There really aren’t many waterfalls within an hour’s drive of Newark Delaware. Go due south, and it’s all Delmarva flatlands and impenetrable mosquito-ridden salt marshes, which have their own sort of primordial, excessively biological, charm, but aren’t characterized by the sort of rocky terrain required for watery cascades. Likewise if one travels due east across the Delaware River and into the similarly flat and swampy terrain of southern New Jersey.  

It’s only to the north and northwest that the land begins to rise (a bit) and the bedrock (occasionally) approaches the surface. This is the direction of the Piedmont, which is the very first hint of the still-distant Appalachian Mountains. And there are waterfalls to be found here. Not many, perhaps, but good ones. I’ve written previously about a small but scenic cascade that can be found right in Northwestern Delaware (if only about a mile from the Pennsylvania border).

But a little further west, after the Piedmont has gradually sloped upwards a few hundred feet towards Lancaster, the whole landscape very briefly dips down into a surprisingly rugged gorge. This is the valley of the Susquehanna, the sheer sides of which feel more like Appalachian slopes than they do the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Here, along with several steep tributary gorges and, incredibly, an extensive tectonic cave (I plan on doing a separate post on that at some point), is at least one true, legitimate by anyone’s definition, waterfall: Mill Creek Falls.

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