I was up at four yesterday and on the road before five to head to the eastern side of Missouri for some waterfall pictures. I had been watching the radar off and on Thursday to monitor just how much rain was falling on the eastern portion of the state. There were several waterfalls where I have been waiting for the right amount of rainfall to head over to and photograph.
The main waterfall I had been waiting to photograph after a lot of rain was Mina Sauk Falls, which is the tallest and longest waterfall in Missouri, and is located on Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. Kasie and I had been here several years ago, but there was only a trickle of water then. Plus, I seem to have lost my pictures from then, which is upsetting because we visited there just after we first got married and we took a nice photo together at the base of the falls.
My first stop of the day was at Rocky Falls, located east of Eminence and within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. I have visited these falls several times, and in fact Kasie and I swam here back in 2011, but I haven’t visited them with this much water before. Simply beautiful area!
After Rocky Falls, I headed a few miles down the road to Klepzig Mill, to see how high Rocky Creek was. I had been here back in November of 2011, but again, never with this much water. Along the gravel road to the mill, there are several small fields with very scenic backdrops along the creek. Also, I ran into a small group of wild horses as well. There are several small groups of wild horses that roam around the Scenic Riverways, and it was a real treat to see a group of them up close.
From here, I made way over towards Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to hike the 3 mile loop down to Mina Sauk Falls. A portion of the loop trail follows along the Ozark Trail, and it is all very scenic hiking, offering numerous scenic vistas and following beautiful flowing streams. On my over to the state park, the clouds started breaking up a little, and even more so by the time I reached the falls. I was still able to get a fair amount of pictures, but I had to wait longer and longer between shots for the sun to hide behind some clouds to get good pictures. If I had waited any longer to get over here, it might have been just a little too late, and would have been too sunny.
Located right next to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, there is a small piece of land owned by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, and there is an old lookout tower that you can climb almost all the way up to the top of. I took a few snapshots up there…
From Missouri’s highest point, I next made my further east, almost all the way over to Ste. Genevieve. My last two stops of the day were Pickle Springs Natural Area and Hickory Canyons Natural Area. Kasie and I visited both of these places back in 2011 when we were over this way to visit the Missouri Whitewater Championship Races.
The waterfall at Pickle Springs NA, called Headwall Falls, must really take A LOT of rainfall to get it flowing good, so it wasn’t at its best, but I took a few pictures anyways, since I had come this far!
The lack of water at Pickle Springs made me a little nervous about the waterfall at Hickory Canyons NA, since they are only within a few miles of each other. But, to my surprise, there was much more water at Hickory Canyons, and in fact the sun was starting to hide behind the hillside some, providing enough shade to take some decent pictures down in this canyon! What a beautiful location to end the day!