08/22/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Dry Creek Falls Autumntime
Taken with a Nikon D1x, (man that’s old!!), Nikon 28-70 lens, F14, approx 8 second expoure, iso 200. This is an old one, but a good one, a great view of what Dry Creek Falls used to look like. The falls are about 20 feet tall and are at the ground level. You walk up on the falls as a ledge drop and they are often missed by hikers. I used to make 2 trips per year to these falls, but now the area is ruined. Arkansas had a terrible ice storm in 2009 that caused a tremendous amount of damage to the trees in both Search and Newton County. Mainly what happened is that the tops of the trees were loaded up with ice and then with high winds the tops broke off. Around the Dry Creek area, it also appears that a very powerful storm also came through as there are a huge number of downed trees in the area.
The terrain around Dry Creek Falls was especially hammered by the ice storm and wind/thunder storms. This view that is featured in the photo, is no longer really that good anymore. Several large trees have dropped over the ledge and now hang down from the top and ruin the view of the falls. The area below the falls is still full of dead trees and looks like a lumber raft. Some of this will eventually wash downstream with high water, but when you hike above the falls you see a ton of fallen trees that will also wash over the edge. Many of the trees that added to the overall shot have either broken off totally or worse are broken over and now the dead, broken tops hang down into the shot. It would take a good team with a a chain saw and a team of mules to really clean out the area.
When you walk into the Dry Creek falls area, you now have to take a large numbers of detours around the fallen trees that now block the road. Just back to before 2009, you could walk to the falls in less than 30 minutes in a pretty straight forward hike, now it takes about 3 times as long and it’s very easy to loose the trail on the way. Plus when you arrive, you are totally disappointed by what has happened to the falls. On the top of the ledge where there used to be huge trees, now there are big craters where these same trees fell over pulling the root balls with them. Also on the far side of the ledge, there was a pretty big land slide that included many large trees, and this makes just getting around the ledge to the falls much harder.
I have many shots taken over the years to remember this area by, but it did make me sad to see the condition it’s in now.