Get acquainted with the hypnotizing natural phenomenon of waterfalls in Arkansas graciously provided by Mother Nature herself. Some of the most striking Arkansas waterfalls can be found in the Ozark Mountains and Ouachita Mountain ranges, which cover approximately two-thirds of The Natural State. REMEMBER: Waterfalls are at their scenic best when there has been rainfall. They may not be quite as splashy during the summer months.
A word of caution: some of these living waterfalls are located in fairly remote areas of Arkansas. The trailhead may be difficult to reach and physical stamina may be required. We've done our best to classify the falls as to their ease of accessibility.
OUACHITA MOUNTAINS (west-central Arkansas)Little Missouri Falls -- Relatively small but scenic cascading waterfalls on the Little Missouri River. From Hot Springs, go west on U.S. 70 to Glenwood, then continue on to Salem. At Salem, turn right (west) on Ark. 84 to Langley. At Langley, head north on Ark. 369 where you'll find signs directing you to the falls. Several miles of gravel roads are required to reach the area but the walk to the falls is easy. Located in the Ouachita National Forest near Albert Pike day use area.
Cedar Falls --The best known natural waterfall in the state, Cedar Falls is the focal point of Petit Jean State Park atop Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton. This 95-foot gusher spills into Cedar Creek and can be accessed via the Cedar Falls Trail, which winds through Cedar Creek Canyon to the "splash down." The trip is 2-1/4 miles round trip and is classified as moderate-to-strenuous. The park is located on Ark. 154 southwest of Morrilton.
Cossatot River State Park Natural Area -Cossatot Falls isa series
of smaller water falls on the rugged, upturned rocks of the Cossatot River. The park extends from the
Ouachita National Forest near the Ark. 246 bridge on the north to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers property on Gillham Lake,
south of Ark. 4. The falls can be reached via Weyerhaeuser
Road 52200 which runs between Ark. 4 and Ark. 246 on the east side of
the river. From Road 52200, turn west on 52600, which leads to
Cossatot Falls. During peak flow time, these falls are floatable, but
only by the most experienced canoeists or kayakers.
The trip to reach these impressive falls is considered to be moderate to
The Falls at Lake Catherine State Park - These wide, beautiful waterfalls drop about
10 feet and into a blue pool in a scenic, wooded setting not far from the lake. From I-30, take exit 97 near
Malvern and go north 12 miles on Ark. 171. This road will dead end at
Lake Catherine State Park.
Follow the park signs to the Falls
Branch Trail. This trail begins near the campground, winds through the
wooded area of the park, and crosses Little Canyon Creek in
several places. The waterfall is located approximately 1/4-mile from the
trailhead - when hiking clockwise around the loop. This
two-mile trail is considered to be easy to moderate in difficulty.
OZARK MOUNTAINS (northwest and north-central Arkansas)
High Bank Twin Falls: To reach the waterfall, park at High Bank Canoe Access for the Mulberry River. walk east along the shoulder of Ark. 215 across a small bridge. Once on the other side, look for a beaten path (there is no sign) leading off to your left. Follow it across a small stream with waterfalls of its own and keep walking until you arrive at High Bank Twin Falls. Distance from the parking lot is only one-fourth mile.
Haw Creek Falls - These are wide, shallow falls that drop about five feet from a rock ledge very near the picturesque Haw Creek Falls campground in the Ozark National Forest. From Scenic 7 Byway, turn west at Pelsor, which is located 35 to 40 miles north of Russellville, on Ark. 123. The falls will be found adjacent to a small U.S. Forest Service campground of the same name, just a little beyond the Big Piney Creek Bridge. The campground is located 14 miles north of Hagarville on Ark. 123, or 12 miles west of Pelsor on Ark. 123, and is marked with a sign. Access to this living waterfall is considered very easy.
Marble Falls -- Marble Falls can almost be labeled a “drive by” waterfall. It is located just south of the town of Marble Falls on Scenic Ark. 7 Byway. A pull-off provides a great view of the year-round flow. The waterfall, which is spring-fed, once powered a flour mill, a cotton gin and saw mill. The original grist mill was built around 1840. Mable Falls is visible from Scenic 7 about two miles south of Mystic Caverns and approximately three miles north of the Buffalo National River Pruitt access. Across the highway from the pull-off is an historic stone marker acknowledging the use of Arkansas marble in the construction of the Washington Monument. It says: “This Marker Commemorates the Arkansas Marble in Washington’s Monument Taken by Beller and Harp Bros. from this Hill in 1836 [sic] This Marker Erected 1954 by Newton Co. History Society - W.F. Lackey Pres. Manda Hickman Sec.”
Natural Dam - One of the easiest accessed waterfalls in Arkansas is at Natural Dam. Located approximately 15 miles north of Van Buren in the Boston Mountain range of the Ozark Mountains, the dam is so perfect it looks man-made but is an all-natural rock wall. It’s nearly 200 feet wide, spans the entire width of Mountain Fork Creek and is viewable from your vehicle. It’s a great place to have a picnic while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Take Exit-5 off I-40 at Van Buren and go north on Ark. 59. Turn left at the Natural Dam Community – the picnic area and waterfalls come into sight after making the turn.
Triple Falls – Located in the Buffalo National River Wilderness Area of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains near Camp Orr, a Boy Scout facility. From Jasper,
go west on Ark. 74, turning right at the Camp Orr Boy Scout Camp sign.
Follow the steep dirt road to the bottom of the valley. There you’ll
find a sign for Twin Falls – the waterfall is called Twin and Triple
Falls – yet the sign says TWIN FALLS. It is then a short and easy hike
to see another Natural State wonder. Usually, there are only triple
falls when there has been a lot of rainfall. Otherwise, you’ll probably
just see two.
Kings River Falls -- Located in the Kings River Falls Natural Area south of Huntsville, Kings River Falls is found on the area’s hiking trail, approximately two miles in length. It is rated easy to moderate; not accessible for those with physical limitations. About one-half mile down the trail is where you’ll find the falls. The Kings River is unique for the Ozarks because it flows from south to north. To reach the natural area from the community of Boston on Ark.16 (between Fallsville and St. Paul), go north on dirt CR 3175 for 2.1 miles.Veer right as the road forks onto CR 3415, staying on it for 2.3 miles until you come to a "T" intersection with CR 3500. Turn left and go across the creek and park at natural area sign.
Eden Falls - Falls that drop from tall, moss-lined rocks and boulders in a narrow canyon in the Buffalo National River Park. From Ark. 43 between Boxley and Ponca, turn onto the road to Lost Valley, a unit of the Buffalo National River. Park at the end of the road and follow the signed trail to the bluff shelter. Eden Falls will be found at the far end of the massive overhang. Considered to be a moderate hike to the falls.
Falling Water Falls - Oftentimes these natural waterfalls are not more than a small stream that pours over a wide ledge and drops about 10 feet into a pool below. After heavy rains, though, the water gushes over much of the rock overhang, located in a beautiful, wooded spot. At the junction of Scenic 7 Byway and Ark. 16 at Pelsor, turn east on Ark. 16 to Ben Hur, then go south about 1.5-miles until you reach Forest Service Road 1205. Turn east on this road and remain on it for approximately 3 to 4 miles. You'll be following Falling Water Creek and will come upon the falls to your right. They are easily visible from your vehicle. If you continue on this road another 6-8 miles, you'll come to Richland Creek Campground, a trailhead for trips back to Richland Falls and Twin Falls.
Richland Falls/Twin Falls -- Two of the state's most beautiful waterfalls are in one spot - where Devil's Fork Creek meets
Richland Creek in the Ozark National Forest. From I-40 at
Russellville, you'll go north for 36 miles on Scenic 7 Byway to
Pelsor. Turn east on Ark. 16 and drive approximately 10 miles to Forest Service Rd. 1205. Turn north and go about
eight miles to Richland Creek Campground.
You'll park at the lower
campground and head west on foot, immediately crossing Falling Water
Creek. Hike the Richland Creek Trail for about two miles to
the confluence of Devil's Fork Creek. Richland Falls is another 1/4-mile
up Richland Creek. These are some the most difficult to reach waterfalls in Arkansas. It is considered a difficult trek, and the trail is very poorly marked.
Hemmed-In Hollow Falls - For a view of this spectacular piece of nature, which is the highest waterfall in Mid-America, ask one of the local outfitters at Ponca for directions. Located in the Buffalo National River Park, you'll have to hike in anywhere from 3.5 to 5 miles (one way), depending on your choice of trailhead. This is also considered a complicated area to access.
Mirror Lake -- The Civilian Conservation Corps-built dam provides the stunning waterfalls at Mirror Lake. The Blanchard Springs flow into the lake, then exits over the depression-era stone wall. The water was used to power a mill so it became Mill Creek. Two partial stone walls are all that remain. Today the lake is known for its rainbow trout fishing and the spectacular water display. It’s located just off Ark. 14 outside Mountain View.