Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls – 2 mi

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Falls Creek Falls on the Falls Branch Trail, Lake Catherine State Park

If you’re a sucker for streams and hills like I am, you should check out the Falls Branch Trail at Lake Catherine State Park (Hot Spring County, near Hot Springs). I think this 1.6-mile semi-loop is the most scenic trail in the park.

The highlight of the trail is the 10-foot waterfall, Falls Creek Falls.

CLICK – Google Maps Directions to Trailhead

 

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
One of the stream-crossing footbridges in the first part of the Falls Branch Trail (panoramic)

The trail starts at the park’s main trailhead, close to the bathhouse. From there, follow the signs (heading counterclockwise) and the red blazes.

The first .3 miles goes uphill along a pretty stream with a number of small footbridge crossings.

The trail then makes a sharp left turn and heads up part of  Horseshoe Mountain. Just a little ways up is a nice overlook.

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Lake Catherine Falls Branch Trail

The trail reaches its highest elevation point at about .6 miles when it crosses the Horseshoe Mountain Trail.

The trail then heads downhill and toward the waterfall. (The net elevation change on the hike is about 180 feet.)

Pretty soon, the trail starts following another stream. At about .8, there is a several-foot-tall mini-waterfall in this stream.

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Lake Catherine Falls Branch Trail

Eventually, the trail comes upon Falls Creek and then the waterfall. The pool beneath the falls is also gorgeous and is sometimes used as a swimming hole.

The rest of the trail, finishing the loop back to the trailhead, has some great views of Lake Catherine.

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Climbing up part of Horsehoe Mountain

These are some photos and my gps-based map from my hike back on June 14.

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Mini-waterfall on the Lake Catherine Falls Branch Trail
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Falls Creek  Falls
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Looking above Falls Creek Falls
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Falls Creek Falls, Lake Catherine State Park
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Falls Branch Trail, next to the lake, heading back toward the trailhead
Photo Gallery

Click here or below for full-screen photo gallery.

Maps
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail Contour Map (Click to Enlarge).
CLICK – Interactive Trail Map

 

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail + Falls Creek Falls - 2 mi photo
Lake Catherine Falls Branch Trail – Elevation Profile (based on gps data).

Lake Catherine: Falls Branch Trail

LocationLake Catherine State Park, Hot Spring County, Arkansas
Google Maps Directions to TrailheadLink.
Length/Type1.6 mi./Semi-Loop. Red blazes.
DifficultyMildly challenging (2 of 5)
Other permitted usage?Pets on leash.
ATT Cell Coverage?Yes
Official Info501-844-4176
Official website.
Gpx file by MikeLink.
Interactive trail mapLink.
Date HikedJune 14, 2014

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