Chasing Waterfalls in Arkansas: Day 1

A goal of mine this season was to find some waterfalls in Arkansas before they all dry up. I was told a lot of them dry up before summer arrives, so we decided to go when it was still chilly out. Fortunately, I have a friend with several books on Arkansas hiking and waterfalls, and I knew he would be an asset to the trip. We decided to check out Richland Creek Wilderness and the Upper Buffalo Wilderness because these featured relatively easy hikes.

On the first day, we saw three waterfalls in the Richland Creek area: Six Finger Falls, Fuzzy Butt Falls, and Keefe Falls. The trails are not often marked, so we had to rely on our map and use the odometer in the car to locate the falls. We set up camp at a Richland Creek Campground and set out to find the falls. Six Finger Falls was the easiest to find because you can see it from the road.

I love this waterfall because it’s easy to get to and fun to play on. But be extremely careful because it’s very slick walking over the top. I enjoyed sitting in between the falls on the dry parts of rock. I was surprised there weren’t more people out, but that could be because it was still a little chilly outside. I’ve never been here in the summer, but I heard the water dries up quick because you’re so high up. That’s a shame because this would be a great place to swim.

Sitting on the falls

After checking the book and the map, we decided Fuzzy Butt Falls would be our next destination. In order to reach this one we had to cross the river. This was fine for me and the navigator since we were wearing water shoes. If you go waterfall exploring, I recommend you wear water shoes instead of hiking boots. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself walking through water. We carefully walked across trying not to slip on the rocks, found the trail on the other side of the river, and headed for waterfall number two. We almost passed it while walking along the trail because it’s tucked far back. At first, I thought I was looking at a cave until I realized it was just a hollowed out area in the rock.

The water is incredibly chilly, but fun to wade through. This would also be a fun swimming spot if it didn’t dry up when the weather got warmer. I’d like to come back and see what it looks like in the summer. There’s more than one way to get to it. Some people start at a different waterfall called Falling Water. Personally, I enjoyed our hike through the river.

The last waterfall we found was tricky to locate. The trail is not marked and you wouldn’t see it unless you were actively looking for it. A good clue is to find water trickling through the valley. Once we located it, we parked and headed up the trail. We had no idea what we were in for. This was by far the favorite waterfall for all three of us on this entire trip. It’s called Terry Keefe Falls.

Keefe Falls

Finding this waterfall was like something out of a fairytale. One minute you’re on a trail walking through the woods, and the next minute you reach a cliff with an enormous waterfall splashing down on the rocks below. You can even climb up along the rocks and sit behind the waterfall for a gorgeous view. Be careful though the rocks slide and it’s very steep.

This waterfall was such a magnificent sight, we spent most of the afternoon hanging out by it. The only other people we saw was a nice family who brought their children along, so it’s a relatively easy hike once you find it. I definitely would come back to this waterfall.

Keefe Falls

As always, if you’re going to enjoy nature, please be respectful of it. Don’t leave any trash behind, and don’t take anything with you. I was discouraged to see beer cans and other garbage on the road and left behind at campsites. I can’t wait to do more waterfall exploring in the future.

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