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Tea Kettle Falls Trail, Huntsville, Arkansas

Looking Out From Tea Kettle Falls

This trail east of Beaver Lake is a hidden gem....lightly hiked and beautiful views around each bend. There is a trail that runs along and near the creek, but most hikers, including myself, simply walk the wide creek bed. It's so wide that I ran into just a few spiderwebs early in the morning...it's just too wide for the spiders to go across with their webs! 

The trail is part of the Madison Wildlife Management lands. There is a stone/dirt road that comes off Route 23, and you'll take that road about a mile to new parking. Any car can make it down this road, albeit it is a little rough at times. A slow go but you'll make it. The new parking is at the top of the hill, about 1/4 mi hike to the creek. You used to be able to drive down the hill, but too many people did so in cars that could not get back up the hill....so they created a parking area and blocked the road from vehicles. 


Parking Area at Tea Falls Trail

The walk to the creek is all downhill....great until the end which then is of course....all uphill! You'll walk past a meadow at the bottom of the hill, and on the right will be the creek. The trail starts in the meadow then runs near the creek. The creek bed is wide and usually mostly dry, so most choose to take the walk on the creek bed. There are a number of interesting features that make this route the best. So head down to the creek bed and take a right.

The geology on this walk is amazing. You will see caves particularly on the right side of the creek in the cliffs. Many large bluffs created by erosion. You may also see a few small waterfalls off the main creek during the rainy season. 



Geology along the Tea Kettle Trail

There are a number of wildflowers, ferns, mushrooms and mosses along the trail. The forest is thick and provides a shade cover throughout the trail, outside of the trek from parking to the creek and back. 



Varieties of plants along the trail

Tea Kettle Falls is beautiful, a unique falls where erosion created a hole in the rock where the water flows from a creek above. The falls are on a side creek that comes into the creek you are walking. It's to the left, about 150 yds off the creek. When the water is running you can hear it and know when to turn left off the trail to view the falls. I used AllTrails to ensure I knew where to turn off. No water was running during my visit, but it is still well worth the hike and a beautiful end point. Like most tall waterfalls in the Ozark Mountains a cave is created where you can get underneath the falls. If its quiet you can hear water dripping through the rock to the cave floor. You can also climb to the top and look through the falls hole from the top. To do so climb a few fallen rocks to the left as you face the falls, you'll see an opportunity to climb up relatively easily to the top and check out the falls from above. If you have a pack I'd leave it below before climbing up, it's tight in a couple spots. 





Tea Kettle Falls

The trek back to the car isn't just a typical turnaround and go back the same way you came. The views heading back open up to different opportunities to explore both on the creek and the cliffs on either side, usually within 50 yds of the creek. You'll come off the creek with the road you came down on the left. The walk up about 1/4 mile is strenuous, it's a stone road and it's a steep grade up. 

While not a popular destination this is a great trail. I walked 3.8 miles with the new parking spot and walking around the falls and other short spurs off the creek to check out the cliffs. AllTrails states it's a 2.2 mile trail, I've sent in an edit to update. I recommend this trail if the falls are running or not. I will go back after a good rain to check it out in flow. I may throw my hammock up and stay the night below the falls. 

-Mike


AllTrails Recording for Tea Kettle Falls Trail









 

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