Category Archives: waterfalls

Multnomah Falls

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Multnomah Falls
* Columbia River, Oregon *

A spectacular panoramic waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side, just east of Troutdale. It drops in two steps split into a upper falls plunging 542 feet, and a smaller bottom level with a 69 foot drop. It is Oregon’s tallest waterfall, and the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. It is fed from underground springs coming from the Larch Mountain, augmented by spring runoff. The park is free and ample parking is shared by east and westbound travelling along the Columbia river corridor. A must stop for anyone travelling in the area. Great rest stop as well with restaurant, cafe, gift shop, and restrooms. A highly popular tourist stopoff.

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The Maid of the Mist Tour (Niagara Falls)

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Maid of the Mist Tour
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

If you want to get a good look at the Bridal Veil Falls or the Horseshoe Falls from the American side. It begins as a ferry boat that issues you a rain poncho and takes you out from the calm side of the Niagara River near the Rainbow Bridge. The Tour takes you by the American and Bridal Veil Falls, and then into the spray heavy curve of Horseshoe/Canadian Falls. The tour can be accessed either from the American or the Canadian side. The tour is operated by the Maid of the Mist Steamship Company. The first boat was launched in 1846 to ferry people from Canada to America and vice versa. It lost business when the Suspension Bridge was built and became a tour system. Numerous boats and versions were constructed and used through the years. The very first Maid of the Mist I ran from 1846 until 1854 as a double-stacked steamboat ferry. Business failed in the late 1800’s and was not restored until 1895. The boats have saved a few people who plunged over Horseshoe Falls through the years. The Canadian operations will close in October of 2013. Most likely will be operated by another company on the Canadian side in the near future. Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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Horseshoe Falls

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Horseshoe Falls
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

Located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, the “Canadian Falls” or “Horseshoe Falls” is the most famous and most attracted spots at the Niagara Falls wonder. Over 90% of the Niagara River flows over these falls and is used for massive hydro-power generation. The Remaining 10% of the river flows over the American Falls. These falls are located between Terrapin Point on Goat Island and Table Rock in Ontario. The Falls have been fought over between America and Canada throughout history.

The Myth of the Maid of the Mist is a Native American legend from the Ongiaras Tribe about a young woman, named Lelawal, the Maid of the Mist. She lost her husband at a very young age and was lost in sorrow. She canoed along the Niagara River to the Falls, singing a death song paddling into the current. She was caught up in the rough waves and hurled into the falls, but as she fell, Heno, the God of Thunder who lived in these falls caught her carrying her down to his home beneath the veil of waters falling. Heno and his sons took care of her until she healed. One of his sons fell in love with her, married, and bore a son who learned to be a God of Thunder. The Maid however missed seeing her family and tribe. Heno reported to her that A great snake came down the mighty river and poisoned the waters of her people. They grew sick and were dying, being devoured by the snake until the mass disappearance of the tribe occurred. She begged Heno to be able to go back to the realm of her people to warn them of the dangers, so he lifted her through the falls back to her people. She advised them to move away from the river onto higher lands until the danger passed. Heno came back and brought her back to her husband. Once the great snake discovered that the people deserted the village, it went into a rage hissing and going upstream to search for them. Heno rose up through the mist of the falls and threw a giant thunderbolt at the snake killing it in one blast. The giant body floated downstream and lodged just above the cataract creating a large semi-circle that deflected huge amounts of water into the falls just above the God’s home. Heno swept through the falls trying to stop the massive influx of water caused by the position of the corpse. His home was destroyed. He called for the Maid and his sons returning up into the sky making a new home in the heavenly realms watching down over the humans, Heno thundering in the clouds as he once did in the falls. The thunder of the falls is Heno’s voice. [ http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/09/the_maid_of_the_mist.html ] Other legends claim Lelawala was betrothed by her father to a king she despised and secretly wanted to be with He-No, the God of Thunder, who lived beneath Horseshoe Falls. In the middle of heartache she chose to sacrifice herself to him, paddling her canoe into the Niagara River and swept off into the Falls. He-no caught her, merged with her spirit, and lived forever in his sanctuary behind the falls, whereas she became the “Maiden of the Mist”.

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Bridal Veil Falls

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American Bridal Veil Falls
* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

Formerly known as “Luna Falls” or “Iris Falls”, it is the smallest of the three Niagara Falls and is located on the American side. It has a 78′ vertical fall onto talus boulders then another 103′ down to the Maid of the Mist Pool for a total 181′ drop. The crest is 56′ and is facing northwest with a 508′ elevation and is separated from the America Falls by Luna Island, and from Horseshoe Falls by Goat Island. The Cave of the Winds behind these falls are no longer, but via the tour can be taken down for a view of the falls from the bottom on a series of walkways and decks lodged into the rock crevices.

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The Myth of the Maid of the Mist is a Native American legend from the Ongiaras Tribe about a young woman, named Lelawal, the Maid of the Mist. She lost her husband at a very young age and was lost in sorrow. She canoed along the Niagara River to the Falls, singing a death song paddling into the current. She was caught up in the rough waves and hurled into the falls, but as she fell, Heno, the God of Thunder who lived in these falls caught her carrying her down to his home beneath the veil of waters falling. Heno and his sons took care of her until she healed. One of his sons fell in love with her, married, and bore a son who learned to be a God of Thunder. The Maid however missed seeing her family and tribe. Heno reported to her that A great snake came down the mighty river and poisoned the waters of her people. They grew sick and were dying, being devoured by the snake until the mass disappearance of the tribe occured. She begged Heno to be able to go back to the realm of her poeple to warn them of the dangers, so he lifted her through the falls back to her people. She advised them to move away from the river onto higher lands until the danger passed. Heno came back and brought her back to her husband. Once the great snake discovered that the people deserted the village, it went into a rage hissing and going upstream to search for them. Heno rose up through the mist of the falls and threw a giant thunderbolt at the snake killing it in one blast. The giant body floated downstream and lodged just avove the cataract creating a large semi-circle that deflected huge amounts of water into the falls just above the God’s home. Heno swept through the falls trying to stop the massive influx of water caused by the position of the corpse. His home was destroyed. He called for the Maid and his sons returning up into the sky making a new home in the heavenly realms watching down over the humans, Heno thundering in the clouds as he once did in the falls. The thunder of the falls is Heno’s voice. [ http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/09/the_maid_of_the_mist.html ] Other legends claim Lelawala was betrothed by her father to a king she despised and secretly wanted to be with He-No, the God of Thunder, who lived beneath Horseshoe Falls. In the middle of heartache she chose to sacrifice herself to him, paddling her canoe into the Niagara River and swept off into the Falls. He-no caught her, merged with her spirit, and lived forever in his sanctuary behind the falls, whereas she became the “Maiden of the Mist”.

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Cave of the Winds (Niagara Falls, NY)

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Cave of the Winds
* Goat Island * Niagara Falls State Park, New York *

Not to be confused with Cave of the Winds in Colorado, the Cave of the Winds Niagara was a natural cave that ran behind Bridal Veil Falls in the Niagara Falls State Park on the U.S.A. side of the Niagara River. It ran roughly 130 feet deep and was discovered in 1834. It was originally called “Aolus’ Cave” named as such in tribute to the Greek God of the Winds. Tours began in 1841 taking people down within for a view of the falls from beneath. Unfortunately in 1920 a rock fall made the actual cave no longer safe to go within. Tours began again in 1924 bringing visitors to the foot of the falls, but does not go behind it. There are points along the decks and walk ways where tropical storm-like conditions can be felt with winds upwards of 70 mph raging under the falls. The cave eventually eroded away by rockfalls finally in 1954 and the name of the attraction as a “cave” is more a “underlook” and “overlook” depending on your viewing platform. The platforms are removed every winter to avoid damage by ice fall, and are not bolted into the rocks, but rather wedged into the crevices.

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Niagara River

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Niagara River

A massive river that flows between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie for approximately 35 miles in length. It is home to the famous “Niagara Falls” both on the U.S. and Canadian sides. It is dotted with falls, whirlpools, and rapids along its course. There are also several islands along the run of the river: The two largest and most popular are the Navy Island and the Grand Island. Other popular ones include Goat Island, Luna Island, and Squaw Island. The river forms the border between Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. Many legends amiss around the river, as does its name origin. An Iroquois belief is it was named after a branch of the Neutral Confederacy called the “Niagagarega” in the late 17th century. Others state it was named after the Iroquois village “Ongniaahra” or “point of land cut in two”. Today the river is dotted with, especially within the Falls area, hydroelectric power stations. The two most famous of which is the Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric Power Station in Canada and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in the U.S.A. It was America’s first waterway to harness large scale hydro-electricity. Ships coming down the Niagara River use the Welland Canal of the Saint Lawrence Seaway to bypass the Falls. The Falls drop over 325 feet along its gorge fallway. It has two tributaries – the Welland River and Tonawanda Creek which were adapted into Canals for ship traffic such as the Erie Canal and the Welland Canal. The first European exploits of the area begin in the 17th century with French explorer Father Louis Hennepin published in the 1698 “A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America”. Some of the first railways built in America were built along this river, including the inclined wooden tramway built by John Montresor in 1764 called “The Cradles” and “The Old Lewiston Incline”. The River has seen its share of battles and wars, including ones between Fort Niagara (U.S.) and Ft. George (Canada) during the French and Indian War, American Revolution, Battle of Queenston Heights, and War of 1812. It was also very important during the American Civil War as a point where slaves crossed via the Underground Railway to Canada.

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Fontana Lake (Smokey Mountains, North Carolina)

Fontana Lake
* Smokey Mountains National Park, Fontana Dam, North Carolina *

Named after the Italian word for “fountain”, Fontana Lake is named after the flooded town of Fontana, which was the Smokey Mountains infamous lumber and copper-mining hub back in the day at the mouth of Eagle Creek. Now a reservoir contained by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River. The lake creates the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, separating it from the Nantahala National Forest. The depth, length, and width of the lake varies with the seasons and flood controls by the dam, but at its greatest containment measures approximately 17 miles long with a maximum elevation of approximately 1,710 feet above sea level. The lake is measured as being over 10,230 acres. The lake houses many inlets, coves, and islands formed from former mountain peaks from when it was land, especially by the eastern edge. Many hiking trails weave their ways around the lake, and the lake itself gives access to some of the more remote areas of the National Park. The apalachian trail crosses the top of the dam. Fontana Dam, the tallest dam in the eastern U.S., is a hydro-electric dam along the Little Tennessee River that manages the lake and its levels. This was built in the 1940’s.

Cheoah Lake/River/Dam, Fontana Dam, NC

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Gibraltar Falls, ACT, Australia

Gibraltar Falls
* Corin Road * Namadgi National Park * +61 02 6207 2900 * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

One of the first waterfalls that I had a chance to see in Australia as accompanied by my travel mate Bluey Bee Fabbo. A nice calm overcast day, we ventured outskirts of Canberra to find this charming little falls which is pretty close to the city. Easy to find, one drives out of Canberra southwest 45 kilomenters, along highway 5 – “Tidbinbilla Road”, roughly a half hour drive turning off at the sign pointing the way to the Falls within the Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest south off Corin Road. Park and take the well-marked footpath down to the falls. With warnings of steep cliffs abound, we kept to the trail, until the end of the path dictated (as everyone else was venturing over) to experience the waters ourselves. Now, being a world traveller and having seen some of the best falls around the world, I wasn’t that impressed. It also seems probable that the falls are more spectacular after a good hearty rainfall, even though it has been deemed the largest waterfall in the ACT. The falls cascade 50 meters down into a 800 meter granite walled gorge feeding the headwaters of Gibraltar Creek.

Historically, the falls and area was of special interest to the Australian Aborigine. Archaeological finds have shown habitation patterns near the falls including rockshelters, axes, lithics, and grinding grooves. The area was first settled by white westerners in the 1890’s. The first recorded white settlers were the Woods family who named the area “Gibraltar Creek”. It wasn’t until the 1960’s with the establishment of a station for the Corin Dam Road that the location found much foot traffic. Environmentally, the falls are home to a rare species of dragonfly called the Waterfall Redspot.

Atop in the parking lot are restrooms, picnic tables, shelters, amenities, first aid equipment, and gas barbeque grills. There are more picnic tables and areas, as well as camping, further into the woods reserves. The footpath takes one to a couple lookouts for viewing the falls, though the best way to photograph the falls is to wander off path (not recommended but seems something that everyone who visits does).

I found the waterfall quaint, and would be a picnic spot I would frequent often if I lived in Canberra. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited/Reviewed by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan with Bluey Bee Fabbo on April 25, 2011.

For more information, recommended readings, and photographs ~
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Columbia River

Columbia River

The Columbia River was named after Captain Robert Gray’s ship, the “Columbia Rediviva”. It is also called the “Big River”, “The River of the West”, or “River Oregon”. It flows through Canada in British Columbia, and in the U.S. through the States of Washington and Oregon. Its tributaries are the Spillimacheen River, Beaver River, Illecillewaet River, Incomappleux River, Kootenay River, Pend Oreille River, Spokane River, Snake River, John Day River, Deschutes River, Willamette River, Kicking Horse River, Blaeberry River, Canoe River, Kettle River, Sanpoil River, Okanogan River, Wenatchee River, Yakima River, Lewis River, Kalama River, and Cowlitz River. It is the drainage from the source of “Columbia Lake” in British Columbia. It drains an area of approximately 258,000 square miles including drainage basins from Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and small portions of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Its median elevation is 2,690 feet above sea level and flows into the Pacific Ocean. IT is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America rising in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia flowing northwest and then south through Washington and Oregon into the Pacific. It is 1,243 miles long. It is the fourth-largest river in the United States and powers over 14 hydroelectric dams. The river historically has been used for trade, transportation, exploration, and economy for thousands of years. Its first recorded inhabitation was more than 15,000 years ago transitioning from hunting and gathering to sedentary lifestyles along the river based mainly on salmon ca. 3,500 years ago. Skeletal remains of the Kennewick Man aged at over 9,000 years ago, were found along the Columbia River sparking debate about origins of human habitation in North America. Many Native Americans inhabit the river valleys including the Sinixt, Lakes, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Blackfoot, Colville, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Palus, Umatilla, Cowlitz, Chinook, Shoshone Bannock, Nch’ i-Wana, Sahaptin, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There was once a land bridge called the “Bridge of the Gods” connecting Oregon and Washington across the Columbia River Gorge that has alot of mythology over its formation and destruction. It was believed to be from a battle between the Gods represented by Mount Adams and Mount Hood and their competition for the affection of the Goddess represented by Mount St. Helens. The bridge originally permitted increased interaction between tribes on the north and south sides of the river until its destruction.

American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington.  11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/  American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629 Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151
American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington. 11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/
American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629
Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151


Columbia River

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Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park
Antrim, Northern Ireland

One of Northern Ireland’s enchanted woodlands … Glenariff Forest Park is full of myth and legends, faeries, and woodland creatures. It is home to a unique Waterfall Walkway that was introduced to tourists 80 years ago and significantly upgraded along its 3 mile length that passes through a National Nature Reserve. The park is a photographer’s paradise. It houses a visitor center, exhibition, interactive display, a gift shop, caravan/camping sites, and a seasonal restaurant complimenting the Park called “Gateway to the Glens”. The park is a 2,928 acre forest in County Antrim of Northern Ireland that is managed by the Northern Ireland Forest Service. The forest is also utilized for timber production centered around the clearfelling of coniferous plantation trees.

According to some myths and legends, the legendary warrior/poet Oisin (Ossian/Son of the giant Fin McCool) had once tried to outrun a band of Vikings in this forest. When they closed in on him, he climbed down a steep gully, as just as he was about to plunge to his death, a mysterious grey rope-like column appeared, he grabbed on to it, and climbed up to safety. When he reached the top he found it to be the tail of a white horse grazing in the field above. He thanked the horse and asked for its help. She turned into a mountain mist, falling to the ground as water, thereby washing away the Norsemen who pursued him. This is now the waterfall in the park known as the “Grey Mare’s Tail”. (myth as told from Causeway Coast and Glens Myths Tour).

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Akaka & Kahuna Falls (Big Island, Hawaii)

Akaka Falls
* Akaka Falls Rd * Off Hwy 19, Honomu, HI 96728 * (808) 974-6200 * (near Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii) *

My first day on the Big Island, my friend Kawika took me to these amazing sheer pits of ‘awe’ known as ‘Akaka Falls. A 442 foot tall waterfall descending down into a deep gorge as part of the Kolekole Stream. Located within ‘Akaka Falls State Park just 11 miles north of Hilo at the end of Highway 220. Because the waterfall plunges down into a very rocky and scenic gorge, the local Hawaiians named it ‘Akaka which means “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale”. The folklore surrounding these falls involve P?haku a Pele that, when struck by a branch of lehua ??pane, will call the sky to darken and rain to fall (Pukui, Elbert, & Mookini, 1974). You can also see Kah?n? Falls along this trail. The trail is a self-guided .4 mile hike through dense tropical vegatation leading to these two natural wonders of Hawaii. Lots of Hawaii’s botanica dot and dress up the trail as tropical flowers, vines, and trees. Kahuna Falls is the lesser of the two, plummeting 400 feet. The Park itself has a nice parking lot, rest rooms, and often will find locals selling arts and crafts. On my visit on August 6, 2009; there was an amazing artist painting local scenery. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Must visit location on the Big Island.

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Malad Gorge and River (Idaho)

Malad Springs and Gorge * Idaho, United States
One of my favorite little canyons off the Interstate while cruising through Idaho on my many adventures to Seattle from Colorado. The Malad River is the shortest river in the World. It is a tributary of the Snake River and is formed by the confluence of the Big Wood River and the Little Wood River near Gooding, Idaho. It flows south and west for about 11.5 miles where it joins the Snake river near Hagerman. The river creates a very deep gorge called the “Malad Gorge” where it flows through the Malad Gorge State Park, where it tumbles down an amazing waterfall. The Gorge is 250 feet deep and 2.5 miles long. Its a definite not-to-miss sight in Hagerman. Definitely a must see. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Snoqualmie Falls (North Bend, Washington)



Snoqualmie Falls
* Post Office Box 1957 * Snoqualmie, WA 98065 * Phone 425-985-6906 * http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/ *
One of Washington’s most famous attractions is Snoqualmie Falls, an enormous 268 ft waterfall that falls between Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington. Fed by the Snoqualmie River, the falls have been diverted into power plants powering the local area. The falls get over 1.5 million visitors each year where there is a two acre park, observation deck, gift shop, and lodge. To the Snoqualmie Tribe, the Falls is a traditional burial site where “the First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer and where prayers are carried up to the Creator by g reat mists that rise from the powerful flow”. The mists that rise from the base of the waterfall are said to serve to connect heaven and earth. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.




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