Jill M. Rohrbach
The beauty of the valley itself always gives me a feel-good, peaceful spirit when I’m there. And when I see those majestic animals grazing in the fields or, just recently, lining the road as I drove through late one evening, my heart soars with a love for the experience of nature.
About 450 elk reside near the Buffalo National River along Arkansas highways 43 and 21 in Boxley Valley. They can best be seen at dawn and dusk. Just around the bend at Ponca is the elk education center, where you can learn about elk, other wildlife, and their habitat. Exhibits at the nature center outline elk history, biology and restoration efforts, and offer various activities for all ages, a hiking trail, gift shop and picnic facilities.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday, with the exception of holidays. It is open seven days a week during October. For more information on the education center, call 870-861-2432.