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Liles falls

Liles Falls

If you are looking for an easy day trip to see a beautiful waterfall while you are in the Ozarks, then Liles Falls should be on your list.

These falls are named for Jim Liles. He was very instrumental in getting many of the hiking trails established in the Buffalo National River area. In fact, the Buffalo River Trail crosses over the top of Liles Falls.

I wouldn’t call the walk to see this waterfall a hike, since the distance from the road to the falls in around 100 yards. But once we reached it, I saw why it is a popular destination for those who love waterfalls.

Directions to Liles Falls

To reach Liles Falls, take Highway 7 south out of Harrison, AR. You will pass a few attractions on the way down Highway 7, including Mystic Caverns. I plan to write a post about the caverns in the future. But if you have a day to spend in the area, this is also an interesting place to explore.

About 3 miles north of Jasper, you will be looking for a sign to Erbie Campground. The sign is a little hard to spot if you are traveling south because it is on the left side of the road. We actually missed it and drove on through Jasper before we turned around and spotted the sign on the way back.

Another problem we encountered was using Google Maps in our search. On the maps view, the road is shown as 79. It is only when you turn on the satellite view and zoom in that the road is labelled Erbie Campground road. Being aware of this should make it a little easier for you to find.

Turning off the highway, the road is gravel but is well maintained and should be easy for even passenger cars to traverse. You will go about 3.5 miles on this road, and you will see a small pull off area that is large enough to park a couple of vehicles. The pull off is just after you cross a small stream. This is the stream that feeds the falls. If you see water running under the road, that is a good sign that the falls will have water.

After parking, walk back over the stream, and you will see the trail on the right side of the road if you are facing the same direction as you drove in.

trailhead
View of the trail from the road.
Photo courtesy of Gary Davis Photography

The trail to the falls follows the small stream and intersects the Buffalo River Trail at the top of the falls. The walk to the falls is about 100 yards, so it is easy for all ages. The day we were there we met a couple with a baby and a 4-year-old child who were there. So this is a beautiful natural area that the whole family can enjoy.


creek
Creek Above Liles Falls
Photo courtesy of Gary Davis Photography

Cascade

When you reach the top of the falls you will encounter a small cascade which the water flows over to reach the falls. This is also where the Buffalo River Trail crosses, and it is a well-marked trail. The cascade is striking in its own right.

cascade above Liles Falls
The Cascade Above Liles Falls
Photo courtesy of Gary Davis Photography

Be careful in this area because the rocks have very slippery moss on them. There is a trail heading down below the cascade and to the top of the falls. Below is the view of the cascade from there.

below the cascade at Liles falls
Below the cascade at Liles Falls
Photo courtesy of Gary Davis Photography

Liles Falls

But you didn’t drive out here just to see the cascade. You came to see the falls. This is where the trail gets a bit steep. Even with all the rain we have had here over the last week the trail was surprisingly not that slick. However, you should use caution because it is steep and a fall here could risk serious injury. This is not to try and dissuade you from going but just to remind you that this is a wilderness area, and you should always use caution.

On the day we chose to explore the falls there wasn’t an enormous amount of water flowing over the falls, but the view was spectacular just the same.

Liles falls
Liles Falls
Photo courtesy of Gary Davis Photography

As you can see from the photo above, this is a stair-step falls and not a straight drop-off. To me, this makes it all the more interesting.

Now that you have seen the photos get out there and enjoy all the beautiful scenery that the natural areas have to offer in the Ozarks. Also, please remember that this is a natural area so if you carry anything in please carry your trash back out. Let’s make sure and preserve the natural beauty of these areas for those who may come after us.

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