“I have a theory” As my neighbor, Marcelo, prefaces many conversations. In this case, I have a theory about Fern Falls. Or, more appropriately, I have a theory about Fern and Marguerite Falls. On all the maps I’ve looked at while doing my research for this project, this is called Fern Falls. This hike with Lindsey over the Labor Day weekend completes it in terms of 31 Falls. It’s a couple miles from the trailhead, up a pair of steep switchbacks on the way to Fern Lake.
If you search for images of Marguerite Falls, they are almost always pictures of Fern Falls instead. Not just recent photos either. Searching for old images of Marguerite Falls from the early 20th century, you find postcards from the 40s which are clearly not Marguerite Falls, but Fern instead.
What is labeled on every map today as Marguerite Falls, is a pair of small cascades just below Fern Lake. Small drops of, generously, half a meter each. Definitely not what one would call and impressive water fall.
My theory is that at some point, a map error occurred and what was once Marguerite Falls became Fern Falls. Fern Falls, the once Fern Falls, was instead one of the more interesting Falls along the trail from The Pool to (today’s) Fern Falls. Basically, a spatial shift of Falls that resulted in Marguerite becoming Fern, and the new Marguerite becoming an unprepossessing stretch of Fern Creek.