How We Discovered a Magical Waterfall in Waterton along the Akamina Parkway in Waterton.
Last weekend our friends and us tried to do the Forum Falls hike in Waterton. Unfortunately, we forgot to check to make sure the road was open after winter and construction. It wasn’t. Sad day.
We briefly considered finding another hike to do, but I thought, hey, we always talk about exploring the Akamina Parkway, let’s actually do it! So we drove back down the road until we found something interesting to look at. And we sure found a lot! Here’s our adventure:
To get to the Akamina Parkway, head into Waterton and before you get to the town site take a right onto the road that has a big sign saying, “Akamina Parkway” on it. Easy peasy! For reference, we started at the top and worked our way down.
Our first stop was here, at this stream. (If anyone knows the name of these places, please let me know!) There is a little pull off on the side of the road where we parked. First we decided to explore in the woods, where we found a plaque showing the site of an old town and hotel! Who knew there was almost a city all the way up here? Super cool.
The trail to the plaque and the stream is not very well marked, and we had to do a fair bit of plowing through the undergrowth. But it was still fun!
Next we stopped at this stream and cute little bridge. We walked up the stream bed up to the tree line, and spent some time throwing rocks, building inukshuks, and exploring.
After we were done we marched back down to the bridge and let the kids run through the drain pipes under the road. We had adults on both sides to make sure everyone was being safe!
And then of course we had to check it out for ourselves…
Afterwards we poked down the run off path and found another little stream to enjoy. This one had almost a sandy beach to it, so the kids all took off their shoes and played around.
We pulled over and had lunch at the picnic shelter along the way down. There’s a covered eating area with a wood stove, a parking area, and a pit toilet. I forgot to take a picture! Oops!
Our last stop was definitely the most exciting.
We’ve driven by this a thousand times and never stopped. Well, no more! We parked across the street and climbed over and down to the base of the stream. (Perfect rock-throwing place.)
The kids bolted up the path and we all made it up to the tallest lower falls (by tallest I mean 10 feet or so.)
Lindsay and I decided we just had to go check out the big waterfall at the top, so we left the kids with the Dads and clambered up along the stream bed! It was so fun!
When we got to the top we were shocked at how beautiful it was! The falls were super high, and since the water wasn’t very strong a lot of it turned into a refreshing mist on the way down. It was totally magical.
The view was exquisite.
At the top is quite a large area to explore and wander around. We want to come back again for a picnic!
After climbing back down again the Dads helped us take the kids back to the road, and they set off for the top using a trail on the left-hand side of the stream. It only took them 20 minutes to get to the top, enjoy the view, take some pictures, and climb back down again! They said it was quite a steep path, so we won’t be taking our little kids on it, but for older kids and adults it should be just fine.
It turned out to be a magical day! Who knew the Akamina Parkway would have so many hidden treasures?
A friendly reminder to make LOTS OF NOISE while exploring these lesser-travelled paths. This will alert bears to your presence so they can head another way!
If anyone knows the names of these streams and waterfalls please let me know in the comments so I can add them into my post!
Are there any other gems along this road?