Buffalo River Trail

Buffalo National River, Arkansas 72769

Distance24.6mi
Elevation Gain8,648ft
Trailhead Elevation800ft
Top1,794ft
Elevation Min/Max776/1794ft
Elevation Start/End800/800ft

Buffalo River Trail

Buffalo River Trail is a hiking trail in Newton County, Arkansas. It is within Buffalo National River. It is 24.6 miles long and begins at 800 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 49.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,648 feet. The Adair Cemetery (elevation 912 feet), Cherry Grove Cemetery (elevation 919 feet), and Brown Cemetery (elevation 876 feet) grave yards and the Ozark Campground camp site can be seen along the trail.

Buffalo River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This short hike takes you through some of the most beautiful Buffalo River country in the state. You’ll see towering bluffs, Eden Falls, Cob Cave, and a natural bridge. Lost Valley is a great trek for kids and novice hikers."

"One of the most popular trails in the area, the Lost Valley Trail offers year-round scenic beauty. An easy day hike in the upper district of the Buffalo National River takes you to Eden Falls. Highlights include the waterfall and a box canyon, bluff shelter, cave, and another waterfall within the cave.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the state of Arkansas. It has so much packed into its relatively short mileage, you’ll be awed at almost every bend in the trail. Not
many 2.4-mile trails lead you to a natural bridge, two caves, and three waterfalls. Not surprisingly, the trail is incredibly popular, particularly on the weekends."

"The trail runs roughly parallel to the Buffalo River through wilderness areas and along multicolored palisades. The trail leaves the parking area, crosses AR 21 and Smith Creek, and starts meandering along a course that passes wide open fields, springs, several streams, and old homesites."

Buffalo River Trail Reviews

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10/15/2010
We hiked the Steel Creek to Kyles landing leg. The scenery and weather were great.
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6/9/2010
The last place I expected to have such an incredible time hiking, camping, and canoeing was Arkansas! Being from Indiana, I romanticize about spending time in wildly diverse terrain with many things to see and experience...but no one could have ever convinced me that the northwest corner of Arkansas would be such an amazing outdoor playground. Yes, Arkansas! In my research the Buffalo River Region in the Ozarks always ranked really high among hikers. Many people wrote about the sheer bluffs, the great trails, the special scenic spots, and the adventurous Buffalo River. In fact, this particular area was ranked by Trails.com as one of the Top 100 trails in the United States. Our plan was to spend two days hiking and two days canoeing. We would leave Ponca, hike ten miles to an area close to the unbelievably scenic Hemmed in Hollow, camp overnight and then hike back to Ponca via an alternate trail. We would then spend the night in Ponca and leave for a two day canoeing trip ending downstream at Kyle's Landing. Amazing spots along the way- all of the bluffs, Granny Henderson's, Slaty Place, Hemmed-In Hollow...and bluff jumping. We had an absolute blast!
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6/1/2005
Had a great 2-day backpack trip with group of 10 boy scouts from Ponca to Erbie on the BRT with a side trip to the horshoe bend near the Hemmed-in Hollow trailhead. Weather in June was hot and the water was low, but these facts were mitigated because the trail is 95% under canopy and we found some great swimming spots for a cooling break. My guess is that late April/early May is the best time for this trail. Buffalo Outdoor Center ferried our cars from Ponca to Erbie.
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3/12/2005
I did the trail in mid March with a group of 3 friends. We started in Boxley and did the whole trail up through Pruitt. THe scenery was rather fair, mainly because only about 1/4 of the vegetation was starting to bloom. Besides for this the trail and rather many views were quite beautiful. Some advice to others would be to make sure you look for the Trail Head marking signs in Boxley or you will hike up a horrible old logging road. My friends and I were probably the only people to ever make this mistake, but still be looking or you might waste 2-3 hours at the start of your trek. We finished the hike on Thursday and had our car delivered to us by the Lost Valley Canoe Rental station which is one of the many places that will watch your vehicle in the area. I would definatly suggest this hike for all types of backpackers, and the best time to probably go would be around late April or the whole month of May.
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12/27/2004
We rode horses in from Centerpoint went to horseshoe bend and followed the trail up to hemmed in hollow. Tyed up the horses and walked the rest of the way to hemmed-in-hollow. All I can say is "it was breathtaking"
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7/24/2004
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1/25/2004
This is a great trail because of the many options it presents (not to mention the incredible scenery!). If you are really adventurous and the river is high enough, it would be possible to float down from Boxley and hike back up. The river doesn't get that high too often, though, so you may want to skip that short section of the trail and begin at Ponca, or Steel Creek, or any access you so please (and the trail from Boxley to Ponca is not used often, so it's typically overgrown). Beginning at Ponca you also have the option of making an unforgettable loop by taking the Old River Horse Trail in conjunction with the BRT. A word of warning: in the summer, when the multiple river crossings are most inviting, that horse trail can be a nasty, nasty thing. VERY overgrown and completely lined with ticks of every variety, not to mention snakes. But when the water level is low (as is typical in the summer) it is quite possible and extremely fun to use the bed of the river itself as your path for long stretches. My suggestion if you'd like to use the horse trail is to do it on a warm day from mid- to late fall. Of course, with the multiple accesses along the trail, there are numerous options for shorter hikes and side-trips. I highly recommend a trip to Big Bluff & Hemmed-in-Hollow (just head left at the sign between Ponca & Kyles for a 2-mile, 900 vertical feet, trip down the the Old River trail, take a left on the ORT and follow the signs); and a trip up Indian Creek (I consider this the most impressive drainage on the Buffalo). The BRT itself is FULL of exciting scenery. If I had to recommend one section of trail over another, I'd choose the section from Ponca to Kyles. The ORT is in the best shape between Hemmed-in-Hollow and Kyle's, and it's pretty decent from Kyle's to Erbie. Whatever trip suits you best can be found on the West half of the BRT, from half-day outings to weeks-long explorations.
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Buffalo River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Buffalo National River
Nearby City
Buffalo National River
Parks
Buffalo National River, 870-439-2502, nps.gov/buff; Buffalo Outdoor Center, 870-861-5514, buffaloriver.com
Local Contacts
USGS Osage SW; Trails Illustrated Buffalo National River West Half
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018