Root Beer Water

brown water in the north shore

If you have ever hiked along one of the countless rivers on the North Shore you have no doubt noticed its root beer color. Many think this is because of high levels of silt but this is not the reason for its dark brown color. However, the real culprit is the tannins that the rivers carry from the swamps which keep it a murky root beer color.

One example of this weird phenomenon can be seen in Cascade River State Park. Many think that the fast water brings mud with it but this just isn’t true. With how fast the water rushes down the Cascades, it’s hard to believe that it’s really just sediment being carried along!

Many other bodies of water around the world are also root beer colored. For example, our very own Lake Superior sometimes seems reddish-brown. This happens when strong winds or rains launch red clay particles and other sediments into the water. The sediments don’t cause any harm, although we imagine it does give spectators an uneasy feeling as they’re used to that cool-blue water that the lake is known for.

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