Chris Ecklund's video of Albion Falls roaring like a tiger. Shot in August 2009.
Albion Falls Photo by Frank Greco. Click to enlarge.
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.
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.
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!
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
To reach Albion Falls via a walking trail,
take the Escarpment Rail Trail or the Albion Side Trail of the