Sunday, March 15, 2015

Schoolhouse Falls, Brock Creek Recreation Area, Arkansas Ozarks

3/14/2015 - Schoolhouse Falls

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.532128,  -92.80190,  1449 ft
  Schoolhouse Falls:  35.53019,  -92.79877,  1273 ft

Pet Friendly: Yes.  No problem for dogs off leash.  

Motorcycle Friendly: No.  It is about 15 miles on a gravel road, no place for a heavy cruiser or touring bike.

Schoolhouse Falls (30 ft)
I set out this morning with my friend Dan Frew to check out a number of
waterfalls north of Hector.  Our original plan was to go to Engagement Hollow, but it was looking like it would rain a good part of the day.  So instead, we opted for a number of shorter hikes that we could visit in close proximity.  We met up with David and Amber Dedman in Hector and headed out to our first hike of the day, Schoolhouse Falls.

Sign at 'Y' in White Oak
Mountain Road - bear left
To get there, drive north from Hector on Highway 27.  Less than a mile from the Big Piney Ranger station in Hector, you cross over Dare Creek.  Look upstream when you cross and you will see a nice little waterfall.  Immediately after crossing Dare Creek, turn right onto White Oak Mountain Road (aka FR-1301).  This is a gravel road, but is a well traveled and fairly well maintained road.  Go 11.7 miles on White Oak Mountain Road.  Be careful about seven miles from Hector and bear left where the road branches at the 'Y' in the road.  See the sign at right - you want to stay on White Oak Mountain Road at this point.  After following it for 11.8 miles, turn right onto Wilderness Trail (aka FR-1307).  Go another 3.3 miles and turn right onto a dirt road, FR-1338.  If you get to Jobe's Way, you have gone just a little too far.  Where you turned off Wilderness Way onto the dirt road is the Austin Trailhead.  Go down the dirt road for 0.3 miles and park.  

Schoolhouse Falls is directly below in the drainage on the left (east) as you drive up.  We found a good place to park the Jeeps, then started off down into the drainage.  The hike starts out on the level, then gradually gets steeper as you get down into the creek canyon below.  We hiked straight down into the drainage just downstream of Schoolhouse Falls.  About halfway down, I stopped to check my GPS.  Disaster alert!   I had clipped it to my camera bag and somehow it had fallen off.  Arrrgh.  Handheld GPS units like my Delorme Earthmate are quite expensive.  We decided to look for it on the way back and continued on.  We found a steep but doable break in the bluffline to go down to creek level.  The route down was slippery walking along rough and not-too-wide ledges, but we made it just fine.

Schoolhouse Falls
Schoolhouse Falls is one of a number of waterfalls in the Brock Creek Recreation Area originally documented by Zack Andrews.  The area is popular with hunters, mountain bikers, and ATV riders, as well as fellow waterfall chasers.   You see the hiking and ATV trails all over this fairly large area.  Down in the actual steep hollows, however, all you generally see is nature and the occasional waterfall chasers.  Today, we went on five hikes in separate nearby areas, and only saw one other hiker, toward the end of our hike to Lizard Log Falls.

Creek downstream - from behind Schoolhouse Falls
We had a lot more on our agenda today, so we didn't explore in the drainage containing Schoolhouse Falls.  We oohed and awwwed, took some photos, and headed back.  On the way back, we spread out and searched for my lost GPS, to no avail.  We got all the way back to the parking location and still couldn't find it.  I was ready to give up and come back another day to search for it, but David and Dan insisted on at least retracing our steps one more time.  Sure enough, David found it right at the top of the descent into the drainage.  Whew!  Thanks again, David.  This hobby is getting expensive enough with my penchant (and Boomer's) for breaking camera lens.  On to the next hike!


  1. Hi Rick,

    My name is Miles. I think your hiking blog is awesome! I use to have my own, but found myself having more fun looking at others than doing my own.

    Anyway, I'm contacting you to see if you would be willing to look at my blogging tool I made. I moonlight as a programmer and decided to make a map plugin tool that I always wanted for my blog. Essentially, it allows only the map owner to pin their blog posts to it. I also thought it would be fun to have a 'visitor map', so blog followers could sign it and create a geographic guest book of sorts.

    The main site is:
    but to get a better idea of what it does, visit

    I just launched it, but I'm wondering if maybe I'm the only one that ever wanted a tool like this. If so, I might just take the site down. (Server time isn't free.)

    I really appreciate it, and thanks for keeping your blog going. I know it isn't easy! :)

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Miles,
      Thanks for the positive feedback. I don't think I would use a tool like that. Most of the folks that read my blog are familiar with the areas I hike, and are just looking for detailed how-to directions for a specific one.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.