Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Felker's Falls, Little Davis Falls and a looong journey along the Red Hill Valley Trail

My friends and I decided to go on this hike, to see if we could see four waterfalls (Felker's, Glendale, Albion, and Buttermilk) I had this great blog post all planned out in my head, where I could recommend a straightforward hike, with loads of payback (four falls!). But of course that didn't happen. We did see two waterfalls, but trying to get to Albion from Glendale led us hiking alll around the Red Hill Valley Trail for about three hours until dark. Actually, I was sprinting through the trails, because I was so desperate to find Albion. The last time we went there, my camera was lacking its memory card - so I got some photos, but not the best quality:
Albion phone pic :c

Apparently halfway through my friends had given up on finding the falls and just finding the car, but I was not told. We did have a good adventure, and ended up finding some cool graffiti, the abandoned Mud St. and some fireflies. I eventually stopped pouting and enjoyed what our hike turned out to be.

The falls that we did see were really nice though! The trailhead to Felker's Falls is found off of Ackland Street - so from wherever you are coming from, get to Mud St. (usually by taking the Red Hill Valley Expressway), exit on Mud. St., turn right, turn left on Paramount Dr., then right on Ackland. 

What also did not help precipitate an easy, straightforward hike was the fact that we stayed on the trail for probably a total of three seconds. You can get a pretty good view of Felker's from the trail, but it's still a bit hard to see through the trees. We found a good area to slide down the escarpment (it's not that steep - some loose rocks, but overall not that bad) and we headed on in. 

I really liked that you could get behind the falls - that is always one of my favourite things to do if I can.

We headed downstream toward what we found out was Little Davis Falls. There is a trail next to the stream and it's about a ten minute walk. It was pretty cool, but smelled a bit like sewage...

timing is hard...

so happy!
Alright, so this is where the hike went wayyy off course. These are what the directions say on the Geotrails website, for this four-falls hike: "You can return to Felker’s Falls, or, if more adventurous, continue on the Bruce Trail to Mud Street, Albion and Buttermilk Falls." That sounds pretty simple, right? Just follow the trail. I honestly don't even know what happened. 

We figured we'd follow the stream, since the trail seemed to follow it for the most part. We ended up at a sewer grate and came out at some suburban area. According to a smartphone, we could get back on the trail at some other point, so we walked along the streets for a bit. The sun was setting, but I was so sure we could make it to the other falls. 

We found some entrance to the Red Hill Valley Trail. At this point we had been walking for an hour and a half. We spent probably another hour and a half wandering these trails, asking other hikers who made it sound SO simple to get to the falls, but the trails kept branching off and branching off. Also there were no maps along the trail and we really had no idea where we were going.

We ran into some fourteen year old kid with a bow and arrow, and asked him for directions - our desperation had become apparent. It was around this point that we decided to give up - this was the first time one of our hikes had failed! Devastating.

Under the Red Hill Parkway
On Old Mud St. Consulting our phones for the way home...
We ended up finding our way back due to one of my friend's advice to follow the Bruce Trail...somehow that worked even though the trail doesn't even necessarily link up to where we started.

We followed that until we got to a fork that led down a really dark and wooded area and a continuation of the Bruce Trail - for some reason our choice of the former (simply because it was the darkest) actually led us back to our car. 

Overall, it was a really fun hike, and we got to see two awesome waterfalls! We couldn't let it sit though, that we couldn't find our way. So a couple of us actually went back to next night (I know...)

We parked in the same spot, and decided to follow the proper trail instead of sliding down the escarpment. Once again, we asked other hikers - their directions seemed so straightforward! We followed what seemed to be the main trail, and only took turns when we had been instructed to. After an hour of hiking, some areas of the trail began to look familiar - we had somehow gotten to some of the same areas of the trail as the previous night, and had no clearer idea of where the falls were. We decided to cut our losses, head back to the car, and drive to Albion.

Of course, by this time the sun had set and I couldn't hope to get a good picture of Albion. It was pretty cool though being by the falls at night! There was a streetlight that provided just enough light, and it was nice to just sit by the water.

My night photos aren't very good by photography standards, but I think they are kind of cool?


We're definitely going to go back to get some good photos of Albion (it is such a gorgeous waterfall, it really deserves a good portrayal!) and apparently there is a bike trail that you can take from downtown straight to the falls, so we'll probably check that out.

If anyone has hiked from Felker's to Albion...impart your wisdom on me.


  1. I am guessing by now you have done the walk from Felkers to albion? If you haven't I will say one think based of your above photos you were pretty close.

    Anyway its much easier to walk from the Top of Felkers to ALbion if you are at the base you have to give to the top of the escarpment! at the top in this area is the Bruce trail. Head West Follow until you come to old mount albion road of btw just before this you will see the gendale falls in the ravince to your right. Anyway follow the road down the mountain. keep an eye out for a trail to your left that take you under the RHVP at this point the trail heads towards the pine forest as it enters the pine forest go to the left through it that will bend to the left after about 100 meters soon after you will decent a slope before its ziz zags up steeply at this point you can take a right turn down to the Red Hill Creek and follow it up steam to Albion falls.

    e-mails at if yo uhave any questions about any Hamilton Trails! I know them all very well!

    1. Hi Ray, I know I am responding super late, but I am just going through old posts and saw this! This is so great, thanks so much for this advice! I would love to explore more of the Red Hill Valley Trails - I'm looking forward to following your directions! :)