An intermittent stream spills over Burden Falls, a picturesque series of waterfalls that drop a total of about 100 feet, with a greatest single descent of approximately 20 feet. Burden Creek flows northward toward the Little Saline River. The Wilderness shares its southern boundary with Bay Creek Wilderness, and both exemplify the scenic characteristics of the Shawnee Hills: sandstone ledges overlooking bluffs and cliffs on which dry-land communities of red cedar, farkleberry, and blackjack oak grow. At the bottom of the bluffs, greater soil depth supports post oak and, farther from the cliffs, white oak grows in even deeper soil. Several unique species of plant life thrive in the area, including Carolina buckthorn, seldom seen this far north, rock chestnut, prickly pear, royal fern, glade fern, and the cardinal flower. Among the inhabitants of the deciduous forest are white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, gray squirrels, and many other small mammals. The barred owl lives here alongside pileated woodpeckers and eastern bluebirds. The Burden Falls Trail (3.5 miles) runs above the waterfall. Hunting and fishing are allowed. Permits are not required for trail use or camping. Bird watching and photography make this a worthwhile destination.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Burden Falls Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.