Ammonite Falls is named for the fossils that inhabit the stack of sedimentary layers of rock kept slick by the falls. A brief foray into the rock matrix in the Benson Creek Falls Regional Park reveals a vast number of concretions, ball'o'fossils that can be broken open to reveal ancient life. Most concretions contain merely a protean speck, while others house ammonites, snail-like creatures similar in shape and form to the modern Nautilus. These were very common in Paleozoic and Mesozoic oceans, 400 to 65 million years ago. Many large shells are embedded in the stone of the riverbed (one at least is the area of a Nanaimo bus schedule)..
Drive - From Jingle Pot Road, turn onto Kilpatrick Road. Take the first right onto Jameson Road. Follow Jameson to the end. There is a paved sideroad to the right called Creekside which goes into a new development. Continue straight on Jameson onto the gravel. You can park a few hundred feet up the gravel, near the yellow gate.
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Posted By: tonka023
- Sun Jun 16 00:31:30 EDT 2013
QuestionMy husband and I hiked there today. Great hike, ropes down to the falls were pretty easily navigated. However, these directions are only to the trailhead. There are many paths branching off and few are marked. I found these directions from
http://islandnature.ca/2012/11/ammonite-falls/ very helpful.
Getting to the falls is pretty straightforward. From Jinglepot Road in Nanaimo look for either Meadow Road (at the East Wellington Fire Station) or Kilpatrick Road. Both of these will take you to Jameson Road. Drive to the end of Jameson Road (to the right) until it ends at Creekside Road. Park here (don’t drive up the gravel road to the gate, there’s no parking there).
Walk in on the gravel road past a yellow gate and into the Malaspina University College Woodlot
Ignore the first gravel road to the left that goes up hill, continue straight through the managed forest.
Ignore the second gravel road to the right that goes down hill into a recent cut block. At this intersection you’ll see a sign post with a blue Benson Creek Falls Regional Park sign. Continue straight onto the lesser used gravel road.
Shortly after the road re-enters the forest you’ll see a small parking area on the left and another Benson Creek Falls Regional Park Sign as well as a hand made sign which reads Ammonite Falls on the right. A well trodden trail goes up and over a bit of a bank and then starts to descend downhill toward a ridge that follows Benson Creek. You’ll hear it on your left. There are two (mountain bike?) trails that branch off to the left from this trail. One is signed the “Drunken Logger.” Ignore both of these and continue down the hill.
At the bottom of the hill the trail levels out along the top of a ridge that runs alongside Benson Creek. You should see another blue sign for the regional park and a no littering sign along this stretch. It eventually comes out into a bit of an open area near the edge of a cut block. Here look for a trail on the left that follows the ridge (there were two but both joined on the down side of the slope). Keep to the woods and follow the sound of the stream.
The trail goes down another hill to an open area at the top of the falls. There’s an old fire ring here.
Continue through the open area and follow the trail down toward the sound of the falls. It’s fairly steep in the first bit but gets steeper once you can see the falls.
The final section is muddy, slippery and steep. There’s a set of ropes that you can use to assist you on the way down. If you’ve climbed any of the Mayan ruins at Tikal or Chichen Itza you shouldn’t have any difficulties with this section, just use caution and common sense. I don’t like heights but was pretty comfortable with scrambling down with a backpack and a tripod. It compares to the steep sections of the Radar Hill Beach trail out in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Allow yourself about 40 minutes from the trailhead to the falls.
ANSWERS are in this forum: Directions to falls
At the beginning of the hike you walk through a large track of land which includes a bunch of old growth trees. There is a sign indicating that a university owns the lot and it is used for study in some kind of forestry program.
DownsideWhen I went in June 2010 the flow over the falls was minimal.
Making the right turns to find the right road is a bit of challenge. There were no signs to indicate that the falls were along that path.
CommentThe slope down to the bottom (which is really the only place to get a view of the falls) is very steep and the collection of ropes that have been left behind by others appear to be pretty haphazardly placed. As I recall it is about a 30-50 foot drop. One slip and you could be in a pretty bad place.