Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lonesome Hollow Falls, Arkansas Ozarks

3/10/2015 - Lonesome Hollow Falls

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking:  35.80639, -93.15759,  1822 feet
  Turn off ATV trail:  35.80364,  -93.15878,  1839 feet
  Lonesome Hollow Falls:  35.80487, -93.16006,  1988 feet

Pet friendly: Yes.  OK for pets on or off leash.

Motorcycle friendly: Yes.  Less than a mile down a fairly good gravel road.  I would take my street bike on this road.

GPS files (3-D map of GPS track at bottom of this post):
  GPS track file for Lonesome Hollow Falls hike (.gpx format)

Lonesome Hollow Falls (47 ft)
After going to Hudson Shelter Falls today, I was so pleased at how well it was running that I had to check out Lonesome Hollow Falls as well.  Who am I kidding - Lonesome Hollow is so close to Hudson Shelter that it would be almost criminal to not make another short hike.  This waterfall is just outside of Cowell.  It's easy to drive to, easy to hike, and usually has enough flow to be beautiful.  This is one of the waterfalls I regularly bring friends and family to.

Cascade downstream of Lonesome Hollow Falls
To get there, go to the Cowell Cemetery, about 0.2 miles south of Cowell.  The cemetery is right on the west side of Highway 7.  County road NC-7120 loops behind the cemetery, and comes back out on Highway 7.  Take NC-7120 halfway around the cemetery, and take FR-1253 where it tees in to the west.  There are two dirt roads at this point; FR-1253 is the south-most of these, and has signs that say 'Dead End' and 'One Lane Road with Turnouts'.  Follow FR-1253 for 0.9 miles and park on the right at one of those turnouts that is an old logging trail, now with an earth berm to barricade it off.  

Boomer found the rock cairn!
Take the old logging road as it descends into Lonesome Hollow.  On the right below the trail is the rock bluff that forms the overhang that Lonesome Hollow Falls runs over.  After about a quarter mile, you will notice the road cuts over this rock bluffline.  Exit the old road to the right and go down to the base of this rock bluffline.  Pay attention, because it is easy to miss where the logging road cuts below that bluffline.  Apparently, I'm not the only one to miss this; we noticed a rock cairn placed out into the road this time, pointing the way. 

Lonesome Hollow Falls and downstream creek
The first few yards off the road to the base of the bluffline is a little steep with loose rocks, so be careful here.  It's only a few feet and is the only rough part of this hike. Follow back along the base of the rock bluffline about another quarter mile, and you will come to Lonesome Hollow Falls.  If you stick to the base of the rock bluff, it is mostly on the level and practically no undergrowth at all.  Technically there is no trail, but it is so easy it hardly seems like a bushwhack at all.

If you want to go to the top of the falls, there are a couple of locations you can exit the old road to the right and go along the top of the bluffline.  Other than a spectacular view of Lonesome Hollow, you can't see much else, just where the creek disappears over the edge of the overhang.

Lonesome Hollow Falls
Today, Lonesome Hollow Falls was really in great form.  Plenty of water flow to make the waterfall spectacular, and plenty to make the cascades and small waterfalls downstream great as well.  This is a very steep Hollow, and the creek literally goes from one cascade or waterfall to the next.  I have only explored a couple of hundred yards below the waterfall.  Someday I hope to spend all day in this valley to see what else it has to offer.

All in all, another great day in the wilderness.  This waterfall is a highly recommended hike.  It is usually beautiful and is a short, easy hike.  Round trip it is about one mile with less than 200 feet elevation change.
GPS 3-D Track

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