There are two major thoughts that come to mind when I think about Tryst Falls. First off, let’s start with the name. I knew what the definition of tryst was, but had to go and check just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. After confirming I wasn’t going crazy, I had to search and see if there was any history behind the name. According to a historian of this area in Missouri, the waterfall used to be a meeting place for lovers…how sweet.
Now that we’ve taken care of the name, let’s talk about the falls. Tryst Falls just goes to show that there isn’t a really great database of all of the waterfalls in some states. States such as Washington, Oregon, and New York (just to name a few) have pretty comprehensive databases because there are so many waterfalls in the area, and people EXPECT to find waterfalls in the area. On the other hand, states like Kansas and Missouri seem to be lacking because people don’t picture “waterfall” when they think of Missouri or Kansas. So it was with great surprise that I stumbled upon Tryst Falls when searching for waterfalls near Kansas City. A number of the falls listed on one site were artificial, but this one isn’t.
Tryst Falls is 5-7′ tall, so understandably it’s not on everyone’s radar. On the other hand, there is a park designated for the falls, and it is a really great park. On a sunny day, I would definitely suggest going and having a picnic near the falls. Luckily, yesterday when I visited the falls, it had been raining on and off, so there was definitely water flowing over the falls. I imagine that in the depths of summer, the waterfall might dry up or be a trickle. The best time to visit would probably be in spring, or after an impressive rainfall. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit just this one waterfall, though if you’re in the Kansas City area, it is not a difficult drive, being just a few miles east of Kearney. And as I’ve hinted, there are other waterfalls in the region, though they may not be big and well advertised. (Check out this website if you want more info.)
1) Once you get to Kearney, MO, this is very easy to find. Kearney is right off of I-35 north of Kansas City. I’m not sure what the exit number is, but the sign will say “Kearney” and MO-92.
2) Once you exit I-35, head east on MO-92, which you will likely already be driving on.
3) Keep driving east on MO-92 for about 6 miles to Tryst Falls Park, which if headed east will be found on your right. There are clear signs indicating where the park entrance is.
4) After entering the park, take the gravel road to the right. Drive toward the creek, and it’s pretty difficult to miss the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (great amenities at the park, too)
Where in the World is Tryst Falls?: map