The Buffalo National River is one of Arkansas’s largest draws.
Northern Arkansas’s Buffalo National River was the first national river in the U.S. and is roughly 150 miles long. The Buffalo River is home to numerous breathtaking geologic marvels hidden within the thousands of acres along and surrounding the river. Natural springs, waterfalls, caves, towering bluffs and natural bridges lie within the depths of the Ozarks waiting to be discovered. The two best ways to explore the Buffalo National River is either by floating the river or by hiking the Buffalo River Trail.
One way to discover the Buffalo River is to float the river during canoe season (March – June) or during periods of heavy rain. Buffalo River canoeing attracts hundreds of visitors every year to witness the magnificent bluffs and picturesque scenery. This is one of my favorite things to do in the spring- grab some friends, pack a lunch and set out on the river for a day of floating and fun.
The most popular Buffalo River float trip stretches a little over 10 miles from Ponca to Kyle’s Landing. This stretch of river is definitely the most scenic and features the tallest bluff and waterfall between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.
If you’re floating the Buffalo River don’t miss out on seeing Hemmed-In Hollow– the tallest waterfall between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. Hemmed-In Hollow is super easy to get to from the river or if you’re not floating the river you can reach the waterfall from the Compton trailhead. Hemmed-In Hollow is one of the scenic icons in the Buffalo River region and shouldn’t be missed!
The other way to discover the Buffalo River is by hiking the Buffalo River Trail. It’s said to be some of the finest backpacking in mid-America due to the abundance of spectacular scenery and opportunity to encounter wildlife along the trails. Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a week-long backpacking trip, the Buffalo River Trail has something to offer no matter the type of adventure you’re seeking.
My thoughts: if you’re looking for a relatively cheap, weekend getaway head to the Buffalo National River in Northern Arkansas. It’s the perfect location for camping, hiking, floating and discovering the beauty within the Ozark Mountains.
Have you been to the Buffalo River? Is this somewhere you would escape to for a weekend getaway? Leave your thoughts in the comments below- I would love to hear what you think!
This post is part of the Best of the Midwest series showcasing the natural beauty in this area and some of my favorite Midwest destinations for weekend getaways. To see more posts in this series look here.