Roundtrip: 2 km
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
There is a long boardwalk, a wooden staircase, and viewing platforms that have been constructed beside and above this waterfall. Some of this construction has fallen to disrepair, so watch your step as some of the boards are soft and the stairs are missing some treads. The bridge at the top of the waterfall is part of the Voyageur Trail. Crystal Falls is beautiful and is more of a cascade than a waterfall. It is about 15 m high and drops over a 40-50 m distance.
There are many trails in Kinsmen Park and a few ways to get to the falls. This 2 km route takes you through the forest along cross country ski trails and mountain bike trails to meet up with the Voyageur Trail at the top of the falls and then follows down the side of the falls to the base and along Crystal Creek before looping back up the hill to the parking spot. It’s interesting to see the street lights that light up the winter ski trails as you hike through the forest.
There are no signs pointing you toward the falls or marking the routes. There were some small orange, blue, and silver markers along the route but no trail maps or signs to indicate what the colours meant, or which way you should go. The route is not complicated and we found our way by guessing. Closer to the top of the falls there was a copy of the Sault Cycling Club map on the ground propped up against a tree, but it was not clear where the falls were from there.
From Sault Ste Marie drive North on Hwy 17. Turn right onto Fifth Line Road and drive approximately 4 km to where Fifth Line curves to the left. There is a sign for Kinsmen park on the right. Turn right after the sign and follow the driveway through the woods, and park before the hill that goes down to the big parking lot near the pond. Take the wide trail just before the hill heading down to the main parking area. Follow this trail keep right at any major trail intersections.
The park is not well signed and it was hard for first-time visitors to know where you could drive and where you should park. Thank you to the other park visitors I met, you were so friendly and helpful!