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With thousands upon thousands of acres of state parks, national forests and other protected land, there are thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails scattered across the state. As we move into late winter and begin to see more signs of spring, it’s the perfect time to get out and do some hiking. While the budding leaves and blooming dogwoods are certainly worth seeing, spring rains make this time of year ideal for viewing Arkansas’s many waterfalls.
While the Arkansas Delta is beautiful in its own right, head to the Ozarks and the Ouachitas for some spring hiking, and you will be rewarded with some of the most picturesque cascades on the planet. Ask any avid hiker and they will have a personalized list of their favorite trails and waterfalls. These 8 Arkansas waterfalls represent just a few of my favorites.
The one-mile trail to Terry Keefe Falls is easy to moderate in difficulty. The trail is located about 2.5 miles from the Richland Creek Campground along Falling Water Falls Road.
If hiking isn’t your thing, Falling Water Falls should be at the top of your list. Located just off Forest Road 1205, this fall is visible from the road and even while you stay in your car. If so inclined, you can get out and explore the area around the fall. It’s quite beautiful.
The Lost Valley trail is, hand down, my favorite trail in the state. Eden Falls will be running beautifully if you can hit the trail just after a rainstorm.
This easy trail and breathtaking waterfall are located inside JFK Campground in Heber. The trail is perfect for families and the cascading falls are beautiful year-round. Continue to follow the trail to the Little Red River and the Greers Ferry Dam.
Nestled in the Boston Mountains, the Sweden Creek Falls is located along a 1.5 mile (roundtrip) moderate hike. The trailhead follows blue blazes along the bluff until the trail splits, with one direction leading to the top of the fall and the other to the bottom. The 80-foot waterfall flows into Sweden Creek.
This waterfall is located in the Brock Creek Recreation Area of the Ozark National Forest. If you aren’t familiar with the area, it can be a bit tricky to find the trailhead without GPS or a decent map, as cell service is spotty at best. The trail itself is family-friendly except for a slight drop to get to the creek bed.
Many years ago, Cedar Falls was my first Arkansas waterfall, and it remains a favorite. Following heavy rain (or snowmelt), the 95-foot Cedar Falls is an impressive and powerful waterfall. Although the fall slows to a trickle during the dry season, the Cedar Falls trail is one of the most hiked trails in the state. The path is approximately a 1/2 mile long and relatively strenuous with steps.
Many of Arkansas’s waterfalls are located along hiking trails across the state. Some are off the beaten path and can be difficult to find. My favorite resource for locating waterfalls is the book “Arkansas Waterfalls” by Tim Ernst. Ernt’s book will lead you to over 200 waterfalls. You can learn more about Ernst here and you can find his book online or in most Arkansas State Park gift shops and Arkansas Game and Fish nature centers.
Looking for more Arkansas waterfalls? Check out these posts.
Do you have a favorite Arkansas waterfall? Leave a comment so we can check it out too.
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
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