BOXLEY — There is a little known hike that offers an inspiring waterfall ending.
Just outside the Newton County border in Madison County is the Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area.
The tract of property that measures 136 acres is under the protection of Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and has been part of the commission since 1977.
The Sweden Creek hike is only a half mile long, but the walk is divided into three separate parts.
After parking, the trail goes downhill as soon as hikers pass through the gate. It has a dip that is .1 miles long. It levels out in time to see the spring fed pond on the right side of the trail.
The pond has an orchestra of songs conducted by several large bullfrogs that are sprinkled across the water.
Walking on the level part of the trail, owls, turkeys and mockingbirds can be heard as well as several forest animals playing in the woods.
Heavy forest tops the trail at the beginning of the hike, but parts of the forest give way to clearing where the sun shines through.
After a quarter of mile of level hiking, the final descent comes into play.
Almost at the end of the trail is an old homestead.
The home is left empty to be reclaimed by nature. Remnants of the homestead still remain. There is a natural stone fence that is still intact and left undisturbed. There is a nice Rose of Sharon bush that has deep purple blooms. Irises and jonquils can be seen throughout what was the front lawn of the home.
This home had the best location. About 100 feet from the front door of the house is the eighth largest waterfall in Arkansas.
The waterfall is dependent on the rains, so a dry season is not the best time to view the waterfall.
There are approximately six smaller waterfalls in the general area of the home.
Since hikers are coming into the top of the falls, the views are limited until making a move on other trails. There are two trails that are marked, and there are several other trails that are made by visitors through the area.
The footing for the downward trail can be slippery and the rocks can be loose, making it hard to maneuver along the path. The path heads to the bottom of the series of waterfalls. After getting to the area with a fairly easy hike, getting to the bottom of the falls is difficult and has been ranked by some sources as moderate to difficult.
Maneuvering on the upper trail will give hikers a view off of the bluffs and into the valley. About a third of a mile along this trail, patrons will come across a good view the Sweden Falls.
The Sweden Creek flows for a couple of miles before meeting the Kings River.
To reach the Sweden Creek area, hikers can take their favorite Arkansas highway to Boxley. At the junction of Highway 43 and 21, tourists will turn north on Highway 21 toward Kingston.
Take Highway 21 3.7 miles. GPS directions call the road Newton County Road 9, but the sign at the intersection is a Madison County 3260 sign.
At this point take the road 3.1 miles to the destination. Even though the road is dirt, it is easily accessible by cars.