The Buffalo River Area offers something for everyone. Canoe the Upper Buffalo River in the spring and early summer, fish the river, hike the trails, rock climb, mountain bike or horseback ride the trails. Take a scenic drive down the mountain into the Historic Boxley Valley and see the Arkansas elk herd early in the mornings or late in the evenings.

The Lodge is minutes away from Buffalo National River Activities

Area Attractions - Hawksbill Craig

Hawksbill Craig


  • Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point
    Popular 3 mile round trip hike to the most photographed landmark site in Arkansas.  A must see when visiting the area. You will not be disappointed.
  • Lost Valley
    If you had to choose one hiking trail to visit, it must be Lost Valley.  The most popular and everyone’s favorite, it’s barrier free for the first mile and only 2.3 miles around trip.  It’s a great destination for families The trail is virtually one that anyone can hike with benches for resting and wildlife watching along the way.  Lost Valley offers great scenic views in every season.  Don’t forget to pack a lunch, spread a tablecloth on one of the picnic tables, and enjoy the outdoor scenery.
  • Glory Hole
    Another famous waterfall in Arkansas is the Glory Hole and it’s only 2 miles round trip. This  hike offers many different attractions as you will encounter small canyons, bluffs,  and  waterfalls on your way.  Ideal for photographers.  Certainly a hike you will want to make time  for.
  • Smith Creek Preserve
    This trail is only five minutes from the Lodge.  Smith Creek offers waterfalls cascading over large boulders, reflecting pools, and a waterfall named Elise Falls.  Trails along the creek are generally level, but getting down to the creek is a 500 foot descent in the one mile hike from the parking area and locked gate. Look for the round trail markers. At the end of the main trail, The Harvey Williams Nature Trail, you are treated to seeing the three springs that rush out of the mountain side in wet weather creating Smith Creek.  The creek and Elise Falls are subject to rainfall so spring and early summer are the best times to visit.


  • Ponca to Kyle’s Landing is 10.6 miles and is the most popular canoe trip and the most scenic with majestic bluffs along the way.  This trip is home to Big Bluff and Hemmed-In Hollow, the highest waterfall at 250 feet between the Rockies and the Appalachians.  This trip will take you 4 to 6 hours.
  • Steel Creek to Kyle’s Landing is 8 miles and is usually the launch site when Ponca is too low.  You’ll still canoe past Big Bluff and Hemmed-In Hollow.
  • Pruitt to Hasty is 7 miles and is a scenic trip with nice bluffs.  This trip will take you 4 to 5 hours.
Area Attractions - Canoeing


Area Attractions - elk


Elk Viewing

  • Boxley Valley Elk Herd & Annual Elk Rut.
    Boxley Valley is the very best destination to see the Arkansas elk herd. The elk are a 12 month attraction. Visitors can witness the entire life cycle of elk, from calving in the spring to the popular annual mating season in the fall. The elk rut  extends roughly from mid-September until mid-November.
  • Elk Education Center
    Visit the Ponca Elk Education Center to learn more about the Arkansas Elk Herd.  The Center is free of charge and features nature exhibits, a small gift shop, and useful information about area attractions.

Horseback Riding

There is a long, rich culture of equestrian use along the Buffalo River. From the time of the early settlers until today, horses and mules have been used to support the commerce of the region. Farming and logging with stock was once a common practice in the rural counties along the river. Mail delivery and traveling “circuit rider” judges and preachers depended daily on their horses and mules. Today, equestrian use is one of the popular recreational activities along the Buffalo River, giving visitors access to many of the areas scenic features and the rich history of the Ozark Mountains.  The free-flowing Buffalo River is surrounded by over 95,000 acres with over 75 miles designated equestrian trails.  The upper section of the river offers the most extensive horse trail network.  Rules and regulations for horseback riding can be found on the National Park Service website.

  • Centerpoint to Granny Henderson’s Cabin is a popular trailhead for  both hikers and horseback riders.  It’s one of two ways to the famous Hemmed-In Hollow, Goat Trail, Sneeds Creek Trail and Granny Henderson’s c
  • Steel Creek to Granny Henderson’s Cabin.  If you’re looking to cross the river and small water tributaries, then this is the trail for you as it involves several water crossings.  It also leads to the famous Granny Henderson’s cabin.
  • Upper Buffalo Wilderness Trail is a must for horse riders.  This trail takes you to many of the old home sites on the river.  The scenery is beautiful throughout.
Area Attractions - Glory Hole

Glory Hole

Area Attractions - Boxley Mill

Boxley Mill

Mountain Biking

  • Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail offers about 40 miles of single track surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains. This gem of a Midwest ride laces through the headwaters of the Buffalo National River on a mixture of narrow, hand-built single track and machine-cut flow trails. The Epic ride features some of the best experiences available – stunning scenery past steep cliffs, turquoise waterfalls, abundant wildlife and old-growth hardwood forests.


Remember swimming in the rivers or creeks as a child?  Give your children or grandchildren that same experience.  The river offers clean, clear running water with gravel and sand bars for non-stop enjoyment.  Just minutes from the lodge are our favorite swimming holes.

  • Ponca with its towering bluffs and low water bridge
  • Steelcreek is home to the magnificent Roark bluffs – a must see


Other Area Attractions

  • Zip Lining
  • Rock Climbing
Area Attractions - Roark Bluff at Steel Creek

Roark Bluff at Steel Creek