Special Places # 33
Falls & Cascades
1 – Top Left: In 1905 the natural entrance to Lookout Mountain Cave was closed during the construction of a railway tunnel. In the 1920s a chemist and cave enthusiast named Leo Lambert thought that he could re-open the cave as a tourist attraction, and formed a company to do so. He planned to make an opening farther up the mountain than the original opening and transport tourists to the cave via an elevator. For this purpose, his company purchased land on the side of Lookout Mountain above Lookout Mountain Cave and in 1928 began to drill through the limestone. In doing so, they discovered a small passageway about 18 inches high and four feet wide. Exploring this opening, Lambert discovered the formerly hidden Ruby Falls Cave and its waterfall. On his next trip to visit the cave, Lambert took his wife Ruby, and told her that he would name the falls after her.
2 – Top Right – Upper Row: The mighty Niagara Falls between United States and Canada. Flowing north as part of the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 50 m (160 ft). During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 (six million cubic feet) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate. Niagara Falls is famed for its beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
3 – Top Right – Middle Row: Vogel Falls located in Vogel State Park, established in 1931, is the second oldest state park in Georgia. Located at 2500 feet above sea level, Vogel sits at the base of Blood Mountain, the highest summit on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, and is surrounded by Chattahoochee National Forest. The North Georgia Mountains around Vogel were linked to Native American people for generations before European settlement.
4 – Top Right – Bottom Row: Since the early 19th century, Tallulah Gorge and its waterfalls have been a tourist attraction. In 1882, Tallulah Falls Railway was built, increasing the accessibility of the area to tourists from Atlanta and south Georgia, and the gorge became North Georgia’s first tourist attraction. Resort hotels and bars sprang up to serve the tourist trade which, after the addition of the railway, swelled to as many as 2,000 people on any given Sunday. In 1883, tightrope walker Professor Bachman crossed the gorge as part of a publicity stunt for one hotel. On July 18, 1970, Karl Wallenda became the second man to walk across the gorge on a tightrope.
5 – Bottom Left: The DeSoto Falls of Georgia are located in Lumpkin County, Georgia along Frogtown Creek. There are actually three waterfalls on Frogtown Creek, called Upper DeSoto Falls, Middle Desoto Falls and Lower DeSoto Falls. The upper waterfall drops 200 feet (61 m), the middle waterfall drops 67 feet (20 m) and the lower waterfall drops 35 feet (11 m). The overall height of the falls, as measured inclusive of non-vertical falls, cascades and steep stream bed, is 480 feet (150 m). DeSoto Falls are located at an elevation of 3,560-foot (1,090 m) on Rocky Mountain.
The DeSoto Falls are named for Spanish explorer Hernando deSoto, who passed through Georgia around 1540. According to a sign posted on the DeSoto Falls Trail, a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) in and out hiking trail to the falls, a plate of armor was discovered at the base of the falls in the 1880s.
6 – Bottom Right: Arched cascade from damed lake drain in Morris County, New Jersey.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101