“Scenes From South End Avenue”
South End Avenue Ice Pond Falls, Durham
A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead
We’ll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place
You and I, face to face
Splashes of maple red, rushing water of white
It all depends upon your waterfall appetite
I’ll meet you any time you you call
At South End Avenue Ice Pond Falls…
I don’t know where I first learned of these falls, as they don’t appear in any guidebook I’m aware of. And I have no idea why I’m reminded of Billy Joel when I write “South End Avenue Ice Pond Falls” either. And I have no idea where the name South End Avenue Ice Pond Falls even came from. They are off of South End Avenue in Durham and I guess at some point someone along the line told me the “ice pond” bit.
Note: South End Avenue is hardly an avenue by any definition. There isn’t really a good place to park along it at all, but the scamper to the falls is quick, and the road is not well traveled, so you’ll be fine.
If, that is, you really want to see these falls up close and in person. And I’m not sure why you’d want to do that. The Avenue is between Routes 77 and 79 south of that crazy Durham intersection you remember if you’ve driven here. It’s very near some great hiking at Mica Ledges and along the Mattabesett Trail. The stream that falls from the supposed ice pond is Cream Pot Brook which if you’ve hiked in Durham, you’re familiar.
There is no pond these days, but the dam (I presume) structure that remains tells me that there probably was at some point. I don’t really know.
From the road, I scrambled down the gully to the stream and made the short walk to the base of the falls. They’re pretty nice.
Ok, they’re not great, but the stonework coupled with the natural features here make it kind of cool. I snapped a few pictures, realized that people in the nearby house could be staring at me through a bedroom window, and hurriedly made my way back to my car and moved along.
A bottle of red, a bottle of white
Whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight
I’ll meet anytime it works for you
At the falls on South End Avenue