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Ball Mill Resurgence Natural Area

March 30, 2018

We went to Ball Mill Resurgence Natural Area after having visited Falls Branch Falls. It had rained the two days prior so the creeks were running well.

We first came to a parking area and say conservation department signs, but did not see any indication that it was Ball Mill Resurgence. The fence had a sign on it that said "foot traffic welcome" so we took off down the road. To the left side of the road we did see a mowed path, but with time constraints we decided we would explore it another day. We did come to this beautiful scene of the big blue sky and a red barn.

Back to our car we traveled a short distance down the road where we found the right parking lot.

I put the photos and videos together for you above, but wanted to put information about this place here on the website. What is a resurgence? Normally water flows underground through sinkholes and into caves or underground streams. In the case of a resurgence, water pressure brings water back up through a sink hole after a heavy rain. The word "resurge" means to to "rise or swell." So the water is rising back to the surface.

Why is it called "Ball Mill?" Limestone falls from the cliffs (balls of rock) into the sink hole and are trapped underground. The rock is tumbled when the resurgence of water occurs making them smooth and round. A "mill" is a machine for grinding and crushing. To this "mill" tumbles the rock crushing it into balls of rock. It is said that the tumbling of rock can be heard for quiet a distance.

This is the resurgence area which was filled with water the day we were there, although I did not hear any tumbling. The water was dripping off the cliff.

A counterpart to the resurgence is the sink holes. There are a number of huge easily identifiable sink holes. As seen in this graphic, the water goes down the sink holes to the underground stream where it flows to come up the resurgence.

It is quite intimidating thinking that this whole place is full of sink holes. I have seen sink holes swallow up houses on t.v. Am I really safe? I think the sink holes are also created because of the "karst," also known as caves, in the area.

My favorite part was the moss lined trails which were much more evident this time of year without any other green growth.

To get to the Ball Mill Resurgence Natural Area, take Highway V off Highway 61 just north of Perryville. It is located on County Road 914, but there were signs to direct us (or at least one at the fork where we needed to make a right).

It is very close to the Falls Branch Falls. Now that we are home, this is the way the map takes us.

However, we did not use GPS but only directions, so we traveled back to Highway 61 and down to V, driving until we saw signs.


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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