Clark Creek Falls #7, Mississippi

Clark Creek Falls (101)

One of the waterfalls in Clark Creek Natural Area in January 2015

I’ve posted about Clark Creek Falls #3 and #9, so it might seem odd to be posting about waterfall #7 now. Those are the only three waterfalls I saw in the park. Waterfalls 1 and 2 were on an easier trail, but I had worn myself out seeing these falls that I skipped viewing them. The map showed other waterfalls, I believe, so these are the three that I encountered along my hike.

The hike can either be easy or very strenuous. You can stick to the Waterfall Trail for an enjoyable time, or follow the primitive trail and increase your chance of getting confused, lost, wet, and muddy. The confusion came about from my interpretation of primitive. I hiked on a primitive trail recently that was very clear and yet obviously muddy and soaked in water from the rain. And then there’s this primitive, which means you’ll be trying to climb down clay hills and losing the markers that indicate where the trail is. I spent a good 20 minutes confused about where to go, and expended a lot of energy in the process. This waterfall can only be viewed on the primitive trail, so if you’re not interested in that level of primitive, this waterfall might not be for you.

Directions:

  1. From US-61 near Woodville, MS, turn right onto Main Street heading to East Monroe/Pinckneyville Road.
  2. Turn left onto Monroe/Pinckneyville Road driving west to Fort Adams Rd.
  3. Turn right onto Fort Adams Pond Road. Drive to the parking area for Clark Creek Natural Area, which will be on your left. (You can type in the address 366 Fort Adam Pond Road, Woodville, MS, 39669 to get you there using GPS.)
  4. Pay the entrance fee, and then start your hike. There is a 0.4 mile connector hike to both the Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail and the primitive trail. From there, you need to decide what you can handle.

Accessibility: 1/10 (primitive trail)
Height: 15′
Distance of Hike: 2.5 miles round-trip (for Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail), 4.3 miles round-trip (for primitive trail looping into Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail)

Where in the World is Clark Creek Falls #7?

Owens Creek Falls, Mississippi

Waterfalls in Mississippi aren’t abundant, so when I heard about Owen Creek Falls, I wanted to find it. There was just one thing that almost deterred me from that objective…people seem to say access to the waterfall is unavailable. Here’s how the story went.

I’m driving along the Natchez Trace, which is beautiful even this time of year. I’ve read that Owens Creek Falls is not accessible, but one website says there’s another waterfall in the vicinity. I slow down as I approach the place I think the waterfall would be and I pull into a designated parking area. I get out of the car, and see a sign for Owen Creek Falls. It’s got a description of the falls, and it mentions that the water levels have dropped significantly over the past few years, so it’s likely there won’t be much water flowing. For some reason, I thought the waterfall required a hike (that’s the way it read on some sites). So I’m thinking to myself…it requires a hike, which is closed, and there’s probably no water flowing…

And then as I listen closer, I begin to hear flowing water. I start walking over toward where a metal fence has been put up, and what do I see? Owens Creek Falls just a few feet away from me! I was absolutely surprised…I was under the impression that this waterfall couldn’t be seen, and here it was in plain sight!

Yes, there was a metal fence that to prevent you from going down what used to clearly be a trail to the base of the falls. I didn’t go down since I absolutely want to respect the rules…let’s not ruin even partial access! (The ground in the region isn’t particularly stable, so I understand why access has been limited.) And yes, there wasn’t a whole lot of water flowing. But there is a waterfall you can see. The parking lot wasn’t blocked in any way, and all that was required is walking across a grassy area to the fence to see the falls (albeit not from the perfect angle). So…I’m honestly confused why it’s communicated as being inaccessible. (If it’s supposed to be blocked off more, someone can let me know!)

That being said, I have to admit I’m not sure I’d go out of my way for a partial glimpse (even if you could get to the base)…If you’re driving on the Natchez Trace, it would make sense as a stop, since it’s a beautiful drive and there are other views to be had. If you’re looking for waterfalls in Mississippi, there are many waterfalls in the Clark Creek Natural Area (Clark Creek Falls #3 and Clark Creek Falls #9 are two examples).

Directions:

  1. If you’re on the Natchez Trace Parkway, it’s easy to find. From Port Gibson (one possible starting point), go along MS-18 to connect to the Natchez Trace.
  2. Head north on the Natchez Trace for just under 10 miles (after the junction of MS-18).
  3. If headed north, the parking area will be to your left. You’ll know you’re in the right place because there will be a wood sign explaining the falls.
  4. The falls will be a short walk to your left from the sign. Follow ALL posted signs!

Accessibility: 10/10
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: Not applicable

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Owens Creek Falls in January 2017

Where in the World is Owens Creek Falls?

Clark Creek Falls #9, Mississippi

A waterfall in Clark Creek Natural Area (January 2015)

In my quest to visit waterfalls in all 50 states, I had the chance to visit Mississippi earlier this year. There are a few waterfalls in the state, which may be surprising since there isn’t a significant elevation change in the state. But sometimes it just requires enough of an elevation change to get a waterfall. (The other requirement is water, which seems to often be the more difficult to meet.)

Clark Creek Natural Area is one of those places you’ll find waterfalls, and you’d be surprised how many you’re likely to find there. The map showed something like 7 or 8 waterfalls, and then I found another one that wasn’t listed on the map, hence the #9. Not all of the waterfalls are particularly tall, nor do they all have significant water flow. But it was still interesting nonetheless. This specific waterfall couldn’t be easily accessed close-up and is actually a zoomed-in picture from maybe 100 yards away or so. Obviously, there isn’t much water, and it had just rained for a day or two before. So don’t expect much, but be surprised!

Oh, wait, I haven’t told you much about the hike…That’s because I wrote about it before, with Clark Creek Falls #3. Absolutely definitely read this before you start your journey. Waterfall #9 is found along the circular route I’ve described in that post, and it is one of the most tiring hikes I have ever done. I skipped some of the more easily accessible waterfalls because I was worn out and at some points struggled to walk. If you don’t want the pain and suffering, stick to the main route, which hits #1 and #2.

Directions:

  1. From US-61 near Woodville, MS, turn right onto Main Street heading to East Monroe/Pinckneyville Road.
  2. Turn left onto Monroe/Pinckneyville Road driving west to Fort Adams Rd.
  3. Turn right onto Fort Adams Pond Road. Drive to the parking area for Clark Creek Natural Area, which will be on your left. (You can type in the address 366 Fort Adam Pond Road, Woodville, MS, 39669 to get you there using GPS.)
  4. Pay the entrance fee, and then start your hike. There is a 0.4 mile connector hike to both the Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail and the primitive trail. From there, you need to decide what you can handle. Waterfall #9 is on the second half of the trail.

Accessibility: 7/10 (if you use just the waterfall trail), 1/10 (primitive trail)
Height: ~20′
Distance of Hike: 2.5 miles round-trip (for Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail), 4.3 miles round-trip (for primitive trail looping into Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail)

Where in the World is Clark Creek Falls #9?

Clark Creek Falls #3, Mississippi

I really wish I knew where to start with this post about Clark Creek Falls (really more about the Clark Creek Natural Area as a whole). I guess it’s now my goal to visit waterfalls in all 50 states (and throughout the world). Mississippi does have a few waterfalls, and one of the best options for finding waterfalls there is Clark Creek Natural Area. One site advertises there are 50+ waterfalls in the park, and that might not actually be wrong…

Now I ended up only visiting seeing three waterfalls in the park, though if you choose the right path, you should be able to see more in a quicker fashion. This is really a tale about choosing the more difficult path, and coming to really regretting it!

The sign at the beginning of the primitive trail warns that it’s not for the faint of heart (literally). I’ve done pretty intense hikes, though, so I figured I could do it. Well, I did, though it ended up being one of the most difficult hikes I’ve been on in a while. I should have turned back after reaching the first waterfall on this path, the waterfall featured here. The hike was uphill and downhill up to this point, and it was mostly clay.  Well, it had rained just the day before, which is great for ensuring you see waterfalls, but makes it extremely difficult to climb up clay pathways. I really need some kind of metal spikes to get a good footing.  By the end, I had probably slipped 5 or 6 times, though at other points, I had used it to my advantage.

To even get to the crest of this waterfall, you have to almost climb down a clay “staircase”, which has been formed by previous hikers…and it’s not easy. There were some tree branches which helped along the way. After that, you have to ford a stream, this one not particularly deep. With this waterfall, you can at least get a pretty good view of the waterfall after crossing the stream, if I remember correctly. Later falls require more effort.

If you want to see what the primitive trail is but not suffer more, I would go up to this waterfall, which is designated as the 3rd waterfall on the trail map, and then turn back. It just continues its strenuous torture from there. It’s all uphill and downhill along clay trails (even though I swear if they had chosen a different path, everyone could have avoided this up-and-down craziness). You will probably cross different streams four or five times. At two different points, the stream is the trail.

So let me say this…They use a white blaze (sometimes yellow) system to help you follow the primitive trail, and 80% of the time, it works REALLY well. It’s the other 20% of the time that it is just horrible! For example, when the stream was the trail, there weren’t enough white blazes, so I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path! In another case, they decided to use red blazes to indicate the trail I needed to follow, even though there was a white blaze on the other side of the river. I ended up wasting a good 20 minutes climbing up and down a hill before deciding to try and see what was after the red paint. I’m not really sure what to suggest to help you along your way. There is a map online you can print off, but it doesn’t necessarily help in certain situations.

Now, you can avoid all of this torture and instead decide to hike a simpler, “Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail.” In retrospect, I would have totally done that instead, and in the future, I might go back and do that. I was so amazingly worn out by the time I reached the trail that led to those falls that I actually skipped those falls. I thought my legs might actually give out, as they had literally (and that is the correct word) been stretched to their limit. I was wet, slightly cold, and plain worn out. I’ll never forget it, though!

Directions:

  1. From US-61 near Woodville, MS, turn right onto Main Street heading to East Monroe/Pinckneyville Road.
  2. Turn left onto Monroe/Pinckneyville Road driving west to Fort Adams Rd.
  3. Turn right onto Fort Adams Pond Road. Drive to the parking area for Clark Creek Natural Area, which will be on your left. (You can type in the address 366 Fort Adam Pond Road, Woodville, MS, 39669 to get you there using GPS.)
  4. Pay the entrance fee, and then start your hike. There is a 0.4 mile connector hike to both the Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail and the primitive trail. From there, you need to decide what you can handle.

Accessibility: 7/10 (if you use just the waterfall trail), 1/10 (primitive trail)
Height: ~20′
Distance of Hike: 2.5 miles round-trip (for Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail), 4.3 miles round-trip (for primitive trail looping into Clark Creek/Waterfall Trail)

Clark Creek Falls #3 in January 2015

Where in the World is Clark Creek Falls #3?