Shanna Cerna January 17, 2019

Author – Carol Ann Carson

Original Post: Only In Your State


The Arkansas Trail That Leads To A Stairway Waterfall Is Heaven On Earth
It’s easy to spend a week backpacking the 23-mile North Sylamore Creek Trail. After all, this hike showcases gorgeous bluff views of the surrounding valley, peaceful campgrounds all along the way, and ends at the beloved Blanchard Springs. Don’t worry though, we don’t expect you to tackle the entire trip today. A portion of the trail leads to the Gunner Pool Rec Area. It’s here you’ll discover a stunning staircase waterfall (which, thanks to all the rain is in full force right now). Let’s reward ourselves with a trail well hiked by finding this little piece of heaven on earth.

Today’s portion of our hike begins at the Barkshed Recreation Area.

The serene area is the perfect starting point for a hike as a standalone camping trip. For directions to Barkshed, use this link: Barkshed

After preparing to take on the trail, we’ll begin our hike from the iron bridge nearby.

This particular portion of the trail is about 4-miles long. The hike is moderate since there is some rocky elevation gain. We wouldn’t recommend it for small children or inexperienced hikers; so, if you need to skip the trail you can still get to Gunner Pool using this link: Gunner Pool

The first mile of the trail is decently level and easy to traverse.

After this warm-up the trail does lead into a narrow tributary before leading hikers uphill.

The effort uphill is well worth it for the views.

The trail follows the bluff-line above the creek and leads to some Instagram-worthy shots. After taking some good shots we’ll follow the trail downhill.

We’ve reached Gunner Pool!

After trailing downhill, we’ll meet up with FR 1102 Gunner Road. After crossing the historic 1931 bridge we’ll be at the Rec Area. This beautiful oasis is great for a summer dip or a gorgeous fall hike.

Just follow the creek to find the not-so-hidden staircase.

The staircase is impressive regardless of how strong the flow is. If you decide to visit the area in the next week or so you’ll find a stunning view.

This stairway waterfall is undoubtedly heaven on earth.

Of course this beautiful paradise is part of the stunning beauty found in the Natural State.
A wonderful resource before taking on the North Sylamore Creek Trail (whether just this portion or the whole thing) is Ouachita

Did you venture the trail? Or did you just skip over to Gunner Pool? We don’t mind either way but we’d love to see your photos! Some of these captures came from the members of our Facebook group, Arkansas Nature Lovers. You should join for your chance to be featured and to discover why there’s nothing better than Arkansas’ stunning nature.