Turner Falls, Oklahoma

It’s been a while since I’ve posted much about waterfalls. I haven’t really seen too many in the past few months, and haven’t had much time to sit down and post about older ones. This weekend, though, I had a chance to take a trip to Oklahoma, partly because I knew there was a waterfall I wanted to see.

My father said to me, “I always thought Oklahoma was just flat.” And I’m guessing a lot of it could be… And yet, there are hillier areas.  In the eastern portion of the state, you can find Natural Falls. In the center of the state, you can find Turner Falls, hidden among the Arbuckle Mountains. The area is surprisingly beautiful, and this is after it rained much of the time. (I think I enjoyed the fact it was about 40+ degrees warmer than home.)

Both of them are about 70′ tall. Turner Falls is often called the tallest, but Natural Falls seems equally as tall. Turner Falls is wider, though. What I liked about Turner Falls was the geology surrounding the falls. It almost seemed as if there were the remnants of lava flows from long ago, as the rock seemed very similar to ones I had seen in lava fields in California and Hawaii. The colors of the rocks and the tree leaves made the falls even more interesting. The rainy weather meant the falls were also flowing well. Overall, it was definitely cool to see Turner Falls. And if you have the time, go searching for what I believe are a few other falls in the area.

Directions:

  1. Follow I-35 south from Oklahoma City (or north from Dallas). If you are heading south, you would pass the town of Davis, and then you would see a sign for Turner Falls. In the daytime, it was pretty hard to miss.
  2. Exit I-35 at those signs. (If you’re headed north, there’s a sign also.)
  3. Follow US-77 to the Turner Falls Park entrance. If you miss the entrance, you would loop right back around to I-35.
  4. The entrance fee in winter is a very nice $4 per person (compared to the summer rate of $12 per person).  There is a short hike to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.1 miles (along a paved path)
Height: 77′

Turner Falls in late November 2014

Where in the World is Turner Falls?

Elakala Falls #3, West Virginia

The third drop on Shay’s River in October 2010

I was really excited to be able to see the third falls on Shays Run. Sometimes when I read descriptions of waterfalls, I get these impressions that the waterfalls are extremely difficult to get to. And I’m always impressed when their relatively easier to visit than I expected.

When I begin to think about it more, they end up becoming some of my favorite waterfalls, and I think this one might rank up there somewhere. While it’s not tall and doesn’t have a huge amount of water flowing over it, it is VERY scenic and photogenic. I had so much fun getting the different shots of the falls. There is another side view of the falls that provides an equally interesting, and yet completely different perspective.

Directions:

  1. Head toward Davis/Thomas, WV on WV-32. Once in either town, you should see signs for Blackwater Falls State Park. Follow the signs!
  2. Instead of heading toward Blackwater Falls proper, head toward the Blackwater Lodge.
  3. Park in the parking area for Blackwater Lodge near the left edge of the lodge (if you’re viewing it from the front). If you walk just a few feet from the parking lot, you should find the trail leading to the falls.
  4. After a short distance, you will find a bridge crossing Shays Run, and you’ll be able to see the first falls. Cross the bridge. It is much less complicated to hike down that side of the river, as there is a clearer trail there.
  5. Heading downhill, you should be able to get a good view of the first falls after a short distance. Keep heading downhill on what appears to be a somewhat well worn trail to see the 2nd and 3rd falls. Bug spray and hiking shoes are essential.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Elakala Falls #3?

Blackwater Falls, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls is the main attraction of Blackwater Falls State Park in northeast West Virginia. It is a 50+’ falls on the Blackwater River, and it is a very nice sight. Depending on the season, I think you will likely see a very different waterfall. There are pictures at very high flow when it is just one large, rushing waterfall. When I visited in late October, there were three separate pieces, which from most pictures seems to be rather normal.

It is rather simple to view the falls. The closer view of the falls comes from the “left” viewpoint. This viewpoint has numerous stairs that lead down to the falls. They’ve blocked it off at the end so that you don’t leave the boardwalk, and that might be a good idea. I think the area is steeper than it appears. There is another viewpoint on the opposite side of the river that is not nearly as close to the falls, but it is handicapped-accessible. This viewpoint is found on the “Gentle Trail.” From the Gentle Trail viewpoint, there are a number of other waterfalls you may be able to see, such as the set of Pendleton Run Falls.

Directions:

  1. Head toward Davis/Thomas, WV on WV-32. Once in either town, you should see signs for Blackwater Falls State Park. Follow the signs!
  2. To get to the closer viewpoint, follow the sign to the falls. To get to the other viewpoint, follow the sign to the lodge, where you will stop at the Gentle Trail.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 60′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Blackwater Falls in late October 2010

Where in the World is Blackwater Falls?