Bear Creek Canyon – Part 1

It was a few days before Christmas 2014, and the Arkansas Holiday Trail of Lights was the farthest thing from Kurt’s mind.  Rain had been falling in the Ozarks, so he decided to venture out to Bear Creek Canyon, home of some amazing waterfalls.

About forty five miles from Russellville, Bear Creek Canyon is fairly close (eight miles) to one of the Ozarks most popular waterfalls, Haw Creek Falls….

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Haw Creek Falls Last Winter

but I digress..

Bear Creek Canyon is in the Ozark National Forest.  It is one of those areas where the hike will be challenging, with no established trail other than a possible footpath.  However, as the pictures will certainly attest, it is worth the effort!

The first waterfall, Sidewinder Falls, is about a 1.5 mile hike from the parking area.  The way this cascade winds downhill certain makes it a very unique site!  From there, the second waterfall is already in view….

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..Swamp Falls, such a dismal name for this phenomenal waterfall!  I tried to find out the story behind the name, but had no luck.  Perhaps it was an attempt by the locals to keep this Arkansas gem all to themselves!

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A continued hike downstream will lead to additional falls, which I will discuss in Part 2.

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To get to Bear Creek Canyon from Russellville, take Higway 7 North to Pelsor.  At the intersection of Arkansas 7 and Arkansas 123, head west on Arkansas 123 for approximately 4.7 miles and then turn south on Treat Road (also known as No. 1802). Travel south on Treat Road for 2.2 miles, and park on the right at the turnout. This area is part of the Ozark National Forest.

When Kurt got home late that afternoon, he was definitely spent, but excited, and I can understand why.  It’s always a thrill to discover new areas located so close to home.  I look forward to joining him on his next visit to Bear Creek Canyon!

 

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