Aguasabon Falls, Ontario

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Aguasabon Falls in April 2012

Aguasabon Falls is another of the impressive waterfalls in Ontario near the Lake Superior shoreline. A very short distance from the Transcanadian Highway 17, you can find Aguasabon Falls dropping 110′ into a gorge, which then turns sharply and heads downstream into Lake Superior.

It’s an impressive sight, though it is a bit difficult to get a full view of the falls with the trees in view. And yet the geology around the falls is stunning. There’s something about the rock formations around Lake Superior that is amazing, and Aguasabon Falls doesn’t disappoint.

It’s very close to the Transcanadian Highway, and it’s also a very short hike to the falls. If you’d like to explore further down the gorge, you can also drive down a few other roads and explore the creek/river, where you’ll find Lower Aguasabon Falls. It’s nowhere near as tall as Aguasabon Falls, though it’s a great way to see both Lake Superior and the river.

Directions:

  1. From Transcanadian Highway 17 in Terrace Bay, turn right onto Augasabon Gorge Road (assuming that you are headed east initially).
  2. Drive to the end of Augasabon Gorge Road, and the short hike to the falls will start here.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 110′
Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Aguasabon Falls?

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High Falls of the Pigeon River, Minnesota/Ontario

High Falls of the Pigeon River is an amazing waterfall that is on the border of both the United States and Canada. You can view it from the Minnesota side or the Ontario side of the border. Each of them has great views, and I’ve seen them from both.

On the Minnesota side, you start at Grand Portage State Park. From this park, you follow the Falls Trail to a viewing area that leads you to a spectacular viewpoint. You’re not at the base of the falls, but the trail does lead you in front of the base. It’s an easy hike along a relatively flat trail.

High Falls Minnesota side (9)

The view of High Falls from the Minnesota side

On the Ontario side, it seemed much quieter, almost eerily so. It wasn’t the sunniest of days, but I don’t remember many other people there. I believe you start at the Ontario Travel Information Center and follow the trail that leads to the falls. I don’t remember this one being particularly difficult either. On the Ontario side, you view the falls from “above” instead of directly in front of you. It’s still an awesome view as the falls are so powerful. You also have a good view of some of the logging equipment that was used at the falls in the past.

High Falls Ontario side (21)

The view from Ontario

It’s definitely worth a trip to see High Falls. At 120′, it’s the tallest waterfall in Minnesota. (Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls is taller than this, and there may be a few other Ontario waterfalls that are taller.) There are two smaller waterfalls upstream, Lower Middle Falls and Upper Middle Falls, that are much easier to access from the Ontario side.

Directions:

  1. This one is pretty difficult to miss. From Minnesota, head north on MN-61 until you’re just about to reach Customs & Border Patrol. On your left will be Grand Portage State Park. Hike 0.5 miles to the falls from the parking area.
  2. If you’re coming from Ontario, follow ON-61 south. Again, just before the border, pull into the Travel Information Center and follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy on Minnesota side), 8/10 (easy on Ontario side)
Height: 120′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip (Minnesota), 3.6 miles round-trip (Ontario)

Where in the World is High Falls of the Pigeon River?

Lower Ball’s Falls, Ontario

Lower Ball’s Falls in July 2015

I live in Michigan, and this past weekend drove to Niagara Falls. You may not necessarily realize it, but along the way, there are a significant number of other waterfalls, especially in the Hamilton area. Now, none of them are even remotely as big as Niagara Falls, but they are nowhere near as busy. If you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing waterfall, then one of these might be more of your cup of tea.

I only stopped at one waterfall, Lower Ball’s Falls, along my way. There is also an Upper Ball’s Falls, but it required a hike, and was on a tight schedule. (It isn’t a long hike, though.) The hike to Lower Ball’s Falls seemed much shorter than the advertised distance, even accounting for the conversion from kilometers to miles. The actual trail may be more extensive, leading to a longer listed hiking length.

Obviously, it is better to visit waterfalls in Spring and early Summer because of the higher water flow, but in this case, there may be another reason too. The water was actually flowing fairly well for mid-July…But the trees and greenery were in full bloom. This made it rather difficult to see the whole falls. In the spring, before any leaves and plants are out, you’ll likely be able to see the whole falls better.

Directions:

  1. From the QEW, take exit 57 heading south onto Victoria Rd.
  2. Pass ON-81 and ON-73. Shortly after passing ON-73, you’ll see Sixth Avenue to your left (assuming you’re headed south).
  3. Turn left onto Sixth Avenue. Drive a short distance to the entrance (at 3292 Sixth Avenue), where you’ll find Ball’s Falls Centre. Park here. There is a $5 per person entrance fee. (There is another parking area that seemed to be “reserved” for certain situations…at least that’s what a sign said.  There was a wedding being held there that day.)
  4. Follow the signs to Lower or Upper Ball’s Falls. It was relatively straight-forward.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.6 miles round trip
Height: 100′

Where in the World is Lower Ball’s Falls?

Keefer Falls, Ontario

Keefer Falls in October 2010

This one needs a disclaimer: Keefer Falls is on private property. Don’t visit it.

Alrighty? A little under 4 years ago, my dad and I visited Keefer Falls, one of the many waterfalls in the Owen Sound area. The book I was using, “Waterfalls of Ontario” by Mark Harris, had updates that a few waterfalls were now on private land, but Keefer Falls wasn’t one of them at that time. We got to the area where Keefer Falls was, and there were no private property signs that I can remember, so we found the falls, went to the base, and then wandered back to our car. Along the way, we found remnants of old homesteads and farming equipment.

It wasn’t until researching later that I found out that Keefer Falls was on private property. Whether that was a recent occurrence or not, I don’t know. Keefer Falls is a pretty 25′ waterfall, and yet you and I shouldn’t visit it. It’s just that simple. If you’re desperate for other waterfalls, check out Indian Falls, Jones Falls, Weaver’s Creek Falls, Inglis Falls, or Walters Falls, all of which are within driving distance.

Directions: It’s on private property.

Accessibility: It’s on private property. (0/10)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: Who Knows?

Where in the World is Keefer Falls?: It’s in Ontario.

Hoggs Falls, Ontario

There are a number of waterfalls in Grey County, Ontario near Owen Sound. One of the more widely visited falls is Eugenia Falls. But there’s another waterfall very close by: Hoggs Falls.

While not as tall as Eugenia Falls, I found it to be more interesting in a number of ways. First off, it wasn’t nearly as crowded. There were a few others along the trail, but not enough to make it seem crazy. There was also more water flowing over it (though Eugenia Falls seemed to be at very low flow). Even the scenery around the falls was beautiful. I visited the falls in fall when the colors were changing, and the colors around the falls really just popped!

Directions:

  1. From the intersection of Highway 4 and Grey County Road 13, head west on Highway 4 for a short distance.
  2. After that short distance, turn right onto East Back Line Road.
  3. After another short distance, turn right onto Lower Valley Road.
  4. Head to the parking area on the right along Lower Valley Road. The trail is across the road on the left. It’s a short distance to the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate, though a bit fuzzy)
Height: 20′
Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Hoggs Falls in October 2010

Where in the World is Hoggs Falls?

Current River Falls, Ontario

I should first of all say that I’m not really sure what to call this waterfall. I believe it is on the Current River that flows through Thunder Bay. Trowbridge Falls seems to be on the same river, though I feel that specific portion may be further upstream. This drop is downstream from the Boulevard Lake Dam, so I could even imagine it being called Boulevard Lake Falls.

Whatever its name, it doesn’t matter significantly. It is not the tallest or most impressive waterfall in the region, but it is probably one of the easiest to find if you are visiting Thunder Bay for a day. It is in the downtown area, and you may pass it by without noticing. There is a dam upstream, which might make you think twice before stopping, but this does seem to be a natural drop. The area does have a somewhat less private feel, as there are numerous buildings to the north of the falls.

Directions:

  1. As you’re driving through Thunder Bay, take Highway 17B. (This is worthwhile no matter what because it follows the lake shoreline.)
  2. The name along the road changes several times. As you’re heading north, it changes from Water Street to Cumberland Street. You will find the falls along the stretch that is Cumberland Street.
  3. Just before the road turns into Hodder Avenue, Highway 17B crosses over the Current River, and if you look to the left (if heading north), you will see a park next to the river, with the dam in view. You can stop there and walk the short distance to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: roadside
Height: ~30′

Current River Falls in April 2012

Where in the World is Current River Falls?

Lower Aguasabon Falls, Ontario

Near the town of Terrace Bay, you can find the relatively tall Aguasabon Falls. Searching around, I had read that there may be another falls further downstream on the Aguasabon River. I remembered that it was supposed to be near the beach/shoreline, and so I tried to figure out someway to see if the falls were there and also easily accessible.

Well, they are easily accessible, though maybe not obvious. It took me a little extra time to find them, considering that at one point I ended up along a road that was clearly not leading to a beach area. I backtracked, and found the sign that was indicating the beach (or maybe it was to the docks). I followed that sign, and after a short but winding drive, I ended up at the beach. Looking upstream, the falls were in sight.

I decided to explore a little bit. There was a trail (Casque Isles Trail) that ran parallel to the river, but that did not lead to any closer views of the falls. Instead, the best way to get closer to the falls is to walk VERY close to the river. There are enough rocks and sand that this is not difficult to do, and you will end up standing in front of the falls. The total drop on the river at this point is larger than it first appears. I’d guess it’s probably 15-20′, though no single drop is that tall. If you decide to visit Aguasabon Falls, take the time to visit its smaller relative. Even if the falls don’t excite you, you’ll still be rewarded with beautiful views of Lake Superior.

Directions:

  1. From Transcanadian Highway 17 in Terrace Bay, turn right onto Lakeview Drive (assuming that you are headed east initially).
  2. Almost immediately turn left onto Cartier Drive.
  3. Drive a short distance to Beach Road. There should be a sign indicating a golf course in that direction. Turn left onto Beach Road.
  4. Drive to the very end of Beach Road. You should be at the mouth of the Aguasabon River, and from there, the falls are in view.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, you can see the falls from the parking lot), 8/10 (easy/moderate) to get a closer view
Height: ~20′
Hike: None necessary (though short hike to the falls possible)

Lower Aguasabon Falls in late April 2012

Where in the World is Lower Aguasabon Falls?