Clark Creek Natural Area transports you to another place that leaves you wondering if you are really in Mississippi or hiking in the Smokies. A little over an hour away from Baton Rouge and a short 2-hour drive from New Orleans lies a lush forest with an incredible number of waterfalls. Please note, this is known as the Clark Creek/Tunica Falls and NOT Tunica Hills. Don’t follow your GPS to Tunica Hills, especially if you don’t have an SUV. That’s a story for another day, though.
Back to Tunica Falls …
Once you are parked at the visitor area and make your way onto the trail, be ready for some pretty steep (by Louisiana and Mississippi standards) inclines before you reach the first trail marker that shows the waterfall locations. I didn’t find the trail maps on the paths very helpful, but this article from The Backpacker seems like it provides additional details that would have been helpful. Additionally, if you venture out, particularly in the summer, make sure to take some sort of hydration pack with you. The trails have plenty of shade, the summer heat and humidity isn’t something I would want to do without my Camelbak.
If you are looking for an easy hike, consider taking the trail to the left of the main fork. If you are up for a bit more of a challenge, take the right path, but note that it’s STEEP, and your legs will likely burn for days after you return from your trip. If you select the left path, this beauty awaits you after a short five-minute descent.
If you select the right path, you’ll get a two-for-one waterfall experience as you hike to the end of trail (see below). There is also a nice little shelter on this trail in case you would like to rest, grab water or a bite to eat before continuing your descent to the large creek bed that awaits you at the bottom of the path.
I started with the waterfalls to the right trail, and it was a good thing that I did it with fresh legs. After I wrapped up seeing the first waterfall to the left, the bottom dropped out and we were in a mad dash to get back to my car. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see everything, but three waterfalls was enough to hook me. I’ll definitely be back.