GPS Coordinates: (Latitude, Longitude, Elevation)
Park - Gum Creek Falls: 35.25356, -93.66573, 767 ft.Gum Creek Falls: 35.25467, -93.66498, 769 ft.
Park - Wildman Twin Falls: 35.22838, -93.54941, 1277 ft.
Wildman Twin Falls: 35.22446 -93.55083, 1132 ft.
Big Shoals Falls: 35.19492, -93.54415, 887 ft.
Pet Friendly: Yes, dogs off leash should be fine. A lot of the terrain is very steep and rugged, but most dogs should be able to make it through the bluff break. Smaller dogs or dogs on leash would not be recommended.
Motorcycle Friendly: For Gum Creek Falls, it should be just fine as you park only a quarter mile down a dirt road off Highway 309. For Wildman Twin Falls and Big Shoal Falls, there is just too much dirt road to deal with. Although do-able, you would not enjoy taking a large bike to these two.
After my hiking companions today, Dan Frew and Jim Fitsimones, and I got an early start and visited the waterfalls on the lower and upper parts of Clear Creek, we still had a lot of our hiking day left. Dan had previously scoped out a number of prospective areas to visit, so we set out to see what we could find. Some of the locations that looked promising did not pan out, but we did hike into three areas with some pretty nice waterfalls. Two of these, Big Shoal Cascades and Wildman Twin Falls, are in Tim Ernst's excellent guidebook, Arkansas Waterfalls. I'll give details on each of the three separately.
Gum Creek Falls:
|Gum Creek Falls - from the base of the waterfall|
|Gum Creek Falls - from upper vantage point|
There is a posting for private property right before the waterfall, so if correctly placed Gum Creek Falls is technically on private property (barely). That is not a problem, as you can view Gum Creek Falls just fine anyway. Downstream just a few yards is an outcropping that provides an excellent vantage point for photography. If you are like me, I really want that shot from the base of the waterfalls. That is not an easy accomplishment for this one, at least not without some rock climbing equipment.
|Access to base of Gum Creek Falls|
Wildman Twin Falls:
|Wildman Twin Falls|
|Path to the bottom of Wildman Twin Falls - with Dan|
|Last stretch of path along ledge at bottom|
Boot added for reference
Wildman Twin Falls is awesome, easily very high on my list of spectacular Arkansas waterfalls. They are 43 feet tall, and the water rumbles down the drop, creating a loud, echoing roar in the enclosed space of the grotto. Like Twin Falls of Richland and Doppelganger Falls, this has two creeks that both happen to have waterfalls at their juncture. From where you get down to creek level, the canyon narrows down from the grotto where the two waterfalls fall. The water in the creek also spans the base of the canyon here, so even though it isn't very deep, wear waterproof boots or plan on getting wet.
Big Shoal Cascade
|Big Shoal Cascade|
Actually, the old road goes right over it. Before the bridge was built just downstream, the road forded across the top of Big Shoal Cascades. I suppose that's why the alternate name for this is "the waterfall with my car parked on top of it". Of course, this is not advisable in high water levels. There is also another smaller cascade a little downstream of the main cascade. This second cascade can be seen from the bridge on Spring Lake Road.
All in all, this was a very long and very fulfilling hiking day. Dan, Jim, and I got to visit a couple of waterfalls that were new to us even though previously documented. Even better, we visited a bunch that were not previously documented by anyone. I just enjoy being out in the beautiful Arkansas wilderness that God has graced us with.