Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blanchard Springs

Our next stop was Blanchard Springs, in the Ozark National Forest near Mountain View. This is another great area, since the springs flow year-round. I usually visit here in the summer when most other waterfalls have long since dried up. Even on the hottest days, more than 12,000 gallons of water flows from the spring every minute.

We stopped at the old mill building, which sits just below the dam that creates Mirror Lake. The mill was built around 1900, and restored to its present state by the CCC in the 1940s. The nearby dam was also built by the CCC, which is a neat stone structure with the creek jumping over the spillway and a few waterfalls on the way down. There was a lot of water going over the dam, I'd never seen it this full before.

And another view of the dam and the waterfalls. This was taken next to the old mill.

We then drove over to the trail that leads to Blanchard Springs. This trail is paved, and very short. It runs above the creek formed by the springs, which was running high thanks to the recent rains and snow. The trail quickly ends at the springs, and I was amazed at how much water there was. I usually visit here in the spring or fall, and had never seen this much water in the springs.

But I was amazed to see yet another waterfall there, one that must only flow after heavy rains. It dropped down just to the left of the springs, flowing through a gully carved into the hillside.


It was a great waterfall, and I wondered how I'd been so short-sighted before to not even notice this part of the landscape before.

After spending some time exploring the falls, we headed back on the trail. Here is a view of the trail curving off, with the spring-fed creek on the left.

The creek has a ton of mossy rocks sitting along the shores and in the water. It is a great area to explore, especially with so much water flowing by.

And one final view of the creek, with some patches of snow still clinging to the hillsides.

No comments: