Hemmed-In Hollow Falls in March 2011
Hemmed-In Hollow Falls is one of the more widely known waterfalls in Arkansas. This seems to be due to its 200+’ height and honestly what is a beautiful scenic backdrop for the falls. And yet, if you show up at the wrong time of year, you might be slightly disappointed.
At first, I was somewhat concerned about hiking to Hemmed-In Hollow Falls. It sounded like it was a long and strenuous hike. It was long, and it was a bit strenuous in places…But I found much of it to be easier to traverse than I expected. (Sometimes, when you prepare yourself for the worse, it actually turns out better! The opposite also holds true.) It is a 2.5 mile hike downhill, followed by a 2.5 mile hike uphill on the return. It seemed spread out enough that I didn’t want to cry when I got back to the car!
The views to be had during the hike to the falls were rather impressive. The area is really very beautiful. As you get closer, you’ll see a smaller waterfall, though it was actually wider than Hemmed-In Hollow Falls, and seemed like it had more water flowing. Hemmed-In Hollow Falls had very little water flowing. There was also just enough wind that it kept causing the water that was flowing to oscillate back and forth. In the pictures, I’m not sure you’ll be able to tell it was flowing. It’s the portion that almost looks like sun rays. Much of the water has been dispersed after only 50′ of drop or so! So, I would strongly recommend going to the falls after it has rained in the area. Even with little rain, I will admit the rock near the falls is very interesting. There are a number of beautiful colors and striations.
- Take AR-43 southwest from Harrison. Drive just over 18 miles into Compton.
- Turn left on the dirt road across from the Compton Post Office. I believe this will be County Road 19 (which might be Erbie Road). Drive for approximately 1 mile on this dirt road.
- Then follow the signs to the trail head parking area.
- From the parking area, start your hike to the falls. Bring water and some snacks so the hike is more enjoyable!
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/difficult)
Distance of Hike: 5 miles round trip (1500’+ elevation change one-way)
Lower Hemmed-In Hollow Falls
Where in the World is Hemmed-In Hollow Falls?
Triple Falls in March 2011
This may be the first waterfall that I can think of that changes its name! If you visit after a nice rainfall, you’ll see Triple Falls, with three separate ribbons of water. If you show up and it’s drier, you might only see two ribbons, and now you can feel free to call it Twin Falls. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Getting to the falls is relatively easy, assuming you head in the right direction. I found what seemed to be the parking area for the falls, and started heading along what seemed like a nice trail. It didn’t lead anywhere (of interest). I kept hiking, and finally gave up. I really hadn’t walked that far, but I had to wonder. And then, I had this clever thought…let’s check the directions again. And after reading the directions, I realized that I might have left and right (or north and south) confused…something of that sort. By chance, I also noticed a sign. It said Twin Falls. Except there’s no Twin Falls in view, even though I hear something. I decide to go to the “other side”, hike a bit, and without much effort, I was viewing Triple Falls!
I’m pretty surprised I saw the Triple version. Many of the other falls in the area seemed rather sparse for March. Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls was almost water-less, as was Liles Falls. I was disappointed with some of the falls, but Triple Falls and Eden Falls ranked as my two Arkansas favorites (of the seven I viewed).
1) From Jasper, head west along AR-74.
2) After driving for a few miles, turn right onto Camp Orr (or Kyle’s Landing) Road. There will be signs for Kyle’s Landing and the Boy Scouts of America Camp Orr indicating the turn.
3) It’s a downhill drive along a gravel road. I don’t remember it being terrible. After a mile, you’ll take a sharp right to continue on Camp Orr Road.
4) Drive down to the bottom of the hill, and look for a sign for Twin Falls just before you enter the Boy Scout Camp. It’s somewhere very near the entrance to your LEFT as you come downhill. I don’t remember the trail being extremely noticeable at first, but once you find the sign, it’s pretty straightforward.
5) Hike the short distance to Triple (Twin) Falls.
Where in the World is Triple Falls?: map
Eden Falls in March 2011
In March 2011, I went in search of Arkansas waterfalls. I flew in the Fayetteville/Bentonville Airport, and headed out on my journey. I had seen pictures of all of these very scenic waterfalls, though many of them sounded somewhat difficult to get to. A significant number of falls in the book “Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook” by Tim Ernst indicated difficult hikes, bushwhacking, GPS being suggested, or some combination of the three. Therefore, I tried to limit myself to those that seemed to have just one of the three, if possible. At the end of the journey, all I can say was that I was rather disappointed (though this was no fault of the author). Maybe I’m terribly wrong, but waterfalls in Arkansas just seem to be harder to find…Or maybe they didn’t want me to find them.
On one waterfall “hike”, I was standing in a thicket of rose bushes, wondering how I was going to get out with minimal damage. It seemed as though the waterfall should be right nearby, but there was no sound or sight of water to be had! At another waterfall, I was standing on the edge of a cliff, with no real way of getting good views of falls. I even did the moderately difficult hike to Hemmed In Hollow Falls, only to find that there was virtually no water flowing over the falls. I was striking out big time.
And then came Eden Falls. Eden Falls automatically skyrocketed to the top of the Arkansas waterfalls list for me because I could actually find it without feeling a sense of confusion/disappointment. At about 1.1 miles one-way, the hike was manageable. There weren’t any crazy elevation gains. There wasn’t any bushwhacking, or need for GPS. The trail was as obvious as could possibly be. And as you approach the falls, the views become absolutely stunning. The rock formations and geology around the falls are truly amazing. At one point along the hike, you’re actually standing under a rock overhang. Eden Falls was also thrilling because enough water was actually flowing over the falls to make it worth my while. Everything about Eden Falls just made me happy! (And as an added bonus…there’s a cave near the top of the falls.)
(Note: It seems there are waterfalls above Eden Falls, and other falls along the trail to Eden Falls. I’ll encourage you to buy the book to find out more about them…I didn’t have any luck in finding them. At that time, I was just happy with one impressive waterfall.)
- From AR-43 in Ponca, head south for a short distance.
- Turn right onto Lost Valley Road. Head down to the end of Lost Valley Road. There will be a ranger’s residence at the end of the road, along with parking.
- Head to the trail, and enjoy!
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 2.3 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Eden Falls?
When thinking about a waterfall I’ve visited over a year ago, I sometimes have difficulty recalling the specifics. So let’s start with what I can remember well: I do clearly remember that Liles Falls was one of the more seasonal falls I visited in northwest Arkansas in March 2011. There was very little water flowing over the falls, so little that it really wasn’t worth exploring the second portion of the falls, which requires more effort. Visiting after a significant rainfall is definitely worth it. I also remember it being pretty easy to the get to the falls. It’s not a particularly long hike along the trail.
What I don’t seem to remember as well: I think the road to the falls is gravel, but I don’t remember it being particularly bad. I’ve been on some narrow gravel roads that have made me nervous, but I don’t remember that here. I feel like I passed a forest ranger, who must have wondered what I was doing in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I don’t remember whether there was an area for parking at the “trailhead” to the falls. I wasn’t there for any significant amount of time, and I really just remember not being that impressed…
- The road leading to Liles Falls is found off of AR-7 between Jasper and Pruitt. If you’re coming from Jasper, you’d be heading northeast along 7.
- On your left, you will come to County Road 79, also known as Erbie Campground Road. Turn left onto Co. Rd. 7.
- Head about 3.5 miles along County Road 79/Erbie Campground Road. You’ll pass the Cedar Grove Picnic Area.
- At 3.5 miles, park right after crossing the small creek. I don’t believe it was flowing significantly when I was there, as it feeds the falls.
- Head downhill along the pretty clear trail (though I don’t remember if it was marked).
Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Liles Falls at very low flow in March 2011
Where in the World is Liles Falls?