I've often noted here that one of the things that amazes me about Arkansas Hiking is how different trails and waterfalls look depending on the time of year and what eye-candy mother nature chooses to surround you with.
I had first visit Paige Falls and Broadwater Falls in December 2013-- where the cool temps and recent precipitation made for some great waterflow. I also hiked in to see the falls from the Cecil Cove Loop Trailhead which makes for a really nice 6.4 mile hike (roundtrip) to the falls.
However, there is an easier way to get to these two Falls, and during a warm spring day in May, we opted for that route.
To get to the closer access area to these two points, take Highway 43 North from the Post Office in the community of Compton for .8 miles and turn RIGHT onto a gravel road just across from the Compton Volunteer Fire Station (now marked as NC 2660).
Take this gravel road about 2 miles down the hill. The road is pretty bumpy, and narrow, but it seems to be passable with most types of vehicles. After about 2 miles, there will be a pretty large parking area on the left hand side of the road at a point where the road sharply bends to the left. Park here. The road continues down and bends back to the right and crosses a small creek -- so if you cross the creek, you've missed the parking spot.
After parking, walk down the road to the creek and cross the creek. The trail starts on the opposite (east) side of the creek.
The trail -- which isn't an official trail but is well traveled - starts from the road off to your right just past the creek and follows the creek downstream. There are some interesting little cascades here to enjoy right off the start.
After a few hundred yards, the trail will go between two huge boulders -- when you emerge on the other side, Paige Falls will be just off to your right.
Paige Falls is an 8 foot tall waterfall with a really nice pool of water in front and really a nice place.
After enjoying Paige Falls, fall the trail downstream another couple of hundred yards and you will come to Broadwater Hollow Falls. Broadwater Hollows Falls is 21 feet tall, and can really roar when there is a lot of water.
If you take some time, there is plenty of exploring to do if you want to continue to follow the creek -- including a very deep sinkhole (be careful!), a spring that flows from the side of the creek, and an interesting little water feature where the water flows through a series of small circular crevices.
Also, we were there in May, and there were a lot of small columbine flowers that made for some nice shots in front of the falls.
This is a great area that I plan to come back to many times.
Distance: Roughly .6 miles round trip to see both waterfalls
Difficulty: Easy (although, not an official trail and unmarked)
Footwear: Trail shoes or hiking boots
Trail Guide: Tim Ernst's Arkansas Waterfalls Guide
Rating: 4.5 out of 5