Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pedestal Rocks & Falling Water Falls

Last Saturday, I drove up to the Ozarks to see how the fall colors were looking. My destination was the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, located north of Russellville in the Ozark National Forest. There are two trails here - one runs out to Pedestal Rock, and the other runs along Kings Bluff. Both are loop trails, and to do both is a four mile hike.

When I got there, the parking lot was packed with cars. I managed to find a spot for my car, and headed off into the woods. I decided to do the Kings Bluff trail first, and pretty much had the entire trail to myself. The Kings Bluff trail isn't all that popular, for some reason. There are some neat rock formations, and a very tall bluff to see. But for the nearly two miles of hiking, I only saw one other person the whole time.

The Kings Bluff trail goes into the woods, which saw some significant damage during the 2009 ice storm. But the trail ends up on the top of Kings Bluff, which is over 100 feet tall. There is even a waterfall here, and when it's running is one of the tallest in the state (at 114 feet). But of course, after the lack of rain here, there wasn't much of any water going over the falls.

The trail runs along the bluff, offering up views of some neat rock formations.

The fall colors weren't as colorful as I had hoped, the trees here were still mostly green. But a few trees had some nice color...

After finishing the Kings Bluff trail, I went over and started the Pedestal Rocks trail. After more hiking in the woods, I eventually found the trail's namesake: Pedestal Rock...

The views from here are great, with sweeping views of the rolling Ozark Mountains. The trail then goes by several other neat rock formations, like this smaller pedestal:

After finishing the hike, I got in the car and made the short drive to Falling Water Creek. This is usually a great creek to visit, since there are some great waterfalls to see along the road. But since there hasn't been much rain here lately, I assumed the waterfalls would be completely dry. But when I drove by Falling Water Falls, I was surprised to see that there was still a small waterfall flowing.

While it wasn't much, I went to take a few photos of the falls. As I was walking toward the falls, I noticed this bright green caterpillar inching its way across a rock...
As I was trying to get a few pictures, the poor caterpillar seemed to have lost it's footing. It suddenly rolled off of the rock, and dropped down into the bed of leaves on the ground. I decided to let the poor caterpillar be, and went off to take a few pictures of Falling Water Falls. This is the view from behind the falls:

And one last shot of the falls:

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