Location: Harrison, Arkansas
Webpage: National Park
General Description: The Buffalo National River is 153 miles long with the lower 125 designated to be in the National Park, the first river with given this designation in the US in 1972. This designation finally ended the recurring plans by the Corps of Engineers to dam the river for flood control. Along the upper river, the gradient is steep and the water flow is fast giving good white water opportunities in the spring. The lower section is much slower and makes excellent canoeing opportunities. There are also numerous hiking trails from easy to severe in difficulty and length. Waterfalls over 200 feet high are accessible on these trails. Camping is permitted in most places within the park and there are several developed campgrounds, as well.
1) The Tyler Bend Visitor Center is an excellent place to obtain information about hiking trails and other features within the park. We obtained trail maps and information brochures for the more accessible trails and historical locations.
2) The picnic area near the Visitor Center is an excellent place for lunch with tables right on the river bank.
3) Of all the hiking trails, we explored the Collier Homestead – River View Trail near the Visitor Center. This is an easy-moderate loop trail that begins at the old Collier Homestead, which has been partially restored. The trail continues through the old orchard of the homestead out to a great overlook of the Buffalo River. You can either return back along the easy trail or loop around a more moderate trail through the woods back to the parking lot. The entire trail is just over 1 mile round trip.