Scenic USA - Missouri

Grand Falls

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Grand Falls - Joplin, Missouri

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Most people remember Missouri's city of Joplin from news reports of the deadliest tornado in the 21st century. Part of a late May rash of tornados in 2011, the EF-5 cut a mile wide path through the southern section of the city, causing a record amount of damage. The last of a coincidental string, this was Joplinís third tornado since 1971.
     Of course Joplin is much more than just Grand Falls Onlookers - Joplin, Missouri a statistic from the edge of Tornado Alley. The city is located near two major highways, supporting trucking lines, a conference destination and trade events. First established in 1873, Joplin's key in early development was mining lead and zinc. Connected by rail, by the start of the 20th century Joplin was a prominent metropolis. No longer known as the mining capitol of the world, Joplin is still undermined with a web of minning tunnels, with some shafts 100 feet deep. The occasional collapse of a mine had old Route 66 running on a zigzag course through town.
     One of Joplin's lesser known attractions is Grand Falls. With no clear road signs, sightseers may have to ask more than one person for directions. Located on Shoal Creek on the southern part of town, Grand Falls drops over a very broad chert ledge. This is Missouri's largest continually flowing falls, plunging about 25 feet in a single drop. Popular in the summer months, you'll find a small crowd of cars lining the road on the weekends.

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