Buffalo River Trail
The Buffalo River Trail is a relatively new system of trails. In fact, much of it is still under construction. When completed, this trail will extend your hike almost the entire length of the Buffalo River – 149 miles in Arkansas. It will also provide a link between Arkansas’s Ozark Highlands Trail and Missouri’s Ozark Trail, forming a system of trails well over 1,000 miles in length. There are currently two completed sections that run from Boxley to Pruitt (36.5 miles) and from Woolum to U.S. 65 (15 miles). Construction crews are regularly working on new sections, but the going is slow. Check with the address listed if you have questions on any particular section of the trail.
These Buffalo River trails offer some of the best scenery in the state but are also some of the most rugged due to the topography of the Buffalo River Valley. The hiking trails wind through the valley, skirting the river in some locations and perched high atop limestone palisades in others and pass historic home sites, farmsteads and cemeteries. The area provides opportunities for day hikes, overnight hikes, or a loop journey by combining a downstream river float with an upstream hike.
Where trails are few or absent, such as in the park's three wilderness areas, off-trail hiking is the best and only way to experience these exceptional places. Major access points for the western section of the Buffalo River Trail are Boxley, Ponca low-water bridge, Steel Creek, Kyles Landing, Erbie, Ozark Campground and Pruitt. Although the Buffalo River is a world-class float stream, the Buffalo River Hiking Trail offers an opportune occasion to view backcountry of this National Park that cannot be seen any other way.
Buffalo National River
36 1/2 miles
Varies with weather, physical ability, total hiking distance, etc.
Depending on section
Western trailhead: The trail currently starts at the old Whitely Homestead, approximately 1.1 miles south of the Buffalo River crossing on Hwy. 21. From the trailhead, cross the highway, follow the gravel road through the gate and cross Smith Creek. Just past the creek, turn left off the road and go around the edge of a large field until you pick up the trail which begins to wind up the hill. Eastern trailhead: The trail currently ends at the Pruitt Visitor Information Station on Hwy. 7.