The Babe, Bird, and Bitter Rivalry: 7 Interesting Notes About Colorado's Seven Falls

By Seth Boster
From The Gazette

Seven Falls, Colorado’s so-called “Grandest Mile of Scenery,” will celebrate 140 years as a tourist attraction when it opens for the season in March.

Here are seven things you may or may not know about the natural wonder:

  • Visitors ascend a set of 224 steps to the top of the falls. This affords an up-close view of the water plunging 181 feet.
  • The seven cascades are named. From top to bottom: Ramona (for the novel by frequent visitor Helen Hunt Jackson), Feather, Bridal Veil, Shorty, Hull, Weimer, and Hill. Those last three are the names of owners over the years.
  • Several rock formations also have names. Well known are the towers commanding the entrance, the Pillars of Hercules. In the 1940s, a lighting system illuminated other outcrops called Wrestling Bears, Setting Turkey, and Devil’s Slide.
  • Babe Ruth visited Seven Falls on July 6, 1940, as part of his tour of the region. He was honored with a picnic at the park. And he reportedly put on a show, despite being retired from the game then. The park’s manager at the time, Melvin Weimer, estimated the Babe belted a baseball 266 feet over the top of the falls.
  • It is said Native American tribes would lead buffalo from the plains and corner the animals around the area of Seven Falls. Supposedly the tight terrain was also useful in corralling wild horses.
  • Seven Falls has been known as a home to the elusive water ouzel, also called the American dipper. The small, bluish-gray bird is unusual for how it darts in and out of swift, rocky streams for food.
  • A 1942 article in The Gazette-Telegraph recalled “a rabid rivalry” between men named Hunter and O’Brien in “the old carriage days.” This was when burro or horse were the only means of transit to Seven Falls. According to the report, the men “bitterly contested” over tourist dollars and loudly denounced each other’s business until things got personal. According to the paper: “The fracas never reached a point where guns took the place of mouths.”

“We imagine Heaven is like this,” wrote the Rinkers of Indianapolis.

Copyright #YR Colorado Springs Gazette. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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