Discover Arkansas’ Glory Hole Falls

May 27th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Arkansas' Glory Hole FallsOne of the most unique waterfalls in Arkansas – or anywhere! – Glory Hole Falls in Newton County is formed by a stream that flows through an improbable hole in the ceiling of an overhang cave in Ozark National Forest.

Arkansas is riddled with caves and interesting rock formations but few compete with Glory Hole Falls for uniqueness. Glory Hole Falls tumbles around 30 feet down, through a hole in the otherwise solid stone, that the flow of the water has made over the centuries.

The trailhead for Glory Hole Falls Trail is located in the Big Piney District of the Ozark National Forest, off of Highway 16, exactly 6.3 miles north of Fallsville or 2.3 miles south of the 16/21 junction near Swain.

While there is no official trailhead for Glory Hole Falls, it can be easily found by looking for a red barn on the north side of the road with a large white “E” on its side. The trail is on the right (south) side of the road, about .5 miles east of this barn landmark.

The trailhead is on Arkansas Routes 16/21, exactly 6.3 miles north of Fallsville, and 2.3 miles south of the 16/21 junction near Swain.

A well-maintained path through the woods, Glory Hole Falls Trail is less than a mile long and of moderate difficulty – it’s downhill all the way to the falls but, of course, that means it’s uphill all of the way back!

But bear with me – the effort is well worth it!

If the creek that feeds Glory Hole Falls is really flowing, you’ll soon hear it as you make the hike down to the falls. The trail, itself, is up above the creek. Some choose to leave the trail to follow the course of the stream to admire its many small cascades and falls but this path is rough, not maintained, and causes undue erosion to an already well-traveled natural area – so please stay on the trail.

Before you know it, you’ll be at the top of the falls and will see the stream disappearing into the hole in the overhang cave’s ceiling. Feel free to edge as close as you like to this awesome spectacle but be careful – the rocks can be slippery!

Now you can follow the loop trail down and around to the bottom and into the overhang cave. Again – be careful, the slick rock of this part of the trail can be treacherous to those distracted by their surroundings!

Arkansas' Glory Hole Falls in winterFrom this vantage you’ll see the water tumbling down through the hole in the cave ceiling, from a height of 30 feet, to splash into the receiving pool below. Much of the year the flow is but a trickle but, if you can catch it in spring or after a good rain, the flow can be very impressive.

Even when the stream isn’t really flowing, the falls make for a fascinating sight. Winter visits, when it’s cold enough to have frozen the falls, may be the most amazing sight of all!

Regardless of the water level, be sure to bring your camera and plan to spend some time exploring.

Glory Hole Falls

GPS: 35.82595, -93.39737

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