June 4, 2015

Nine Arkansas Waterfalls to explore this spring and summer

Last month we experienced an extraordinary amount of rain here in the Natural State.

And although the rainy weather can be a bit inconvenient at times, anyone who has explored the Arkansas outdoors knows that the rain simply serves to fuel one of our most natural treasures – the near magical but always mystical Ozark and Ouachita waterfalls.

Below we’ve outlined nine of our favorite Arkansas waterfalls – some well-known, others not.

Throw the GPS coordinates into any smartphone map app, and you’ll be on your way to a quality experience.

We hope you enjoy reading about these waterfalls as much as we enjoyed traveling to them. Do your best to explore a couple while the conditions are prime!

Falling Water Falls

Location: Ozark National Forest near Witt Springs (2 h 22 min from Fayetteville)
Coordinates: N35 43.317, W92 56.964

Falling Water Falls is one of several waterfalls we visited in the Ozark National Forest.

A light stream runs above the falls, the water level of which never rises higher than the knee. The actual falls has one thick stream furthest from the road, and four smaller falls contributing to the large pool below. Multiple swings are available around this area that ideally land you in the deepest water, but use caution on these.

There are two bolted wood ladders on the far side to make access to the upper level a breeze. Several log benches behind the falls and on the outskirts of the pool provide great resting spots. The swimmable area is about 50 feet long, and 20 feet wide, but this varies with the rain and season. There is a great shaded area with smaller streams running below (some big enough to swim in) and varied rock formations. Falling Water Falls is a powerful and exciting waterfall, and is an excellent swimming hole with easy accessibility.

Photos by Andres MacLean

Lower Horsetail Falls

Location: Ozark National Forest, near Witt Springs (2 h 35 min from Fayetteville)
Coordinates: N35 45.3972, W92 56.4720

A long and narrow waterfall of about 60 feet, Horsetail Falls resides in a cozy canyon off the trail.

One can immediately sense the age of the place from the surrounding rocks that give it a great sense of grandeur.

Catching it in a wet season is pivotal, as the light stream can dry up during the summer months. It is about 30 minutes off the trail, and an ideal spot for a mid-hike, light shower, lunch spot, or just a rest.

Photos by Andres MacLean

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Upper Horsetail Falls

Location: Ozark Natural Forest, near Witt Springs (2 h 34 min from Fayetteville)
Coordinates: N35 45.1524, W92 56.2890

Just up stream from Horsetail Falls, we found another waterfall.

It’s about 20-30 feet of slick rock with a narrow starting point that spreads and flows as it descends.

There is a small pool at the bottom, which leads to the downhill stream. We thought it was the oddly named Fuzzy Butt Falls initially, but these falls are actually the upper section of Horsetail Falls.

Regardless, it is an interesting area with many smaller falls around it. It’s secluded, but with several access points, and makes for a great goal for an any-day hike.

Photos by Andres MacLean

Six Finger Falls

Location: Ozark National Forest, just south of Richland Creek Campground (2 hours, 37 minutes from Fayetteville)
Coordinates: N35°45’43.0″ W92°56’15.1″

One of the most visually interesting waterfalls in the area is Six Finger Falls.

Although the drop is no greater than six feet, the manner in which they flow is simply mesmerizing. The rocks are formed in such a way that the water seems to weave down at six distinct spots, and from this the name was derived.

Below them are several areas suitable for swimming, and there is a large log bench near the center. All this culminates to create an incredibly peaceful place that is accessible to hikers of all ages.

Photos by Andres MacLean

View the other five waterfalls on the Fayetteville Flyer site.

Continue Reading at Fayetteville Flyer
Brian O'Dea

Brian O'Dea is an avid fan of all things outdoors, UofA graduate, and travel writer for the local outdoor company Fayettechill.