Hungry Hollow and Mystery Falls – BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES

Hungry Hollow and Mystery Falls - BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES

Just t

he names of these two places should make you want to go there, right?

We were back from our eventful trip to Pukaskwa National Park and had a few days to rest and catch up.  Since we still feel a bit like tourists in our new town, we are always on the lookout for new places to explore.  These two places caught my eye when I explored maps of the area.

Hungry Hollow

About ten thousand years ago, an earthquake caused a section of the bedrock to drop almost 80 metres, creating a gorge where today’s Ausable River flows towards Lake Huron, through the Wyoming Moraine gravel deposits at Hungry Hollow. This revealed rich fossil beds and that’s where we were  headed.

It sounds as if the name Hungry Hollow was inspired by this catastrophic event, but local lore begs to differ.  This community sprung around a mill in the 1800s, and then came a tavern.  The local men ended up in the local tavern as soon as they were paid and their families went hungry.  Hmm, sounds sketchy, let’s go with the first option.

We were given vague directions to where we can go looking for fossils along the Ausable River north and south of the bridge.

On the south side there’s a plaque that is barely readable.

Luckily, this photo was taken when it was not yet marked by time and the elements.

Photo credit: storymaps.arcgis.com

We drove along the south side of the river but couldn’t find the pit so we tried the north side.

We drove along the river

until we came to the end of the road.

A short trail led towards an open pit filled with water.  It used to be a quarry and fossils can be found along the walls.  Today, however, wasn’t a good day to do any climbing along these muddy-slidy walls.

We just wandered along the dirt road and pretty soon realized that we are walking on fossils.

All we needed to do is bend down and look a little closer.

We did find what looks like a brachiopod minus its wings!

Maybe next time we’ll come here with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Mystery Falls

We continued north towards Mystery Falls along pretty hilly terrain.

It was a beautiful crisp fall day, perfect for a walk in the woods, even though most leaves were on the ground by now.

We stopped a the small parking lot and after a false start found the trail and the trail map.

The woods were beautiful,

and the light filtered through the remaining leaves

creating soft shadows

The short trail to the falls (1.5 km in and out), but the hilly terrain made us work hard for the pleasure of viewing the waterfall.

A preserved fossilized show and tell and a couple of benches marked the location of the falls.

At first we thought that the there were supposed to be trilobites in the display case, but these are actually fossilized trails of trilobites.

How cool in that!

We took the wooden stairs down to the river and the, mostly, waterless waterfall.  It was pretty even without water.

It’s probably more impressive in the spring with more water cascading from the crescent shaped rock,

but it was still pretty cool.

We went back the same way we came, only this time the steep hills were steep declines and the declines were steep hills,

so it looked a bit different.

Time to go back and get ready for our trip back to the Upper Peninsula.  Remember that campground we weren’t able to get to?   Well, stay tuned and maybe we’ll take you there.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrated.


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