lover's leap

It is not known whether each of the sites listed under this name by the United States Geological Survey commemorates a tragic jump by one or more doomed lovers. But these fifty-two places hold enough topographical features in common to warrant a definition. Lover’s leap is a colloquial term describing a landmark, typically a cliff or bluff, varying in height from fifty to two hundred feet, but usually possessing the following: a promontory where a troubled lover, or lovers, might contemplate a final act; a beautiful, often exceptional view; and a quota of free fall with necessary dramatic effect, often including a swirling lake or river below. There are eight lover’s leaps in Missouri and four in Texas. Mark Twain once wrote that there were at least fifty such high bluffs up and down the Mississippi River alone.

Lan Samantha Chang