Waterfall Park – Independence
Found: June 5, 2016
Waterfall Park sits back behind Bass Pro Shop near the junction of Interstate 70 and Interstate 470. There is a small lake and Waterfall Park sits on the west edge of the lake off a traffic circle where Bass Pro Drive meets Bluff Drive.
If you are going to visit here, put your walking shoes on as you will need them to get the full views of the waterfalls here. You will either need to park at Waterfall Park, off the previously mentioned traffic circle or at Bass Pro Shop. To see the close-up views of the waterfalls, you will need to walk along Bluff Drive. The left/north lane of Bluff Drive off the traffic circle is for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the right/south lane is a one-way lane for vehicular traffic.
Roughly a quarter-mile east along Bluff Drive from the park parking lot, you will encounter the first waterfall on the south side of the road. It is built into the side of the hill there and very steep and tall. The water flows through a sort of drain and flows under the road and comes out the other side where it cascades down further into the lake. Please be mindful that there is a lane of vehicular traffic when you cross the road to get a closer look. There is a permanent decorative fence on both sides of the road to keep everyone safe from the falls.
From the first waterfall, continue east around the bend and you will see a light pole and what looks like a gap in the stone wall. The is where the second waterfall is located. The water is rolling down the hill in this location. It’s not very steep but there is a lot of trees and plants that obscure the view here and there. It all falls down into a hole a couple or three feet deep and, like the tall waterfall, flows under the road and comes out the other side. Unlike the other waterfall, there are no fences or barriers around this hole so be careful walking around it.
To get the full-on views of the waterfalls, you will have to hike around to Bass Pro Shop and follow the path along the north side of the lake. When you get to the apartment building next to Bass Pro, you will be able to see the full first waterfall and it is spectacular. Unfortunately, the second waterfall is hard to find and see from the opposite side of the lake.
I am not sure what the policy is on getting on the lake or walking in the “woods” behind the barriers along Bluff Drive, but those would be the only ways to get a better look at the falls. The areas around the waterfalls are grown over with trees and undergrowth, plus you’d have to jump barriers to get there. That may not be a safe course of action as I’m sure the wet rocks are slick and you may not be able to see where you’re stepping and what you’re stepping on.