EUREKA SPRINGS OUTDOORS
Tea Kettle Falls & Kings River Overlook
(30min from Eureka Springs)
Looking for a little soft adventure to get you outdoors and explore around for half a day? We picked 2 hikes, one includes a waterfall, near Eureka Springs that will peak your adventure spirit.
Where to Begin
Take a drive over to Madison County Wildlife Management area (about 30min drive from Eureka Springs) to explore these two nearby trails for easy/moderate hiking. We combined both hikes to do in one day for a fun moderate day of soft adventure but you can also choose just one to try out. Both trails are located within a 10mile drive from each other. Pack some snacks, water or lunch to go!
Hike #1: Tea Kettle Falls (2.2 miles out and back) Moderate Hike
Features a waterfall, hiking along a creek bed and a beautiful bluff shelter.
If you hike after a recent rainfall, Tea Kettle Falls will be flowing nicely. Winter time is a great chance to explore and hike along the creek. *There are some creek crossings, depending on water level, be prepared to take off your shoes.
Dogs are allowed.
Directions: From Eureka Springs to Tea Kettle Falls Trailhead: 18 Miles Drive.
Leaving Eureka Springs, head south on Hwy 23 towards Huntsville, AR. Passing hwy 12 intersection (gas station on right), continue to drive south on hwy 23 for about 1.4 more miles and then make your left on a dirt road. This road is not marked but is represented on the map in the link above for directions. There will be a sign that says, Road Closed, but go ahead and proceed. A cow pasture is on the right hand side.
You will then drive about 1.1miles to the trailhead parking area.
You will come to the road barrier; there will be a parking area to your right.
Starting the hike!
Proceed to the right of the road barrier towards the green gate. This is the new way of hiking down to the falls since the road barrier was put in place. Follow this service road down to the creek bed. (Remember this is a gentle downward path but you will have to gradually climb out of this.)
You will come to a small creek crossing. Proceed through to continue on the service road.
First creek crossing area if water is high.
Another small creek crossing will be up ahead. Continue through and then just around the corner, there will be a path that will lead you over the creek. This is the newer upward hiking path that leads you along the right side of the creek bed. This route is to help when creek water is high and the trail is not visible. This is a nice way to meander above the creek.
Hiking path is to the right of this creek
Hiking in winter, you can glimpse icicles hanging off the bluffs and see multiple waterfalls around. So keep your eyes on the lookout!
The small path will eventually lead you downward towards the main creek bed. You will know this is approaching by looking across the way to see a beautiful bluff line that runs along the creek. *Be careful as you traverse down towards the creek.
You will then pick up the foot trail (still along the right side of the creek)
Just a little farther down, when the creek widens, you will have to cross at this point to see Tea Kettle Falls & the bluff shelter.
Crossing the creek towards Tea Kettle Falls
Once you have crossed look straight ahead and you can start to hear the falls.
Congrats, you have made it! This huge bluff is a marvel to look at. Great place to explore around, take some time to sit back and have a snack. If it’s pretty cold out, you might see a string of icicles hanging around the bluff shelter.
Tea Kettle Falls
Hike #2: Kings River Overlook (1 Mile out and back – Easy Hike Flat Trail Path)
Drive mileage from Tea Kettle Falls: 9.3 miles – Directions
You will head back out to Hwy 23; make a left when arriving at the highway (south). Then proceed for 2.7 miles along the highway. Make a left at County Road 1250. Follow the signs that say “Kings River Overlook.”
There will be a trailhead and parking area.
This trail is a great way to finish your day. The view will not disappoint! Easy, enjoyable path that has a few spurs from the trail to take in the view and a small cave to check out.
Spur trail – Kings River
Spur Trail to Cave
Once you get to the Kings River Overlook, this is a beautiful spot to see the river traverse through the woodlands and hillside. Perfect photo spot! Keep your eyes out for any eagles flying nearby.
Kings River Overlook
Hope you enjoyed your half day soft adventure! Head back to Eureka Springs and enjoy a refreshing beverage and meal at the SkyBar Crescent Hotel or Jack Rabbett’s at the Basin Park Hotel.