001 - 002 | 1.3 kmThis hike takes you from Albion Falls passing five waterfalls on the way to Devil's Punch Bowl. From the Red Hill Creek parking lot follow the wide main path out of the parking lot area. Very soon you will see a blue trail sign featuring the Mountain Brow Trail. Turn right and follow this trail through the woods and along an abandoned roadway.
Approaching Albion Falls there is a good lookout point on the narrow path to your right. Take care here as you are right on the edge of the gorge. A low rail guard suggests you should not cross it for a better view. More than one person has fallen over the edge here so exercise extreme caution.
Back on the trail you will see the lovely Albion Falls in front of you (002). Its appearance has been spoiled by the rusty guardrail and the strikingly ugly concrete bridge that takes Mountain Brow Road over Red Hill Creek. One wonders who could ever have decided to build such a bridge there.
002 - 003 | 2.5 kmBefore reaching the road there is a set of stairs heading down but only for a short way. The rest of the descent requires care and a steady foot to navigate the steep trail down to the foot of the falls. However the descent is worthwhile if you are up to it. Huge boulders and rocks, some of which have broken loose from the falls, line the bottom of the waterbed here. You can walk right up to the bottom of the falls if you wish. To return to the crest of the falls, head towards the back of the gorge where the trail is more gradual as it rises to where the stairs begin.
Cross the bridge and walk to the park area on your right to follow the trail around the gorge. Good views of Albion Falls can also be gained on this side of the gorge where there is a parking lot and two observation platforms. Unfortunately much vegetations blocks some of the view indicating some timely pruning would be in order. Continue along the escarpment edge until you arrive at Buttermilk Falls (003). While the falls will most likely be mostly dry there are still excellent views of the gorge below.
003 - 004 | 3.5 kmContinue around the gorge to the far side for more excellent viewing points. The trail continues through the woods before leaving the woods and arriving alongside Mountain Brow Blvd. Here the trail stays behind the guardrail and follows Mountain Brow for about 600 m. Just before a curve in the road up ahead, the trail makes a sharp turn to the right and then right again as this U-turn marks the beginning of the descent to the valley floor (004). [This was called the Red Hill Creek ST.]
004 - 005 | 3.7 kmHalfway down on this gradual descent, the Mountain Brow Trail terminates where it meets the main Bruce Trail (005).
005 - 006 | 5.1 kmContinue straight ahead keeping to the right at this intersection. The trail descends to a concrete and metal bridge and culvert over Red Hill Creek. Past the bridge the trail turns right continuing to follow the main Bruce Trail back into the woods along Red Hill Creek. This is a very scenic area. Soon the trail makes a turn to the left, climbs a hill and meets the Mountain Brow Side Trail. [Turning right here would take you back to (001) in 400 m.]
Cross the Mountain Brow Trail and continue straight ahead on the main Bruce Trail into a maple hardwoods. At a T-intersection, turn left heading downhill into an open area. The trail becomes an asphalt trail and at the next major intersection, the trail turns right and heads downhill where the Red Hill Valley Pky overpass looms. The trail passes under the roadway and then climbs a gravel slope to meets the Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail (006), which follows the now closed Mount Albion Rd.
006 - 007 | 5.7 kmThe trail heads right and climbs the road as it curves uphill. Ahead the trail turns left on a paved path which is part of the new East Mountain Trail Loop and up ahead enters the woods to the left. The trail passes a strange fenced in waterworks and up ahead you will see and hear a pretty terraced small waterfalls [Glendale Falls] (007) .
007 - 008 | 7.9 kmThe trail continues along the edge of the escarpment passing a shaded picnic table and a golf course down below. The trail passes quite close to some backyards that are encroaching on the trail as it comes out into a less wooded area. Just past a large swimming pool a few metres from the trail, the trail re-enters the woods as it approaches the Felker's Falls CA along the escarpment edge. The path is level throughout as it skirts the escarpment above the City of Hamilton. Along here there are great views of Burlington Bay and its surrounds. Soon you will hear the roar of Felker’s Falls. A new wooden post and double metal tube fence comes into view and guides you through the woods to Felker's Falls (008).
008 - 009 | 9.9 kmThe trail comes out to an open meadow and the Felker's Falls parking lot can be seen to the right. A display sign is located here showing the trail and various waterfalls. The trail enters the brush and passes along the creek below before crossing over a metal and wood bridge above the falls and turns left to continue along the Bruce Trail. The trail passes a dry gully running down into the gorge. There is a good lookout spot where the trail turns abruptly right to follow the escarpment edge. This overhang spot is the best place to photograph the falls. Priceless views of Hamilton and the Bay can be had along this stretch of the trail.
Shortly you will come to a wide rock cliff area where the trail curves around a former limestone quarry. The new East Mountain Trail Loop runs parallel to the Bruce Trail and in places the Bruce trail is signed along this paved all-purpose loop. The trail becomes very rocky and begins a long gradual descent into the valley below. Near the bottom, the trail meets the Veever’s Park Access Trail. The main trail turns right and descends a small gully over some stones and climbs back up. The trail continues undulating through the woods and arrives at a gravel trail (009.)
009 -010 | 11.9 kmThe trail continues forward across the gravel trail. At a Y-intersection, the trail heads left downhill. The trail comes to a small gully over a creek with some stones and arrives at an open area with a playing field. You can see the bay straight ahead and some subdivision homes and buildings. The trail turns right skirting the field and entering back into the brush along the meadow. The trail arrives at the railway tracks and passes under the Centennial Pkwy roadway overpass above. The trail heads back into the brush and comes to an open woods with little underbrush. A wooden bridge with sides crosses a wide rocky Battlefield Creek. The trail arrives at a wide gravel trailway with an erosion rut down the middle. This is the intersection with the Ridge Road Access Trail which turns right and heads uphill on a long gravel slope (010).
010 - 011 | kmKeep on the main Bruce Trail which turns left and heads downhill towards the fences where it veers off to the right. Entering the woods, the trail climbs uphill. [The side trail straight ahead has eroded away.] The trail turns and descends down to meet Stoney Creek just before the concrete culvert. From this point you can see the Lower Falls. Here there is a rough trail to the right that leads alongside the creek to the base of The Devil’s Punch Bowl falls. This trail is badly eroded and can be dangerous. This area is very overgrown in the summer when there is very little water in the creek. Continuing along, the main trail climbs over a concrete culvert and up a set of wooden log steps to a plateau at the top. The railway tracks can be seen down below. The trail wanders through the woods before arriving at the Devil’s Falls Side Trail (011).
011 - 012 | 13.0 kmTurn right onto this side trail which climbs steeply up to the lookout point above. Note: this is a difficult climb (or descent) especially nearer the top. You may wish to backtrack to the Ridge Road Access Trail which is a longer but much easier climb up to the top. Head towards the Devil’s Punch Bowl observation area and examine the huge cross and the spectacular views. Not only can you see all of Hamilton and Burlington Bay but on a clear day you can see the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre in Toronto. A short ways to the right down Ridge Road past the bridge at the crest of the falls (012), the Punch Bowl Fruit Market and Bakery is worth a visit.
Enjoy the hike and the day!