Thompson Falls is located near Arab, Alabama. The name is not commonly pronounced as one might expect, but is pronounced A-Rab. I was here a couple of times before, but I haven’t had much luck finding water in this stream.
This year we’ve have had a very wet spring, so I took advantage of it and tried the falls again. They say that “the third time is the charm” and that was definitely true for me.
The town of Arab was founded in 1882 by Stephen Tuttle Thompson and was originally known as Thompson’s Village. Originally, Thompson had planned to name the town after his son Arad. However, the postal authorities misspelled the name and it was never corrected.
Directions to the Trailhead:
From Birmingham: Take I20/59 E towards Atlanta.
Exit onto Tallapoosa Street /Alabama Hwy 79.
Follow AL-79 N until it merges into US-231 N around Cleveland
Continue on US-231 N until you reach AL 25
Bear right onto County Hwy 25
Continue on County 25 it will change to County Hwy 14 and Warrenton Road
Continue on Warrenton until reaching Fry Gap Road
Turn Left onto Fry Gap Road and continue until reaching Thompson Falls Road
Turn Right onto Thompson Falls Road and continue until reaching Thompson Falls Drive
Turn Right onto Thompson Falls Drive
Just up the hill (about a quarter of a mile) there will be a small dirt road on the left. Look for a No Dumping sign beside the road, otherwise it is unmarked.
GPS Settings: N 34° 18′ 52.9″ W 86° 25′ 15.0″
Directions to the Falls:
Unless you are in a vehicle equipped for driving in rough terrain you will need to find a place beside the road to park. Walk out this road, which is parallel to the creek for about a half of a mile. When you reach an intersection you will see an old concrete bridge to the right crossing Mink’s Creek at the top of Thompson Falls. On the other side of the bridge is a trail that will lead down to the bottom of the falls. This trail continues leading further down the creek. If you want to venture ahead there are a couple more falls further down.
Note: This is a moderate trail. Expect it to be steep and slippery in some spots. Just take it slowly, use common sense, and be safe.
As I began my trip back I stopped at a nearby barn for this shot.