. He swung his fist, and discovered to his detriment that the pale form was the dangling corpse of a freshly killed pig. The courageous drunk broke his right arm.

According to Joe Hollick, "In the 1950's Albion Falls was the destination of hundreds of youngsters (including myself) on Good Friday either walking or biking to Albion Falls or hiking up the Red Hill Creek. During that decade, there was a small general store across the road from Albion Falls and all of us would go in to buy pop and treats after the long trip to Albion Falls. The store was demolished about 1960 and it was a sad day for us youngsters to see the store gone. On these hikes if the volume of water was not too large, we would walk across the ledge half way down the waterfall."

Albion Falls Legends

Albion Falls is a place of tremendous beauty, yet it is also the site of numerous tragedies, some famous, some now forgotten. It's also the location of the first natural gas discovery in Ontario. Read some of the stories below!

How to get there

To reach Albion Falls by car, exit on Dartnell Road from the Lincoln Alexander Parkway. Go south on Dartnell, then go left onto Stonechurch Road East. Turn left onto Pritchard Road, then left again onto Mud Street. You will find two parking lots available on either side of Mud Street where it connects with Mountain Brow Boulevard.

To reach Albion Falls via a walking trail, take the Escarpment Rail Trail or the Albion Side Trail of the Bruce Trail.


View Larger Map

Albion Falls Photo Gallery

These pictures were taken after the July 2009 weekend that changed the layout of the gorge. Click on images to enlarge.

Photos by Chris Ecklund
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Albion Falls    
Photos by Chris Ecklund
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Below are photos submitted by site staff and supporters. Click on images to enlarge.

Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Lorraine Booker. Click to enlarge.
Vintage Albion Falls postcard
A vintage postcard of Mount Albion and Albion Falls
Albion Falls
Albion Falls in winter. Photo by Joe Hollick. Click to enlarge.

Albion Falls
Albion Falls in Winter. Photo by Dan Court. Click to enlarge.
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Steve Gilchrist. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Steve Gilchrist. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by David Piano. Click to enlarge.
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by Ralf Nowak. Click to enlarge
Albion Falls
Albion Falls in winter. Photo by Deb Cole. Click to enlarge.
Albion Falls
Albion Falls in winter. Photo by Deb Cole. Click to enlarge.
Albion Falls
Albion Falls in winter. Photo by Don Scott. Click to enlarge.
Albion Falls
Albion Falls. Photo by David Piano. Click to enlarge.
 

Albion Falls Plaque

 

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