Mammoth Spring Dam in Arkansas

State Park Visiting

On our way to and from dropping off Jaylin at Sterling College, we stopped at Mammoth Spring State Park on Highway 63 in Arkansas near the border of Missouri.

Our first stop there was almost by accident, as we were mainly just looking for any place with a friendly restroom. Once we got there, we saw how beautiful the place was. However, when I got my camera out of the car, I discovered that I had not brought a memory card with me. Oops! I took some photos with my phone, knowing that would do under the circumstances. However, in one of our store visits to get a few more things for Jaylin’s dorm room, I bought a memory card. And then we ended up stopping back by Mammoth Spring on the way home to have somewhere to get out and walk for a bit, so that time I was ready with my camera!

Checking Out the Dam

Water flows over the Dam at the Mammoth Spring Hydroelectric Plant in Arkansas

The Dam and Hydroelectric Plant were hard to miss when we arrived at Mammoth Springs the first time because we could hear the rushing water as soon as we stepped out of the car. So of course we had to go check them out. Also, it was a beautiful day for a walk, and we were needing to stretch our legs, too. Why not walk across the Dam and check things out?

On our first visit, the Hydroelectric Plant, which is no longer in use, was open for us to walk through. You can’t touch anything in there, thanks to plexiglass walls, but they have lots of signs explaining how they used to generate energy thanks to the water flow. On this visit, the plant was locked, so we just got to see the outside of it.

The Hydroelectric Plant at the Mammoth Spring Dam

Here is a view of the opposite side of the Hydroelectric Plant. The spring-fed Spring Lake is on the right, the Dam is right behind the building, and the river is on the left, although you can’t see it here. And how about that beautiful blue sky?

Rushing water at the Mammoth Spring Dam

This view of the Dam is from right in front of the Hydroelectric Plant. Even though the water rushing over the Dam is loud, there is something calming about it. Also, because the spring water is a constant 58 degrees, we could feel a cool breeze coming off of the water, even on both of the hot days that we were there. It was refreshing! Although if we had jumped in, I’m sure it would have felt pretty cold.

Water rushes over the Mammoth Spring Dam

This look at the water rushing over the Dam was taken from the walkway that leads over the Dam. That walkway is also the beginning of a trail that goes all the way around the lake. Or maybe it is the end of the trail. It depends on which direction you go. We went in a different direction on each of our two visits, actually. And for this photo, I made sure I held on to my camera, and I made sure that I had the strap around my neck, too.

A look down Spring River in Arkansas from the Mammoth Spring Dam

Mammoth Spring feeds Spring River. I wonder why they named it that? Spring River is famous for its trout fishing, and it is also popular with canoers and kayakers farther on down the river where it rushes more than it does here. Near the Dam, the Spring River gently flows away from us. The man standing on the rock had just caught a fish and was getting it in his net. It was a good size fish, too. Way to go, Mr. Fisherman!

Laura and the Mammoth Spring Dam

And before we go, here is Laura, with the rushing water flowing over the Dam behind her. After that, we were back in the car and on our way home.

However, there was lots more to see at Mammoth Spring than just the Dam and Hydroelectric Plant. So watch for more Mammoth Spring photos in the future!

Bible Verse

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. - Psalm 104:10-13

About the Photos

For the two photos of the water rushing over the Dam, I used slightly longer exposures to blur the water just a bit. That gave some feeling of motion to the water as it goes over the Dam.

However, for the photo looking down from the walkway over the Dam, I used the opposite effect. A very fast shutter speed froze the water as it was rushing. I liked using those different looks here.

Also, these photos looked quite dull before I worked on them in Luminar AI. Because it was late in the day, the sun’s angle caused it to wash out a lot of the colors. But I was able to bring them back using the Raw file, making things look as colorful here as they do in real life.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
_Lens: _ Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: August 7, 2021
Location: Mammoth Spring State Park Park, Arkansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.