I can’t believe it’s almost the middle of June and I’m writing about waterfalls! In years past, I was already telling you How to Be a Boat Dog or offering Tips For Enjoying The Beach With Your Dog. I guess everything is a little slower these days, including summer. With all the rain we’ve had it continues to feel a little like spring (or Seattle) and Arkansas waterfalls are still looking pretty good. If you haven’t been to any of these falls, it’s time to visit a few.
Glory Hole Falls
My first trip to “the hole in the rock” was on my 44th birthday. Limited by timing, location, and budget, I figured standing in the middle of a waterfall during my solar return was a pretty cool consolation prize. The drive to Fallsville is about an hour and half from Fayetteville, and the hike to the falls is short, about a mile, but not easy. Small dogs may need to be carried and large dogs should be very agile. Henri was 9 years old on our visit and did fairly well, but now that he’s 15, this isn’t a hike I could do with him.
If you do go to Glory Hole Falls with your dog, your reward is a one of Arkansas’ most unique falls- a 30 ft fall flowing through native rock. Details about our hike and how to find the falls can be found in our post Hiking to Glory Hole Falls With Your Dog. No promises on that “K’s Country Kitchen” sign though.
Location: Fallsville, AR Drive time from Fayetteville: 1.5 hours Level of Difficulty: Moderate/Hard
Tanyard Creek Falls
A short drive from downtown Bentonville, this easy two-mile loop will have you off the pavement and communing with nature in no time. The well-maintained dog-friendly trail is more of a nature walk than a hike, and features a “refreshment station” for your pet. Perfect for an after brunch all-ages stroll, Tanyard Creek Nature Trail boasts one of the area’s most easily accessible waterfalls. Finding Tanyard Creek Falls is pretty easy, so expect to see lots of other visitors, especially if you go on a weekend.
Location: Bella Vista, AR Drive time from Bentonville: 20 minutes Level of Difficulty: Easy
King River Falls
Easy to locate and easy to hike, the effort to enjoyment ratio on this day trip is excellent! Pack a lunch and some drinks, and wear your swimsuit; this spot is also a swimming hole. The hike to the falls is about 1 mile, and while there are no inclines, it is pretty rocky. About mid-hike there is a metal grate bridge that might pose a problem for small dogs, dogs whose nails are too long, or dogs that are just leery of new surfaces. For an address, driving suggestions, and a few other tips from us, go here.
Location: Witter, AR Drive time from Fayetteville: 1 hr Level of Difficulty: Easy
Tips For Chasing Waterfalls With Your Dog
Cell service is sketchy in many of these locations. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll return. Take a safety whistle.
It’s Arkansas. You need bug spray.
Wet paws are more susceptible to injury and burning on hot surfaces.
Leashes may be optional in some areas, but take one with you.
Put your dog in a sturdy harness with a handle in case you need to help him over obstacles.
PICK UP YOUR POOP!
When visiting Magnolia Falls you’d never know you were less than two hours from city life. It is other-worldly and I’m pretty sure fairies live there. There are plenty of places for a hot dog to take a cool dip, and some will likely enjoy a swim in the pool of water formed by the fall.
The path to Magnolia Falls is a well-worn trail and an easy 2.5 mile in/out hike. If you go on a weekend, you’ll likely encounter more traffic, but DO go. The fall itself isn’t as big as some others you might find, but the area surrounding it will utterly transport you. Pack a lunch and stay awhile.
Location: Mossville, AR Drive time from Fayetteville: 1.5 hrs Level of Difficulty: Easy
Sweden Creek Falls
At 81 feet, Sweden Creek Falls, located in the Sweden Creek Natural Area, is Arkansas’ 8th tallest waterfall and a fairly easy mile and half hike will get you there. A few small falls can be found along the way, as well as an abandoned homestead, but don’t stop there. Follow the sloppy and descending path to get to the biggest. The force of the water hitting the rocks below the fall creates a strong breeze and a fine clean mist that hangs in the air. If you’ve never stood at the base of a waterfall and inhaled deeply, it’s time.
Location: Boxley, AR Drive from Fayetteville: 1 hr Level of Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
With temperatures in the mid-80s and humidity soaring, there’s no better time to enjoy the cool mist of an Arkansas waterfall. Save that lake day for when it’s too sweltering to do anything but bob in your PFD diaper. You and your dog will be muddy, but you won’t be sorry.