Terry Keefe Falls (southwest Searcy County, Ozark National Forest) is a really great waterfall that is a short hike off of Falling Water Road – or as a spur trail off of the Ozark Highlands Trail.
Getting to the Trail
Head to Falling Water Falls Road near the Richland Creek Recreation Area. To get there from Jasper, take Highway 7 south to Pelsor, and then take Highway 16 east for 10 miles (past the Pedestal Rocks Special Interest Area and Community of Ben Hur) and turn left onto Forest Road 1205 (also called Falling Water Falls Road).
After turning on Falling Water Falls Road, take the road 5.3 miles to the bridge crossing across Falling Water Creek. Continue on this road for another mile to a spot where a creek comes in from the right and flows under the road. This is about 2.8 miles from the Richland Creek Campground if you’re coming from that direction.
Park where you can here.
Hiking to Terry Keefe Falls
The trail starts off on your right and heads up into the woods. It’s a well-worn trail and pretty easy to find. (When we were there, there was pink tape marking the spot.)
The trail goes up the hill. It follows along the creek to your right. The creek here has a lot of large rocks and water features. Before you get to the top of the hill, you’ll cross the Ozark Highlands Trail. This is at Mile Marker 141 of the OHT.
Continue straight at the intersection up the hill. The trail is marked with white circles painted on the trees (not to be confused with actual white blazes that mark the OHT).
The trail will then go back down the other side of the hill and bend to the right, and then back up a hill. As you cross this hill, you’ll begin to see an amazing bluff line on your left.
The trail will then bend to the left and follow a creek bed and then proceed to cross the creek bed multiple times on the way back to the falls. The creek is mostly dry here, so it’s easy crossing.
A little ways up the dry creek bed, you’ll get to a huge rock hollow. Terry Keefe Falls is in the middle of this hollow.
Terry Keefe Falls is 78-feet tall and had a nice flow to it while we were there. It’s definitely one of the taller falls in the area.
Date Hiked: December 31, 2013
Distance: 1-mile round trip
Footwear: Trail shoes or tennis shoes would be fine.
Guidebook: Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfalls
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[This post was originally published on January 12, 2014 on the blog “Exploring Northwest Arkansas.”]