LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – It’s no secret that Arkansas has some of the best scenery in the nation. All this week, THV11 has been showcasing the beauty of the Natural State.
Our own Mariel Ruiz explored two of the most photogenic waterfalls in central Arkansas.
To get to the first waterfall, take exit 97 near Malvern onto Arkansas 171 until it ends. This brings you to Lake Catherine State Park.
So what’s so special about the waterfalls at Lake Catherine?
"A lot of folks like the waterfall. Very attractive. A lot like to go swimming in it. It is a waterfall that is only active when we have had rains,” said Park Superintendent Richard Boyes.
The 15 minute walk included a newly cleaned trail, a view of Remmel Dam, wildflowers, a swing bridge and happy campers.
The closer you get, the clearer the sound of rushing water becomes and before you know it, you stumble upon a sweet paradise. And if trail walking is not your thing, there are other ways to get to The Falls at Lake Catherine State Park.
"People will come by boats, canoes, kayaks. They can come in, there are some places just on the side of the bank where they can park their boat and they can get out and walk another hundred yards in,” Boyes said.
And once you do get there, it’s a truly photogenic sight for all to enjoy.
"We get people coming out here hanging hammocks, and relaxing. Watching the water. "
The search for the next fall takes you north to one of the best known parks in state.
Petit Jean State Park is a year round destination site. If you are looking for a more challenging trail to a waterfall, you should try the hike to and from Cedar Falls.
"Cedar Falls, the trail starts behind Mather Lodge. It is a mile to get down there and a mile back. It is considered a strenuous trail,” said Matt Manos, Park Interpreter.
If you are not ready to take on the hike, there is an overlook where you can catch the rushing water from afar.
Cedar Falls is easy to spot. This 95-foot natural waterfall is by far the biggest in the park.
"We have all of our trails here at Petit Jean marked with blazes. You can see them on the trees. We want everyone to stay on the trails. If you stay on the marked trails, you will stay safe."
Mariel decided to take on the challenge. The trail starts at the lodge and winds down into Cedar Creek Canyon. Along the way, it is easy to spot the trail outlined with blazes and large rocks. The trail then follows Cedar Creek to the base of Cedar Falls.
Once you are there, you’ll find an almost enclosed structure that amplifies the sound of rushing water. A dream for anyone looking for an adventure.
"Petit Jean is a very historic place. People have been coming to Petit Jean for thousands of years. It started off ten thousand years ago. Today, people come out to enjoy the trails and be immersed in the history,” Manos said.
The hike back up the canyon is more challenging, but Mariel made it in time to watch a sunset you can only catch in the Natural State.