Bulge Hole Waterfalls

Bulge Hole Waterfalls

Names. Psychologically they play an important role on how we perceive things.  When I first heard about Bulge Hole, my response was as most people, I laughed. 

As I explored the area, I soon found out this odd name was the home of a sandstone valley that was well worth the effort to visit.

On my first visit there were drought conditions, but I could easily tell this place was a keeper.  It was almost a year later that everything aligned and I found myself, photographing the area.

Three main waterfalls where on the list to visit.  There are only a few ways to descend into the valley, so I took my time and was able to view the first waterfall (middle photo) which is a small drainage off the main creek near a power line.  It was a thin waterfall, but was a nice start on what was set to come.

The second waterfall was not as tall, but the flow was larger (bottom photo).  Out of the three, this one is the most photogenic.  Large rocks in the plunge pool and a scenic wrap-around shelter kept me photographing for over an hour here.  My camera even leapt off a rock here, almost ending my day.

The third and final fall (top photo) is where the area gets its name.  One of the largest and deepest shelters in southern Illinois is just off to the side of the waterfall.  The shelter appears to "bulge" from the rock as the plunge pool gives rise to the name "hole".

Overall, this a great back-country hike, where there is no trail an little information on maps to find your way.  As long as you are comfortable going off-trail and not having access to cell phone service, the don't let this odd name keep you away.

Waterfall Safety - Click to Read


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. - James 1:17