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Visited by locals and tourists since the nineteenth century, Sabbaday Falls is a beautiful walk to a spectacular waterfall. Parking is along the Kancamagus Highway in the very well signed parking lot. There is a parking fee of $3 in the National Forest.
Sabbaday Falls is a sight whose development started a long time ago and has been acted upon by many different forces. Changes to the falls continue today.
Millions of years ago a crack formed in the granite here. Basalt, a volcanic rock, filled this void. You can still see some of this basalt at the lower end of the falls.
During the last ice age, water from the melting glaciers ran down over this area. Basalt erodes more quickly than granite, so the water carved out the basalt, leaving the granite walls of this flume behind. At the base of the falls is a great example of a pothole, a hole carved in the rock by swirling water and sand. The fact that it is well above the water level tells us it was probably formed during the Ice Age, when the water was running higher from melting glaciers.
The falls have been further influenced by not just running water, but by freezing water. As water freezes in cracks in the surrounding granite, it expands, making the cracks wider. Eventually, these cracks are large enough that pieces of rock break away, widening the gorge.
Another force has had a major influence on this site. The sign at the posted coordinates tell of an influence that actually changed the course of the falls! To log this cache, email me and tell me what happened.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service
"AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains," 2006, R. S. Buchsbaum
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