Groton, New Hampshire
At this intriguing stretch of the Cockermouth River, the stream has worn a chasm some 100 feet long and 30 feet deep. Its granite walls, striated in pale colors, have been carved and polished by the water into a fantasy of bowls, beaks, curves, and swirls. Adding to the scenery are ferns that have somehow established a precarious foothold in the rock.
The best viewing is from a bridge spanning the river. If you face downstream and look directly below, you can see the shape of a lion’s head in the rock, with its nose at the stream and a round hole for the gape of the mouth.
Elsewhere you can see what appear to be toad and lizard heads, shell creatures with bulging eyes, and whatever else your imagination and the water level permit. The water is clean, pure, and very, very cold. The brave souls who can tolerate the water temperature can jump from the cliffs, and there is even a small underwater tunnel to explore. The gorge is estimated to be about a million years old.