This striking waterfall is the result of geologic activity some 18,000 years ago. Immense glaciers covering this region began melting, sending floodwaters down Clarks Run. Eventually, the creek cut deeply through the overlying rock and soil until it encountered an especially resistant rock layer geologists named Homewood Sandstone. As the canyon deepened downstream, a ledge formed over which Clarks Run formed. Because the layers beneath the Homewood Sandstone are softer, the falling water undercut the ledge above, causing pieces of the harder rock to break away. This created the sharp lip and spectacular drop of the waterfall you see today.
Historically, the falls were an important source of water power for a sawmill located here as well as a nearby stone quarry; the falls also provided a scenic location for local recreation.
Did you know?
For many years, this waterfall was known as Buttermilk Falls. The name was apparently given in 1870 by a group of Civil War veterans and their lady friends who came here on a picnic. As they prepared to leave, one of the party proposed a toast to the occasion and beautiful setting, using the primary beverage of the group; buttermilk. Thereafter, locals referred to this place as Buttermilk Falls.