High Falls of the York River


May 2011

Province: Ontario

Location: Birds Creek

Height: 10m

Crest: 20m

Water Source: York River

Waypoint: 45.11785N 77.91637W

Summary: A big falls on the York River. A dam has been built at the top of this waterfall, and the flow may be greatly reduced at times, but when the water is flowing this is still an impressive waterfall.

High Falls on the York River is an impressive waterfall, despite the large dam at its crest. The river drops 10m or so. The dam maintains the water level on Baptiste Lake, and the flow over the falls can vary greatly. I had the good fortune to visit the falls after a rainy spell in the spring and the falls were roaring.

The falls is easy to reach. From Birds Creek, head west on South Baptiste Lake Road for about 2km. Then head north on High Falls Trail. This is a well maintained dirt road that any car can handle with no problem. The road is a bit over 2km and ends at the falls.

The land below the falls is posted as private. This limits the viewing opportunities. The land on the other side of the river is also private.

The York River flows south over High Falls. It continues south to Bancroft where it turns east. It then turns north again in Egan Chutes Provincial Park. It continues north to its confluence with the Madawaska River. The Madawaska flows primarily east and joins the Ottawa River.

This is one of the many "High" Falls in Ontario, and one of the many in this particular part of Ontario. Within a 60km radius you can find five other "High" Falls plus one "High Chute". If you expand that radius to 120km, you can find six more "High" Falls. There are at least 30 waterfalls named "High Falls" in all of Ontario.

Nearby Falls

The wild Egan Chute is 30km downstream. The wilder High Falls on the North York River are 40km upstream. High Falls on Eels Creek is a 90km drive away. Three other "High" Falls of unknown size and visitability, plus several other smaller falls are even closer.

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