Falling Spring is four scenic locations in one. Not only is it a spring, but there is a waterfall, a mill, and historic buildings close-by. It is one of those places (if you can find it) that you will take lots of photos and will be telling other people about when you get home. You need to time this one right, though, because this area has many moods.
Location: Mark Twain
Managed: National Forest
Access: Gravel Road
Nearest Town: Alton, MO
Photogenic Rank: Varies
Solitude Rank: 4
Best Time: Early Morning
Best Season: Early Spring
Waterfall, Scenic Mill, Historic Buildings
Located on Gravel Road, Water may be on Road after rain, Locating Area Not Easy, High-Clearance Vehicle Recommended
Located just south of Winnona, MO, off of Scenic Highway 19 is an out-of-the way spring like none other in Missouri. In terms of the average rate of flow (39 million gallons per day) it is not even comparable to its neighbor Big Spring (276 million gallons per day), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in scenic beauty.
What makes this area unique is that instead of the spring bubbling up from the underside of the bluff, Falling Spring pours out mid-way from a bluff and tumbles down as a thin waterfall.
That is not all though, because this area is like seeing four places in one. Falling Springs Picnic Ground is home to not only the spring and waterfall, but also includes an almost intact mill and a historic homestead with buildings.
Photographically speaking, Falling Spring will keep you clicking away for hours, but you will need to time (see article on the Art of Timing) your visit just right. In the summer, the collecting pond in which the waterfall pours can become overgrown with algae. In fall the spring can have a weak flow and the leaves can turn earlier here than the rest of the upland area.
Springtime can be one of the most scenic, but since the area is located on a gravel road, heavy rains can leave water in the road that can be difficult to get through without a high-clearance vehicle. It is best to scout this area beforehand to see if there is potential for an early morning or late evening shot.
To get directions from Google Maps click on the red tab below and enter your address. Please be advised that the Google gives directions from the nearest “known” street.
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