Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Clarksville, Arkansas (Johnson County)
Last Updated: 10/23/2018
4.7/5 (3 reviews)
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 4-7
(EASY - MODERATE)
Length: 3.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 1070 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Clarksville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Clarksville
Official Road Name: Creek Road
Management Agency: Ozark National Forest
District: Pleasant Hill Ranger District
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Located in Arkansas' beautiful Ozark National Forest, Creek Road - Spainhour Falls is one of the seldom visited gems this natural state has to offer. The road itself has plenty to satisfy an off-roader with ten creek crossings, multiple mudholes, and gorgeous scenery along the way. The cherry on the top is Spainhour Falls at the end of the trail. During the rainy season it has a heavy flow, and drops into a beautiful pool of water below that is perfect for a cool swim.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating: (4-7)
(EASY - MODERATE)

Rocks frequent and large, 12" and may exceed hub height. Holes frequent or deep (12"). Shelves to 9". Mud 8" deep and may be present on uphill sections. Grades to 25 degrees and sidehill to 30 degrees. Water crossings to 18" and may have strong currents. 1-1/2 vehicles wide. 4WD required. Driver experience helpful.

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Description

Creek Road is a 3.5 mile mostly dirt road with ten creek crossings and a multitude of water/mud holes. There are quite a few spots where limbs and bushes grow into the trail during the warmer months. Even in the summer when it has not rained much, the water/mud holes are still wet, with one deeper mud hole close to the end of the trail it appears at least one person got stuck and lost a fender. In the rainy part of spring, expect some of the creek crossings to approach 30" in depth.
10 creek crossings and a mud hole or two that are deeper than they appear. There is also a very narrow section in the road that has about a 10' drop to the creek bed. Exercise extreme caution and judgement after heavy rains, the creek can rise fast. Turn around, don't drown!

Seasonal Information

Spring:Creek Crossings are highest this time of year, exercise caution!
Summer:Dry creek beds, with multiple water/mud holes that stay filled.
Fall:Lots of leaves on the trail, with beautiful fall colors!
Winter:Best time to see cliffs and overhangs that were covered by foliage in the other seasons.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead

The trailhead begins at the intersection of County Road 182 and Creek Road.

2. First Creek Crossing (0.1 mi)

The first of ten creek crossings is only 0.1 miles into the road.

3. Unknown Road - Stay Straight (0.13 mi)

There is an unknown road here on the left. It is not on the MVUM nor was it on my GAIS GPS map. Stay straight.

4. Second Creek Crossing (0.2 mi)

This is the second of ten creek crossings. Some of the smaller creek crossings are tributaries to Spadra Creek, which is the main creek Spainhour Falls is located on.

5. Powerline - Stay Right (0.5 mi)

Stay right at the Y with the powerlines.

6. Closed Road - Stay Straight (0.91 mi)

You will pass a gated, closed road on the left here. Stay straight.

7. Third Creek Crossing (0.98 mi)

Yet another of the smaller creek crossings.

8. Fourth Creek Crossing (1.28 mi)

This is one of the deeper creek crossings in the rainy season. Just before you get to this crossing, if there has been enough rain, there will be a small waterfall coming off the bluff on your right.

9. Fifth Creek Crossing (1.7 mi)

This is a wider and shallower crossing when it is flowing.

10. Sixth Creek Crossing and Intesection with FR94345G - Stay Straight (2.22 mi)

The sixth creek crossing is here, just past the intersection with FR 94345G. Stay straight.

11. Seventh Creek Crossing (2.46 mi)

This creek crossing has some good flow in the rainy season. Are you starting to see why they call this "Creek Road"?

12. Eighth Creek Crossing (2.73 mi)

The eighth creek crossing is here, and is one of the smaller ones.

13. Ninth Creek Crossing (2.91 mi)

Creek crossing number nine can be deep. Proceed with caution when flowing, there have been some large boulders moved around in this one.

14. Very Narrow Section in Road - Exercise Caution (3.07 mi)

Watch out here, the road gets very narrow and there will be trees on your left to avoid. A spotter here could make the difference between passing through, and dropping off into the ten foot deep creek bed.

15. Tenth Creek Crossing (3.1 mi)

This is not typically a deep crossing, just watch for larger rocks that have been moved by the water. There is a very cool looking root system on the tree that is growing in the creek.

16. Trail End - Spainhour Falls (3.54 mi)

The trail dead ends at Spainhour Falls. It is gorgeous during the rainy season, but even during dry months some water is flowing into the pool below.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 35.578933, -93.479197

Starting Point: Clarksville, Arkansas

Head north on N College Ave toward W Cherry St 0.6 mi, Continue straight onto N College Ave/Stillwell Rd Continue to follow N College Ave 1.3 mi, Continue onto Co Rd 3451/Co Rd 77 4.0 mi, Turn left onto Lone Pine Rd 0.7 mi, Turn right onto Co Rd 4418 1.1 mi, Turn left onto Co Rd 182 0.7 mi, Turn left onto Creek Rd / Forrest Service Rd 1422A. Creek Road trailhead begins here.

Camping

Dispersed camping is permitted on Creek Road and nearby Forest Service roads. Waypoint 16, beside Spainhour Falls, is perfect for dispersed camping. Someone has built a fire pit here, and there is room for 4 or 5 vehicles to park and camp. PLEASE TAKE OUT YOUR TRASH and leave the site cleaner than you found it.
Camping: Creek Road - Spainhour Falls

Writer Information

Shawn Ayres

Mapping Crew - Arkansas
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Shawn is a native of Arkansas, and enjoys camping, exploring the National Forests, chasing waterfalls, and canoeing/kayaking. His wife and family love to accompany him on most of his outdoor adventures. He is also an avid rock-crawler, and can be found at the local off-road park any chance he gets. Having been a trail guide there, he knows the trails well, and enjoys showing new guys the ropes.

Community

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: I have a 4x4 Ford F-150 with a 2in lift in the front with decent tires is it something I could do without getting stuck
–Kevin (10/23/2018)
A: Definitely. You might get some pinstripes on the sides in the narrow, brushy areas, but it's easily doable in just about any 4WD vehicle. There's really only one spot where 4WD is necessary, and that's at a mudhole near the end that can get pretty deep. Otherwise, it's just a little bumpy. Go slow, enjoy the scenery.
–Brooks Booher (10/24/2018)

Trail Reviews (3)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My wife and I went to Oark Store for lunch, then went to Spainhour Falls on the way back. Beautiful drive along the Mulberry River from Oark to Highway 21, then back west along Batson Road from Ozone, then south on Apple Road to just west of the trailhead. Nice, relatively easy trail with only one spot where I felt I needed 4WD ( a mudhole that was about 18" deep near the north end of the trail). Good flow in the creek at the falls. There are several stream crossings, but all but 3 or 4 were dry. Many mud holes, but all except the one were relatively shallow with good rock bottoms.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a wonderful trail with lots of scenery. The day I went was following 3 days of intermittent heavy rain storms. There were several water crossings, some of which were fairly deep and had heavy flow. I have a Jeep Wrangler with a 3" lift and 35's so the water crossing were fun for me. A stock Jeep probably would have been fine and could definitely make it during the dry season. There were also several waterfalls coming of the ravine walls for one too enjoy as well. The falls are especially beautiful and worth the trip. I definitely recommend putting this trail on your list, but I would suggest waiting until after a heavy rain to see the true potential this trail has to offer.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trip was in the Spring, and there was plenty of water flowing through the creek crossings and at Spainhour Falls. It was a gorgeous trip. There was a secondary waterfall coming off the cliff at the fourth creek crossing (waypoint 8).