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November 29, 2009 Thunder Canyon Falls/Fantasy Falls

My wife and I hiked along Cecil Cove Trail to Thunder Canyon Falls (aka Fantasy Falls). The trail is located near Erbie, Arkansas and is just north of the Buffalo National River. We had planned to visit Mud Cave and another cave nearby (with a waterfall inside) but we decided to save the caves for another day. The main reason for seeing the caves anyway was because I thought Thunder Canyon Falls would be barely running (since we havent had much rain this month). It was actually running pretty good. The main Cecil Cove trail was very nice and easy but once we got off of it and began trekking up the stream toward the falls it became a little difficult. The main problem was slick rocks. The stream in many places was carved into solid rock and the trail (undeveloped) was usually within only a few feet of the stream so one slip and you would be right in the water. In some places you would have to swim/wade many tens of feet to find a place to get out. Luckily we made it through without any accidents. I crawled around to the back of the pool (20 feet wide and 14 feet deep) to have some scale to the height of the waterfall. Tim Ernst measured it at 71 feet though your not able to see the entire falls from the bottom location (you can probably see a good 40-50 feet of it though). Near the beginning to the Cecil Cove trail there is a pretty good spring (Van Dyke Spring) that was also interesting. It was flowing out of underneath a cliff there. It must be pretty consistent with its flow because there was a lot of pretty moss growing on rocks in the stream just down from the spring. On the way home between Erbie and Hwy 7 we saw a Raccoon get into a tree right by the road. He didnt seem scared until I got out to get a better picture...and the last picture you can see his upset reaction.



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