Kings River Falls Trail is an easy 1.8 mile out and back trail that’s easy to follow and ends with a scenic shelf waterfall that flows into the perfect little swimming hole.
This picturesque hike can easily be turned into a day trip by packing a picnic lunch or spending a hot summer afternoon swimming!
Kings River Falls Trail Snapshot
|Hike Distance||1.8 miles out and back (0.9 miles one way)|
|Difficulty||Easy (2 out 10)|
|Duration||40 min to 1.5 hours|
|Trail Type||Out and Back|
|Elevation Gain||72 ft|
|Seasons||Year Round (Late Spring/Summer for Swimming)|
|Dogs allowed||Yes, on leash|
|Fayetteville Drive Time||1 hour and 15 minutes|
|Activities||Hiking, swimming, photography, picnicking, bird watching|
Kings River Falls Trail Location
Kings River Falls Trailhead is located in Witter, AR, in Madison County at the Springfield Plateau and Boston Mountain subdivisions of the Ozark Mountains.
To get to the Kings River Falls Trailhead, you will have to drive on some dirt/gravel roads. It’s well-maintained but make sure you’re in a car that can handle that!
From Fayetteville: The drive time from Fayetteville is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. To get to Kings River Falls, take E Huntsville Rd out about 21 miles and take a slight AR-16. Stay on this for 7.7 miles and then continue onto AR-23. After 2.1 miles, turn left onto Madison Ave. Stay on this for 1.9 miles, then turn right onto AR-16.
Stay on AR-16 for 9.6 miles until you come to the community of Boston. Turn left onto County Road 4 (CR-3175). After two miles, continue onto County Road 3415 (to the right). Follow this for another 2.3 miles and the road will end at a ‘T’. Once you get here, turn left onto County Road 3500. After less than a ¼-mile, you’ll reach the parking area on the right.
From Eureka Springs: The drive time from Eureka Springs is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Start by taking Huntsville Rd. east out of Eureka Springs for 26 miles. Merge onto N Parrott Dr. and stay on this for about 0.6 miles.
Take a slight left onto Lee St and after about 900 feet, turn left onto Harris St. Stay on Harris St. for about 7.2 miles and then turn left onto AR-127. Stay on AR-127, which turns into CR-3345 for about 9.2 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 5/ CR-3345 for just over 1.5 miles and then turn left onto County Road 3500. After about another 1.5 miles, you’ll reach the parking area on the left.
Note: I had no cell service near the trail, so if you aren’t familiar with the area, make sure to download your map and directions there and back ahead of time (or bring a paper map – does anyone use those anymore? LOL).
The parking lot is relatively easy to find and marked with a Kings River Falls Natural Area sign. It’s a smaller parking lot that could fit maybe 3-4 cars.
Hiking Kings River Falls Trail
Kings River Falls Trailhead
The trailhead is easy to find. It’s right in front of the parking lot marked with the Kings River Falls Natural Area Sign.
This is an easy, mostly flat 2-mile out and back hike (0.9 miles one way) along the Kings River that ends with a shelf-waterfall that flows into a nice little swimming hole.
The trail starts as a well-marked path to the left of the trail sign. The trail is marked with blue trail blazes, but it’s quite easy to follow as it’s well-traveled.
You start the hike by following Mitchell Creek, a tributary of Kings River. The trail begins with a little rock path. After about a tenth of a mile, the trail veers left, and parallels the Kings River.
About 0.5 miles in, you crossover a small footbridge. The trail continues on a rocky but even path along Kings River. There are many photo-ops along the way, with unique rock formations and views of the river.
Follow the trail until you reach the focal point of the hike, Kings River Falls!
Kings River Falls
Kings River Falls is a 10-foot-tall waterfall that flows into a shallow swimming hole. The spot is excellent for taking pictures, swimming, having a picnic, or just relaxing and taking in all the Ozark scenery.
We went on a weekday in late October after hiking at Hawksbill Crag, so it was later in the afternoon. This is a popular trail and can get pretty busy, but we had the trail to ourselves.
While you can’t go wrong visiting the trail any time of year, we were there for peak fall foliage, so the weather and views were perfect!
Kings River is a spectacular shade of blue and made a nice contrast to the orange hues of the leaves.
In springtime, there’s usually more water flowing through Kings River and wildflowers line the trail.
In summer when the temps are warmer, you can spend the afternoon swimming.
We hiked the trail at a nice, leisurely pace to soak in the experience. We spent about an hour and a half wandering the trail. The trail could be hiked in under an hour if you’re short on time.
What to bring
Of course, on any hike, you want to pack the 10 essentials. In addition to the 10 essentials, though, a few items will be helpful for this hike!
- An offline map: There is no cell service on this trail. While the trail is very easy to follow, if you like having a trail map, make sure to download one ahead of time.
- Camera: There’s an array of scenic spots to capture beautiful images and keep your memories of the trail alive for years to come!
- Bathing suit: Apart from the iconic swimming hole, there’s stops all along the river to swim in at your own discretion. If it’s a hot summer day, pack a bathing suit so you can cool off in the river.
- Picnic Lunch: While food is a part of the 10 essentials list, this is the ideal location for a picnic lunch.
Kings River Falls Bonus Hike
If this short hike doesn’t satisfy your hiking needs, you can continue upstream past Kings River Falls to a little creek. Follow the creek to find even more waterfalls!
Kings River Falls Natural Area
Kings River Falls Trail is a part of the Kings River Falls Natural Area. Natural areas protect the wildlife and plants in these places. There are 77 natural areas in Arkansas.
The Kings River Falls Nature Area is located near the Springfield Plateau and Boston Mountains subdivisions of the Ozark Mountains.
Quick Tips and Fun Facts
- Kings River is unique because it flows south to north.
- This is a great hike for kids and dogs since it’s relatively short and flat and ends with a nice little swimming hole to take a break
- You hike past Kings River Falls to find even more waterfalls and views
- You can only reach the trail by a dirt/gravel road, so make sure you take a car that can handle it
- There are plenty of other hiking trails within an hour of Kings River Falls, so plan to make a day of it!
Flora and Fauna at Kings River Falls
The trail is lined with dogwood trees and redbuds.
Plants and Wildflowers
Spring is the best time to see wildflowers. You may see wild geraniums, violets and huckleberries in the springtime.
Depending on the time of year, you can expect to hear white-throated sparrows, Carolina chickadees, juncos, and many more!
Kings River Natural Area is home to white-tailed deer, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and many more. Most critters stay away from people, so you’re not likely to encounter too many animals.
Protecting the trails
As always, leave the trail better than you found it! Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace!
Other Trails Nearby
- Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag): Whitaker Point Trail is an easy to moderate 3-mile out and back hike that ends at the iconic Hawksbill Crag.
- Glory Hole Waterfall Trail: This is an easy to moderate 1.8 mile out and back trail (0.9 miles one way) located near Deer, Arkansas. The trail follows a creek with a few
- Pedestal Rocks Loop / Kings Bluff Loop Trails: Pedestal Rocks Loop Trail is a moderate 2.4 mile loop trail that features interesting rock formations and caves. Kings Bluff Loop Trail is a moderate 1.8 mile loop with scenic overlooks and one of Arkansas’ tallest waterfalls! These trails are located near Pelsor, AR.
Kings River Falls Review and Finals Thoughts
Kings River Falls Trail is a short and easy out-and-back hike with scenic views that leads to a little swimming hole.
I highly recommend this hike to anyone looking to explore the trails of Arkansas!
Have you done this hike before? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!
Kings River Falls FAQs
0.9 miles one way (1.8 miles out and back).
This hike is easy and mostly flat. The trail is quite rocky, so make sure you’re wearing good shoes!
It’s moderately traveled. However, we went on an afternoon weekday in late October and were the only ones there.
Yes, dogs are allowed on leash.
Yes, this is a short ~2-mile, mostly flat hike. It is rocky though so young kids that are too big to carry might need to stay home.
Yes! The trail ends at a shelf-waterfall that flows into the perfect little swimming hole.
About an hour and 15 minutes. (see above for directions).
It’s pretty rocky. I wouldn’t attempt it, but I met some people who had biked it in the past.
Camping and campfires are not allowed, but there are campgrounds nearby.
2 thoughts on “Kings River Falls [The Complete Guide]”
I’m going to have to visit this trail the next time we take a trip down that way!
It’s worth the visit- it was a fun trail!