Presenting the events of The Buffalo National River and The Ozark Mountains
America’s First National River
In the heart of the Ozarks, the Buffalo River is American’s first national river, established in 1972. The river starts in the Boston Mountains as just a trickle and freely flows 135 miles down to the White River. The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains.
The Upper Buffalo National River is where Saddleback Lodge is located. The Upper Buffalo offers the most picturesque part of the river with its enormous towering limestone bluffs, waterfalls, woodlands, and protected wilderness for nature watching opportunities. The scenic views include, deer, elk, turkey and smallmouth bass is a catch along the river. The National river offers over 100 miles of trails for hiking or horseback riding.
Here are just a few examples of the region’s premier annual events.
Annual Elk Rut
Historic Boxley Valley – Mid September – Mid November
Boxley Valley is the best location for viewing the Arkansas elk herd. September and October are the peak months of the rut. During this time, you’ll hear the bull elk bugling in the mornings and evenings, and may even witness the bulls fighting for their cows – thrilling the thousands who make the annual trip.
Buffalo Headwaters Challenge Bike Race
Upper Buffalo River – Late January
For onlookers and racers alike! The challenge includes traditional narrow and technical Headwaters single track, along with newly built flow-type trails. The rugged terrain is difficult and remote and offers riders the Half Challenge or Full Challenge ride.
Wildflower Open Gate Tour
Smith Creek Preserve, Boxley – Early April
Smith Creek Nature Preserve opens their gate every spring allowing easy access to the hiking trail at Smith Creek. This is a peak wildflower season tour with several species flowering!
Harrison – 3rd weekend in May
The festival offers something for the entire family. Music, Car Show, Carnival rides, Food, Crafts, Clothing items, and the star attraction “CRAWFISH!”
Buffalo River Elk Festival
Jasper – Last weekend in June
The Buffalo River Elk Festival, first held in 1998, is an award-winning festival and one of the premier craft fairs and outdoor sporting events in Arkansas. The Festival celebrates the successful reintroduction of elk to Newton County, the official “Elk Capital of Arkansas.”
Harrison Balloon Festival
Harrison – Early September
This unique outdoor event that began in 1995 is held in beautiful downtown Harrison, Arkansas. The Festival kicks off on Friday evening with The Hare and the Hound Balloon Race. The event continues on Saturday morning with more Balloon Race Competitions and through Sunday with several Balloon Race Competitions for all to enjoy. Come experience the “Hot Air Balloon Adventure” with us!
War Eagle Arts and Crafts Fair
War Eagle – 3rd weekend in October
Each fall we join with our neighbors to put on the best craft fair in the country right here in the beautiful War Eagle Valley. Revel in the sights, sounds and aromas of the Ozark’s while enjoying handcrafted work from national artisans. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.
Boxley Grist Mill Tours
Boxley – Weekends in October
The Historic 1870 Boxley Grist Mill served the residents of Boxley Valley for nearly 100 years.
Ponca Elk Education Center – Mid October
Fine Art Exhibition. Two days of art demonstrations and an art show. Free admission