5 Best: Waterfalls

Whether you get there by car, by canoe, or on your own two legs, these gorgeous 417-land waterfalls are worth the trek.

1. Grand Falls

Height: 25 feet
Width: entire width of Shoal Creek
Source: Shoal Creek
Why We Love It: Grand Falls is Missouri’s largest continuously flowing natural waterfall. This local treasure runs over unusually thick layers of chert rock. The best part about Grand Falls is that it is easy to find and quick to reach; the falls are just outside of Joplin.
How to Get There: From I-44 West, take Joplin exit 6 (Hwy 86 south). Follow south approximately 2 blocks and turn right (west) on Glendale Road and follow about 1.5 miles. Turn left (south) on Jackson and cross over the low water bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn right (west) on Riverside Drive; follow for 2 miles and Grand Falls will be on your right side.

2. Hemmed-In Hollow

Height: 220 feet
Width: 6 to 8 feet
Source: Ponca Wilderness Watershed
Why We Love It: Hemmed-In Hollow is the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies. To reach it is a bit difficult, but this view is well worth the strain.
How to Get There: The easiest way: Float by canoe on the Buffalo National River. For that, travel from Ponca to Kyles Landing. It is three-fourths of a mile one way. To get to Hemmed-In Hollow Trail (5 miles roundtrip), take Hwy. 43 out of Harrison and travel to Compton. Turn left on the dirt road across from the Compton Post Office and travel 1 mile. Follow the signs to the trailhead parking area.

3. Glory Hole Falls

Height: 25 feet
Width: 5 feet
Source: Spring-fed
Why We Love It: The waterfall dumps into a pool that is 16 feet at the center with blueish green water. The pool is one of the few places at Dogwood Canyon where you are not allowed to fish, which explains the large amount of rainbow trout that inhabit the pool.
How to Get There: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, 2038 W. State Highway 86. For more information, call 417-779-5983.

4. Henning Homesteader’s Trail Waterfall

Height: 10 to 15 feet
Width: 4 to 5 feet
Source: Wet-weather waterfall
Why We Love It: After a big rain, make sure to head out to the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area. Along the Homesteader’s Trail, you can chance upon this wet weather waterfall. This waterfall will be located at Stop 10.
How to Get There: To access Homesteader’s Trail, travel East on Highway 248. Turn right on Sycamore Log Church Road and go south 3.4 miles to a gravel parking lot adjacent to Roark Creek.

5. Devil’s Icebox Spring Falls

Height: 90 feet
Width: 7 to 8 feet
Source: Wet-weather waterfall
Why We Love It: Flowing from the Devil’s Icebox Spring, this waterfall drops 90 feet into Roaring River Spring. This waterfall does not flow often, however, so don’t miss your chance to see it.
How to Get There: It’s located at Roaring River State Park (12716 Farm Road 2239, Cassville). 

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