Tag - Richland Creek Wilderness

Twin Falls of Richland (Ozark Forest)

Twin Falls of Richland is one of the more famous waterfall areas in northwest Arkansas. I first read about this waterfall about 10 years ago in Backpacker Magazine, and I quickly added it to my must-see list.

This destination is really is worthy of the national exposure.

Twin Falls of Richland (Ozark Forest) photo
Twin Falls of Richland

Twin Falls of Richland is in the Ozark National Forest’s Richland Creek Wilderness. (Trail guide author Tim Ernst uses the “Twin Falls of Richland” name because there are multiple Arkansas waterfalls with the name “Twin Falls.”)

Twin Falls is actually two different waterfalls from two different creeks — Big Devil’s Fork and Long Devil’s Fork — that merge together at this site. One of the falls is 17 feet tall. The other is 19 feet tall. They fall over into a glistening pool that is a great swimming hole.

Twin Falls of Richland (Ozark Forest) photo
Twin Falls of Richland

The easiest trail head to get to is via the Richland Creek campground, and it is a spectacular hike. When coming to the area, be sure to also check out Richland Falls and many of the other beautiful areas within the Richland Creek Wilderness Area.    Continue reading Twin Falls of Richland (Ozark Forest)

Richland Falls (Ozark Forest)

Richland  Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Richland Falls

Richland Falls is a great little waterfall. It runs along Richland Creek in the Ozark National Forest’s Richland Creek Wilderness.

It is only about 8-feet tall, but the glory of it is that it runs nearly 100 feet across the creek’s width.

During lower water, it breaks into a series of smaller falls that span the creek bed.

Richland  Falls (Ozark Forest) photo
Richland Falls

Continue reading Richland Falls (Ozark Forest)

Richland Creek Wilderness Waterfalls Hike (Ozark Forest) – 6 mi

Richland Creek Wilderness Waterfalls Hike (Ozark Forest) - 6 mi photo
Twin Falls of Richland

Last weekend, we hiked the Richland Creek Wilderness area of the Ozark National Forest back to Richland Falls and Twin Falls of Richland.

It had been probably eight years since last hiked to this area. It was among the first hikes we did in Arkansas. We loved it then, and it was great to go back.

This area is highly regarded by national publications and by locals alike. But since it is not easy to reach, it is not as well-traveled as many areas.

The waterfalls are the highlight of the hike, but really, the hike itself is spectacular.

Getting to the Trail

Let’s talk a bit about how to get to the trail. First, let me note something about trail guides to the area. Tim Ernst, who writes all the major trail guides to the area, recommends people come into the falls from the Hill Cemetery from the north. The basis for his recommendation is: (a) it sounds like easier hiking since it mostly follows an old road, and (b) it allows the hiker to avoid wading across Richland Creek (a large creek with a lot of water).

Richland Creek Wilderness Waterfalls Hike (Ozark Forest) - 6 mi photo
Richland Falls

However, Ernst notes in some of his updated guides that the road to Hill Cemetery has been unmaintained lately, and a four-wheel drive vehicle may be needed to get there.

As someone who was using an older trail book (that noted none of this), I can tell you the road to Hill Creek cemetery definitely requires the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle, and I would recommend a skilled driver. That road is narrow, steep, and in poor condition.

So instead, let’s start our hike from Richland Creek Campground.

Continue reading Richland Creek Wilderness Waterfalls Hike (Ozark Forest) – 6 mi

Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012

Hike date September 8-9, 2012

Richland Creek Wilderness in the Boston Mountains is managed by the USDA Forest Service.  There is a nearby campground called Richland Creek Campground. The directions on the USDA Forest Service site are the clearest. Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012 photo  I wouldn’t recommend directions from Google Maps.  Our goal on this backpacking trip was to see Richland Falls, Twin Falls, and maybe the Sandcastles.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012 photoTim Ernst mentions the Richland Creek Wilderness in both the Arkansas Hiking Trails and Ozark Highlands Trail books, which are excellent resources for planning a hike.  We decided to start at Hill Cemetery and hike south to Twin Falls.

This is not an easy spot to find.  The USDA Forestry site mentions the road is not recommended for passenger vehicles.  I wouldn’t recommend it at all, the road is very rough at two spots and appears to be washed out, at the end, there is very limited parking.  After a scouting mission by Stuart and Dan, the decision was made to back the CRV up and head toward Richland Creek Campgrounds. Continue reading Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012