Up at 5:00 a.m. so I could get to the Buffalo River region early last Saturday. I had the short trail to Glory Hole Falls all to myself. It was a special time since this trail is usually covered up with people on the weekends.
As I hiked away from the falls, I passed twenty hikers heading down the trail. I was thankful for my early morning time with this special little spot in the Ozarks.
Later in the day I enjoyed some larger views. This wonderful fourteen-mile day was only possible because I chose to be an early bird hiker and waterfall watcher.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Early Bird.”
Access to the Harry McWater Falls is easy. Take the 20-minute hike from the Lake Alma Trailhead and spend a few minutes taking in the soothing sounds and sights of this beautiful 12-foot waterfall. The falls were named for a man who maintained and shared his vision for a hiking trail around Lake Alma. That vision is now a reality which is benefiting many hikers throughout the region.
For a 4-mile workout, continue around the lake returning to your starting point. Plan on a wet crossing at Little Frog Bayou if the water is flowing as shown in this picture.
Driving directions are at the bottom of this page.
Take Alma Exit 13 off I-40, then drive north on Hwy 71 to the first light. Turn right onto Collum Lane East then left onto Mountain Grove Road. Go north past the Alma water tanks on the left then a quick left into a picnic area. The trail begins at the fishing dock. Walk the paved Nature Trail north with the lake to your left. The Lake Alma Trailhead is at the north end of the paved trail where it turns sharply back toward the picnic area. If you hike the whole 3.8-mile trail, you’ll come back to the fishing dock from across the dam. A shorter family-friendly hike is the forty-minute walk to the waterfall and back. To get more information about Lake Alma Trail and volunteer opportunities, follow updates from the Lake Alma Trail Facebook page.
Every little lake should have its own little waterfall and so it is that we have Lake Alma Waterfall, a short distance from the trailhead of Lake Alma Trail. We’ve been longing for some rain, not only because water levels are low, but because the creeks around Lake Alma and the Ozarks have been pretty dry. With recent rain, we’re finally able to see the Lake Alma Waterfall (Update as of April, 2013: The Alma City Council designated McWater Falls in recognition of Harry McWater who was instrumental in the construction of the Lake Alma Trail).
At approximately 12-feet tall this is definitely worth checking out. The shape, location, and pretty little drainage make this a great place to spend some time. Give yourself an hour or more so you can sit and enjoy the sight and sound.
Read my blog about the Lake Alma Trail for directions on how to get there. The spur trail to this waterfall is only a 25-minute walk from the trailhead. The spur is about one tenth of a mile long.
Get out and enjoy!
This next picture is of poor quality but it gives a perspective on the size of the waterfall.
Turner Bend waterfall during high water last spring.