We visited this park on our way from Hot Springs to Jasper in February. I attempted to have Bob drive up the scenic Arkansas route 7 to Jasper (which was reputed to have green water in the river), but he got very impatient with the turns and ups and downs, so after we ate lunch, we crossed to US 65.One thing we could do even in the winter was go to...more
Beaver Jim Villines Boyhood Home. An old homestead in the river valley. You can wander through the old home and the barn. Both a loose terms by today's standards. Small as they were, the Buffalo River people spent most of their time outside. The house was built in 1850 and Jim was born here in 1854.more
Buffalo National River not only preserves the river itself, but also several areas of historical and cultural interest. One of the most notable of these is the Collier Homestead. The Solomon (Sod) Collier family left Kentucky on a cold February day, 1928, and headed west for Arkansas. With Sod was his wife, Ida Mae, and four of their seven...more
This beautiful point on the Buffalo River, near the highway crossing of U.S. 65, is perhaps the most visited point on the river. It is readily accessible, and also very beautiful, framed with towering limestone bluffs.At Tyler Bend you will find several amenities including parking, a picnic area, restrooms and trailheads. There is also an excellent...more
The gift shop, like most NPS shops has local materials - books, maps, prints, pins and patches - for sale. Many of these items are quite inexpensive.
What to buy: Some possible purchases are:
The Buffalo National River Canoeing Guide $9.95
The Buffalo National River Canoeing Guide, with its numerous maps and helpful tips, it will enhance your trip in numerous ways; helpful road directions will expedite your trip to the river and helpful tips will help you avoid any possible hazards while camping or canoeing along the river
Buffalo National River Map: East Half $9.95
Tearproof and waterproof this topographical map, which is revised regularly, is what every Buffalo National River hiker needs. All the trails are marked clearly with the expertise you would expect from National Geographic Maps.
The Visitor's Center had many exhibits which showed how much fun it would be to be outdoors on the River. It made me quite jealous that I could not do that too, but in February, there would have been a hypothermia concern in addition to those listed on the other signs. (We had four inches of snow the next day, and the temperatures were down below freezing)
The first picture is an exhibit of various ticks and their sizes. The common dog tick (#2) is at the top - it is the biggest and blackest one. The Lone Star tick is on the left. The Buffalo's corridor is also a great locale for hiking and backpacking, but expeditions should be scheduled outside the tick/chigger season (i.e. in the winter) Ticks are not only annoying, but they are disease vectors. Incidents of both Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease have been attributed to ticks in this region. Stay on trails (avoid walking through tall grass) and wear long sleeved clothing.
The other items listed were poison ivy, bees and wasps, and poisonous snakes (cotton mouth, copperhead and rattlesnakes). The third picture shows a cottonmouth snake in the foreground, and in the back is a harmless northern water snake.
Other hazards which are not related to flora and fauna are climbing on the river bluffs, and especially jumping from a height into the river. Never swim alone or during high water. There are no life-guarded swimming areas. One should also avoid caves, sinkholes, and abandoned wells and mineshafts. When the river is flooded, there may be too much current so you need to check the level of the river before you start.
Hunting is allowed (with the appropriate permit) in the hunting season, so during that time you will need to wear Hunter Orange clothing.
The last picture is of an animal which people think is a hazard, but is actually endangered and we are more of a hazard to it than it is to us.
The drive from Harrison to Ponca on Arkansas 43 (through Compton) offers many grand vistas of the Buffalo River Valley. Be sure to do it in the afternoon, so that the sun is to the south or it's even nicer later when the sun is in the southwest. In fall that's earlier (3-5 pm). In summer that may be as late as 6-9 pm. You need to be very careful as...more
The entire 135-mile length of the Buffalo National River is well off the beaten path. There are no gateway communities such as exist at the entrances to many national parks, and there are no towns along the shores of the river. I purchased a postcard for Karen at the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, but was told by a park ranger that they had no mail...more
Silver Hill Canoe Rental is located on US 65, in the Middle District of the Buffalo National River, and is convenient to the Tyler Bend Visitor Center and Campground. The Buffalo National River is popular with floaters year round. In the Spring, water levels tend to be higher and more rapid. During high water season inexperienced boaters should be...more
You don't have to get in the water to enjoy the Buffalo National River. A network of more than 100 miles of hiking trails runs throughout the length of the Park, offering hikes from a short stroll to overnight backpacking opportunities. Many of these trails parallel the river, both at water level and high on adjoining bluffs with splendid scenic...more
We were at the park in February, so we could not avail ourselves of the opportunity to really experience the Buffalo River. All we could do was visit the Visitor's Center. As usual with National Parks, there were many interesting exhibits, and there was also a film about the park founding and recreation in the park.Part of the film at the visitor's...more
In the Visitor's center there was information about the animals of the park. There are about, 200 species of birds here and half of them (such as cardinals) are here year round. There was a stuffed hawk 'flying' in the rafters, and a pictures of a Wood Duck which is said to be a common sight on almost any section of the river. We may have seen a...more
I've been through Buffalo River US 65 several time, but only stopped once. Tyler Bend is the visitor center just of US 65. Well, actually, it's down and around the park road. Right down on the river. Here, you're below the bluffs. The river sound is all you can hear. Description: Cross-section of the Buffalo River, its floodplain, ecosystem, and...more
The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing streams in the United States outside of Alaska. Most of the other rivers in America have been dammed, channeled or diverted. The Buffalo begins as a spring-fed trickle in the Boston Mountains of the Ozark National Forest and flows unhindered for 150 miles. Along its course the...more