Sunday, February 22, 2015

Longpool Falls, Arkansas Ozarks

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.54979,  -93.16147,  514 feet
  Lower Longpool Falls:  35.54975,  -93.15269,  558 feet
  Longpool Falls:  35.54930, -93.15216, 620 feet

Pet Friendly: Yes, dogs on or off leash should be fine. This is a campground, so if your dog is not well behaved around strangers, please keep it on a leash.

Motorcycle Friendly: Yes.  It is paved road all the way to the parking lot, so your street bike or cruiser will be OK.  In fact, the road to Longpool was recently resurfaced and is a pothole free paved road, at least for now.

Lower Longpool Falls
So, what to do on a freezing weekend when we finally get a little precipitation? Go see a waterfall or two, of course.  We didn't get all that much rain, but it has been a couple of weeks since Boomer and I went out hiking and we were getting just a little of the cabin fever.  The weather forecast indicated more freezing rain and snow later in the day, so we opted to go early and go somewhere close and quick.  The Longpool area had received more of the recent rainfall than any other area, so we packed up and headed out for a quick hike.  

Longpool Falls (44 ft)

To get there, go on Highway 7 to the Highway 164 west junction about four miles north of Dover.  Turn west on Highway 164 and go 3.5 miles to Longpool Road, and turn right (north).  At this point, this road is actually OLD Highway 7, but is commonly referred to as Longpool Road.  The Moore Outdoors canoe rental should be on your right at this intersection.  Go down Longpool Road for five miles and it runs right into the Longpool recreation area.   At about 2.7 miles from Highway 164, you need to bear left and stay on the paved road where OLD Highway 7 branches off to the right.

Trail Conditions today
I won't get into a lot of the trail details, you can see more at this blog post from last June.  The key point is not to get on the wrong trail; if you see a small shack on the left when you start on the trail, that one goes down by Piney Creek.  The one you want is off the campground road just a little up the hill from that.  You will see an old water tank on the left if you are on the correct trail.

Today, the trail was cold, damp, and icy, and we had the place all to ourselves.  At least the first hike, at any rate.  Not a soul was in the campgrounds, or anywhere else in the recreation area.  We were soon at the lower waterfall, and went on up the hill to the larger Longpool Falls and set up my new tripod and camera.  That's when I discovered the camera battery was dead.  Guess where the spare batteries were?  Yup, back where we parked the Explorer.  

So back we went.  As we started back, we encountered Joey and Nikole Wells, fellow waterfall hunters out to see Longpool Falls for the first time.  By the time Boomer and I returned with fresh batteries, they were up at the upper falls.  Boomer, by now thoroughly wet with freezing cold water, was his usual boisterous self.  He is what you would call overly friendly for a German Shepard. I'm sure he made an impression.

Lower Longpool Falls
We shot some photos using a new wide angle lens and a tripod my wife Bethany gave me for a Valentine's Day present.  She knows her stuff.  The new tripod is ideal for the kind of usage I have on waterfall hikes.  After spending some time at both waterfalls taking photos, we headed back.  Even with making two trips out and back, it was still only a little over two miles total, and a fairly easy hike at that.  This is a recommended hike, anytime there is enough recent rainfall to make the waterfalls run well.
GPS Track - Rec Area Pavilion to Longpool Falls

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