Tag - Counties: Searcy + Stone (Ark)

River View/Rock Wall Trails Loop (Buffalo River) – 4 mi

River View/Rock Wall Trails Loop (Buffalo River) - 4 mi photo
Panoramic view of the Buffalo River from one of the overlooks on the River View Trail.

This hike is a 3.8-mile loop in the Buffalo River’s Tyler Bend Campground area. (Tyler Bend is also home to the Buffalo National River Visitor Center.) It’s a pretty cool hike as you get to see some nice river vistas, the historic Collier Homestead, and a pioneer rock wall.

This loop is made up of the River View Trail, the Rock Wall Trail, and a small part of the Buffalo River Trail to connect the two.

The hike is moderately challenging with a net elevation change of about 300 feet. Most of this hike is along a ridge.

River View/Rock Wall Trails Loop (Buffalo River) - 4 mi photo
Main home structure at the Collier Homestead, Buffalo National River

Continue reading River View/Rock Wall Trails Loop (Buffalo River) – 4 mi

Six Finger Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest)

Six Finger Falls (southwest Searcy County, Ozark National Forest) is another great waterfall along Falling Water Creek Road.  And like Falling Water Falls and another falls area along the road, it can be seen just a few hundred yards from the road.

Six Finger Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest) photo
Six Finger Falls

I’m also going to note that Six Finger Falls is a difficult waterfall to photograph well. It’s very wide and has six different falls that are a part of it (hence the name).

Also you have to turn due south to face the falls, so taking pics in the middle of the day in winter means having a ton of sun in the background.

Directions to Six Finger Falls

Take Highway 7 to the community of Pelsor (halfway between Jasper and Dover) and turn east onto Highway 16. Travel 10 miles on Highway 16 (past the Pedestal Rocks Special Interest Area) and about 1 mile past the community of Ben Hur, then turn left onto Forest Road 1205.

There is no sign for the Forest Road, but there are signs to “Falling Water Horse Camp.” So turn on the road leading to the horse camp.

Six Finger Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest) photo
Six Finger Falls

Continue reading Six Finger Falls (Richland Creek Wilderness, Ozark Forest)

Terry Keefe Falls Hike (Ozark Forest)

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.

Terry Keefe Falls Hike (Ozark Forest) photo
Me at Terry Keefe Falls
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.

Terry Keefe Falls Hike (Ozark Forest) photo
Large bluff along the trail to Terry Keefe Falls
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.) Continue reading Terry Keefe Falls Hike (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