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Hike the Falls Branch Trail in Lake Catherine SP

Fenter Township, Arkansas

4.0/5
based on 2 reviews

Details

Distance

1.6 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Nick Garcia

Just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown Hot Springs, this peaceful and serene 10ft waterfall can easily be reached by 3 different trails within Lake Catherine State Park.

The 3 trailheads to get to the Falls Branch waterfall can all be accessed within Lake Catherine SP. Follow the main road to the very end of the park, passing the amphitheater just before you reach the trails parking lot. The three trails you can take to reach the Falls are: Falls Branch Trail, Horseshoe Mountain Trail, and Dam Mountain Trail, each with their own scenic routes to the Falls. The most direct and easiest trail is the Falls Branch Trail. The Falls Branch Trail (red blazes) winds through a heavily wooded area and crosses over Falls Creek a handful of times over man made bridges. While ascending to the top of the small mountain, you will pass a scenic overlook with rock ledges, (be mindful of your footing as you step towards the ledge for a great photo op). After a half a mile or so, you will see a sign directing you to the waterfall, to which you will begin your decent following the red blazes towards the waterfall. You approach the falls from above, where you can stop and enjoy the view looking down into the crystal clear pool of water below, or continue to the bottom of the falls to enjoy the serenity and take a dip. There are also many trees to set up a hammock and just enjoy your surroundings. You can return back to the trailhead by continuing on the loop for a shorter hike back, or head back the way you came from to see some mini falls along the creek you may have missed. 

*As with most waterfalls in Arkansas, you might consider visiting these falls after a heavy rain to get the full effect. 

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Features

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

This loop trail is a quiet and serene hike if you take the hillside walk/loop rather than the lakeside trail. The trail is rocky and best for hiking boots as you climb up along one creek and cross the hillside to pick up another creek. There are 2 small rock formation with 4 foot high waterfalls, a gorgeous creek bed of large rocks just before you find Falls Branch waterfall. Total trail loop is 2 miles. We walked this in early November and the water flow was very light. Fall colors were evident and probably pre-peak.

Relatively short, invigorating hike. The waterfall only runs during and following rainy spells. There's lots of interesting rock formations along the trail. Lots of ups and downs and somewhat uneven footing, so I agree with the intermediate level rating.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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