Location: Tea Kettle Falls

Date: 10/10/09

Journal entry:

With all the rain we had on Thursday night and part of Friday, I decided it was time to get out and photograph some waterfalls and see how the fall colors were coming along.  With the sky being heavy overcast today I did not leave as early as I would have with clear skies.  Loaded up all the gear and headed out the door and about a mile down the road I realized I did not have my GPS with me, so I had to go back and get it.  My GPS is a very important tool any nature photographer should have in their bag.  It helps me find things, mark spots to go back to, and most important to find my way back to the car!

My destination today was Tea Kettle Falls, located in Madison County, just 6.5 miles north of Forum, Arkansas on Hwy 23.  For complete information and directions, pick up a copy of “Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook” by Tim Ernst, available at your local book store or order directly from cloudland.net.  I was not sure how much water would be running, but I needed to get out into the woods today anyway.  Lots of cars on the road going to the Razorback game today, and man were they in a hurry!

Using my trusty GPS “Janet” she pointed me in the right direction to get through Huntsville and on to Forum.  At Forum, I had another GPS (Lowrance iFinder H20) leading the way to the falls.  The road was dry and did not look like too many people had been down the road today.  The creek was up and I crossed it in the truck with no problems and found my way to the gate that goes down to the food plots which leads to the falls.  I had stopped and talked to a young hunter and ask him how the road was and he recommended me park in the food plot and walk down to the falls because I did not have a 4 wheel drive truck.  I took his advice, because I don’t like being stuck!

I parked my truck and was getting my gear out and a young couple with their kids stopped and asked if I was going to the falls?  Yes! I said, and they offered to give me a ride to the falls!  This was awesome of them to ask, I enjoyed the ride and conversation with them on the way to the falls.  We found the falls and headed to the top of the falls.  The water was not running full blast, but enough to get some good images.  The top of the falls was clean and just one stick wedged into the hole where the water comes out of the falls.

We found our way down to the falls through some rocks and holes in the cliff.  Not exactly a goat trail, but easy enough to get down if you take your time and watch your step.   The sky was still very overcast and maybe not the best light, but I did not drive all the way up here just to look!  Spent about 30 minutes photographing the falls and then went back to the top to photograph the hole at the top of the falls.  The pattern the water has made into the rocks was very neat!  Packed up and headed out to finish the day off with a drive to the Buffalo River area to see what the Elk were up to.

Season: Fall

Weather: Cloudy / Heavy Overcast - 55 degrees

Mileage: 225 miles (from my home)

GPS Coordinates:

Road that turns off from hwy 23 (road 4478) – N 36 15.535, W 093 44.738

Gate – N 36 17.066, W 093 43.236

Tea Kettle Falls – N 36 15.980, W 093 42.892


Page 150 & 151 of “Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook” Tim Ernst

Camera Data & Gear:

Canon 1Ds, Hakuba Carbon Fiber Tripod HG-6230C with Kirk modified Bogen Proball 308 head, Circular Polarizer, Canon 17-40mm lens, Canon cable release, Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II, Lexar Digital Media, Lowrance iFinder H20 GPS.


This is a great waterfall to visit after heavy rains. If you live in central Arkansas, plan for a two hour trip to get there because it is just a few miles from Eureka Springs.  A rope is handy for lowering gear if you are photographing alone.  Be safe and take your time getting into the falls, it’s a long way down if you fall.




Me at Tea Kettle Falls


Tea Kettle Falls




Top of the falls