Crystal Falls Hike
Crystal Falls is an incredibly beautiful place to visit.
It’s one of those local legendary places that people have been coming to forever, and as a result, everyone has his own advice and directions on how to get there.
Every website you consult will give you different directions, making it confusing!
After we got turned around trying to follow the countless websites, we stopped at the Kingston Visitor Information Centre for directions. The wonderful woman working there says that this happens quite a bit (people getting lost going to Crystal Falls, as it is not marked), so she had directions already written out and gave me a copy.
Only follow these directions! And, you will be sure to see some other interesting things along the way!
Directions to Crystal Falls
Go past the Greenwood Mall and across from Walmart, turn right at the Enviro Depot onto Rocknotch Road.
You will go across a one lane bridge and come to a T in the road.
Take an immediate right onto a dirt road. There is a red barn on the corner. This is also Rocknotch Road.
Continue on this road till you come to a T in the road.
Turn left on Harmony Road.
You will cross a one lane bridge.
Go to the top of the hill and park along the road.
The hike begins at the first dirt lane on your right.
(If you pass Greenwood Road and mailboxes, you have gone too far.
At Crystal Falls there is no picnic area.
I highly recommend stopping at the McMaster Mill (which you will pass following these instructions) for a picnic, or even a short visit.
This also has you avoid eating your picnic on the side of the road like we did!
McMaster Historic Mill
McMaster Historic Mill – 205 Rocknotch Rd, Rockville Notch
This park features trails leading down to the former sawmill site where there are interpretive panels outlining the mill history and the McMaster family history.
There is also a pedestrian walkway leading down into the gorge for views; as well as public seating areas to view the dam and the waterfalls.
It is a beautiful site with trails that can be walked in about 15-20 minutes. Well worth a stop!
Back to Crystal Falls…
To get to Crystal Falls, walk down the dirt road where it says Road Closed; No Maintenance.
Some people do drive down this road, but if you value your car, I would just walk it!
As you walk along the road, after about 15 minutes, you will come to an intersection. The main path veers to the right and over a metal suspension bridge.
Or, you can go straight ahead through the David Morse Trail.
If you go RIGHT….
Follow this road for another 10 minutes or so. The scenery is beautiful.
At the crest of the hill there is a path to your left that is marked by hunting tape and a survey marker.
This path will take you to the bottom of the ravine.
continue a few more minutes further where you can see the power lines. To the left is a dirt path leading to the same point at the bottom.
This second trail is better maintained but is steeper than the first path.
At the bottom of the ravine, you need to play leap frog across the stones, logs and mud to get to the falls.
It takes about 30minutes to get to the falls.
And, it will be all worthwhile!
The falls are magnificent.
If you are brave enough, you can swim in the water, too! But, it’s pretty cold, especially on a May day!
When you are ready to go, just reverse your steps.
You can go “around the corner”. You will see boulders and logs going across the water.
Cross these with care, and take the path to your immediate left that will connect with the David Morse trail (as mentioned above).
If you are walking with children or people with some mobility issues, we recommend going straight at the David Morse Trail sign. (DO NOT go over the metal bridge). The path has a gentle grade and is not so steep. You will just have to cross over the logs to get to the main “beach” area.
When you head straight past the David Morse Trail sign, at the top of the hill, there is a pathway to your right and a directional sign pointing to Crystal Falls.
If you want to make it a full loop, try walking in one way and looping around and out the other way!
It is about 3km each way to the falls.
Crystal Falls is a beautiful hike, with the reward of a refreshing swim at the end. This certainly kept the complaining at bay!
The trail is stroller/bike friendly until you must descend to the falls themselves. It is also dog friendly!
Worth checking out!