Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cornelius Falls & Bridal Veil Falls

Last Friday, another big storm passed through Arkansas and dumped several inches of rain. It would be more than enough to get some good waterfalls going, and I thought that it would be criminal to miss out on what might be the last good weekend of Spring to get pictures.

I didn't want to use up too much gas, or put too many miles on my car, so I opted to try to hit a place that was fairly close to home. I finally decided to drive up to Heber Springs and visit Bridal Veil Falls and Cornelius Falls. I knew that there would be plenty of water in the falls, but I just hoped that the sun and clouds would cooperate with me.

When I left Little Rock it was mostly sunny, with a few big fluffy clouds floating around. Since you really need cloudy weather for waterfall pictures, I thought that my day would be spent waiting for clouds to block the sun. I wasn't in a hurry, so I took my time on the drive up there (always being mindful of the speed limit in the town of Guy), and lazily stopped for a few pictures along the way.

This was taken along the side of the road, where a pond sits below a few neat old barns...
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When I finally drove into Heber Springs, it was still bright and sunny out. So I went through a few more gallons of gas and lazily drove around the countryside. Along the way, I stopped over and visited Collins Creek. There was a good amount of water coming in from one of the side streams that flows into the creek, which meant that this area did see some heavy rain the previous day. But it was sunny, and I didn't bother trying to take any pictures.

Eventually I decided to just head over to Bridal Veil and Cornelius Falls. And somehow, my timing miraculously worked out. Some clouds drifted over, and I ended up with great light for the remainder of my time there.

As far as I know, both Bridal Veil Falls and Cornelius Falls sit on land owned by the city of Heber Springs. The falls had once been a popular park, but vandalism had led the city to close the park. When I visited there last year, a locked gate blocked access to the parking area. But now the city has apparently been working to open the park back up. There is even a new viewing platform that provides a nice overlook of Cornelius Falls.
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And you can tell it's new - in that it's not yet completely covered with graffiti.

From there it's a very short hike down to Cornelius Falls. The trail is steep in parts, but easy to follow. After just a few minutes of hiking, you are right at the base of Cornelius Falls, which is probably about 40 feet tall.
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It's a scenic little spot, and really easy to get to as well. I'm glad that the trail here has been opened back up.
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There was a lot of water coming over the falls - much more than when I was here in 2010. But with the extra water meant a lot of wind and spray from the falls. I tried to get a shot of the creek just below the falls, but had to battle with drops of water hitting the lens.
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A few more shots of Cornelius Falls:
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From there I hiked back up the hill and then headed over to Bridal Veil Falls. The trail here wasn't as easy to follow, I don't think Bridal Veil sees as many visitors as it's neighboring waterfall does. I slipped down the hill and crossed the creek, just next to this neat little spot:
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After crossing the creek I ended up wading through a thick mess of undergrowth (which was mostly poison ivy). There wasn't much of a trail here, or at least one that I could find. But it didn't matter since the falls were just a few yards away.

Bridal Veil Falls is a pretty little waterfall, and is maybe about 20 feet tall.
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The creek runs over these rocks just below Bridal Veil Falls...
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And a view of the falls, with a mossy rock...
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And one last shot of Bridal Veil Falls.
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