Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lichen Falls and Lynn Hollow Falls, Ozark Highlands trail near Oark, Arkansas Ozarks

6/1/2015 - Lichen Falls and Lynn Hollow Falls

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking location: 35.75852, -93.52789, 2074 ft.
  Lichen Falls: 35.75675, -93.53131, 2000 ft.
  Unnamed Falls #1: 35.75524, -93.53195, 1985 ft.
  Lynn Hollow Falls: 35.75220, -93.53490, 1815 ft.
Pet Friendly: Yes, dogs off leash should be fine. You may encounter other hikers since this is mostly on the Ozark Highlands Trail.  If your dog is incompatible with other folks, leave it at home.

Motorcycle Friendly: No, not really.  The dirt roads are in relatively good shape, but are still dirt roads.  While you could take a heavy bike on this road, you wouldn't like it, and neither would your bike.

GPS files (.gpx format) - maps of GPS tracks are at the bottom of this post:
   GPS Waypoints for Lynn Hollow (contains the coordinates for the waypoints listed above), Eldridge Hollow, Accord Hollow, and Estep Creek
   GPS Track - Parking to Lichen Falls to Lynn Hollow Falls

Lynn Hollow Falls
Since we were 'in the area anyway' (excuse #1), Boomer and I decided to check out Lichen Falls and Lynn Hollow after we finished hiking through Eldridge Hollow.  They really are close together.  In fact, if you have the extra time on your hands, you could park at Eldridge Hollow and do that hike, then just hike the other way on the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) to Lynn Hollow.  It's about an extra 1.5 miles each way, though, and today we didn't have that much time.  So we loaded up, drove back to CR-5261, then up to the Lichen Falls parking area.

Turn off Highway 215 after Oark here
Getting there is easy; driving directions don't get much simpler than this.  From Clarksville, take Highway 103 north for 20 miles, bear right at the intersection with Highway 215, and keep going into the small community of Oark.  Keep going through Oark and 0.1 mile out of town, turn left on CR-5261 (old CR-34, aka Arbaugh Road/FR-1404).  Go 6.8 miles on CR-5261 and park on the right.  There is a nice parking location with forest service trailhead signs right where the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) crosses the road.  And of course, the Oark General Store is always a great place to stop and eat.

Parking Area
We crossed the road and headed west on the OHT.  When you hike this part of the trail, look down at your feet.  Practically the whole trail is covered with a fine moss.  There are not many places you can hike that have cushy carpeted hiking trails.  Soon, you will see a small creek on the right side of the trail.  This is the creek feeding Lichen Falls.  I had been hoping to catch Lichen Falls really running well, and with all the recent rainfall I fully expected it to be that way today.  If you search for photos of it online, there are many showing it just beautiful and full, with the water really roaring down the waterfall.  None of those photos are mine.  But today, the creek did not appear swollen at all, so this particular spot must not have received the amount of rain the rest of the surrounding area did.

Lichen Falls
Less than a quarter mile from the parking area, Lichen Falls will be on the right side of the trail.  You can get a very good view of it from the OHT, and it might be advisable to leave it at that.  There is an access to the upper section of the waterfall, but it is very steep and slick.  From the upper section, there is a ledge running along the bottom of the bluff below the OHT down to the base of the lower section.  The problem is, this waterfall needs a good amount of rain to really get going and look great.  When it rains, water will be running off the bluff directly above that ledge, and you can't walk down it without getting soaked.  Not to mention it gets considerably more slippery and dangerous when wet.

I went all the way down to the base of the lower section of the waterfall, but Boomer has better instincts about that kind of thing.  He refused to walk on the ledge, and just stayed at the upper section.  Hmm.  It doesn't speak well of you when your dog has more sense than you do.  I was a little disappointed at the flow today on Lichen Falls, but it's still a very pretty waterfall.  Well worth the short hike.

Lynn Hollow Falls
From Lichen Falls, we hiked west on the OHT.  We soon came to a small drainage with a waterfall just below the trail.  This one also appeared to be suffering from not enough flow.  With flooding in other parts of the state, that just seemed a little weird.  Continuing on down the OHT, the trail makes a sharp turn to the right, then approaches the main creek running through Lynn Hollow.  The OHT turns left and crosses the creek, but if you go straight and stay on the right side of the creek, the trail follows the creek down to Lynn Hollow Falls.  It is actually a series of small waterfalls, with the largest flowing into a large emerald pool. 

Boomer had a great time swimming and cooling off in the pool and made several thwarted attempts at knocking my tripod over or shaking water off on my camera.  He's a very well behaved dog, but he knows the camera gets my attention and he is not Okay with that.  But I'm on to him now, and know just what to look out for.  On previous hikes, he did some major damage that I chalked up to him just being active and boisterous.  I know better now.   

After leaving Lynn Hollow Falls, we headed back to the parking area.  Boomer was trying to get to the Explorer for some rest time, and almost crossed the road without looking.  I made him sit and get a little retraining lecture, even though I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be another vehicle on this road all day. 

The total distance from Lynn Hollow Falls to the parking area is less than a mile.  The total elevation change is about 250 feet, but it is spaced out over a good distance and the OHT is easy hiking.  All in all, I would rate this an easy hike. Better if Lichen Falls is running full blast, of course, but a great area just to get out and enjoy nature anytime.
GPS Track - Lynn Hollow
Note that the red dashed line is the mapped location for the OHT.
The red solid line is the actual location of the OHT.

No comments:

Post a Comment