Keefe Hollow
October 15, 2009
Midweek rain showers kept the waterfalls running, and gave me a good reason to take a Thursday off from work and enjoy a day out in the fall foliage. I left the house as soon as the boys were off to school. I headed to southwest Searcy County to visit another waterfall on my "must see" list, Keefe Falls. Two hours later I parked the truck alongside the county road, where a small stream emerged from the mountainside and flowed into Falling Water Creek. As I gathered my gear, Bill Dark pulled up and parked nearby. That was confirmation that I chose a good destination for the day.
We chatted for a few minutes, then Bill headed up the unofficial trail worn into the forest floor from all the waterfall enthusiasts that have visited the area.  I followed a few minutes later, but soon left the trail to investigate a pretty little cascade in the stream just downhill. It's funny how every little stream has its own personality. This one struck me as the perfect example of a mountain stream tumbling among mossy boulders, like I saw in National Geographic when I was growing up. Freshly-fallen leaves dotted every surface. I shot my first photo at 9:45.
I took my time easing upstream and enjoying the spectacular scenery. It took me over 2 hours to reach a spot where the stream split into two forks, four tenths of a mile from the road. I followed the left fork about a quarter mile to Keefe Falls. At 78 feet, it is one of the tallest in the state, but it takes a lot of water to make it run well. Lucky for me last night's rain was just enough.
I reached the base of the falls at 12:40. It was tough finding a perch where I could photograph the falls. I don't think I've ever seen bluffs like those, made up almost entirely of shale. And the ground at the base of the bluffs was nothing but more loose shale that had fallen over the ages.
The jaunt back to the fork in the stream took no time at all, since I stayed in the woods up above. I then dropped down to stream level and started up the right fork. I was determined to find another waterfall a quarter mile upstream that was marked as a "W" on the map in Tim Ernst's Arkansas Waterfalls guidebook. How could I know the rest of the afternoon would be such an ordeal…..