Tag - Buffalo River

Hiking trail posts in Arkansas’s Buffalo National River area.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Cave on the Indian Rockhouse Trail, Buffalo Point Campground, Buffalo National River

This beautiful 3-mile loop at Buffalo Point Campground in the Buffalo National River near Yellville (Marion County, Ark.) is a must-see trail.

It is wonderfully scenic with many great points of interest including sculpted bedrock, a waterfall, a former zinc mine, and the Indian Rockhouse Cave.

It is a vigorous hike with about 400 feet of elevation change, but it is well worth it.

Buffalo Point: Indian Rockhouse Trail – 3 mi photo
Indian Rockhouse Trail running along Panther Creek

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Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) – 6 mi

Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) - 6 mi photo
Blue pool near Van Dyke Spring

The former community of Erbie (north Newton County, Buffalo National River) offers a variety of hiking trails that can be combined for larger or shorter loops. Because it was a community, many of the trails feature historical sites that tell a story of early settlers to the area.

The 6.4-mile Cecil Cove Trail Loop, much of which follows Cecil Creek, is one of these. It provides a wonderful assortment of spring-fed ponds, streams, historic stone walls, a historic cemetery, former home sites, and a spur trail that leads to a couple of awesome waterfalls.

This is a full day of nature and historic sites that is well worth the trip. The trail is also shared by horses.

The elevation change on the hike is about 850 feet

Cecil Cove Trail Loop (Buffalo River) - 6 mi photo
Cecil Cove Loop Trail – part of the trail follows an old road bed

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Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b)

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b) photo
Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point), Ozark National Forest

If you’ve spent much time in the Buffalo River area, you’ve seen pictures of Hawksbill Crag (aka Whitaker Point). It is one of the most photographed spots in the area, and with good reason.

The hike to Hawksbill Crag is a short one, and it is relatively easy. Getting to the trailhead is a bit trickier.

Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b) photo
View of Whitaker Creek Valley from Hawksbill Crag Trail
Directions to Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail

The trail is in the part of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area (Newton County) that is in the Ozark National Forest.

To get to the trailhead from Ponca, take Highway 43 south from Ponca toward Boxley. When it merges with Highway 21, take the southern route and continue on to Boxley. Right before you cross the Buffalo River, there is a gravel road on the right called Cave Mountain Road. (It may not be marked.)

Turn right onto Cave Mountain Road. You’ll know you’re at the right place when the gravel road heads up, seemingly straight up. This is a rough, rocky, steep road. I will note that we’ve made the trip many times in our 2-wheel drive car without problems, but never when the road was wet and potentially slippery. Continue reading Hawksbill Crag (Whitaker Point) Trail (Ozark Forest) – 3 mi (o&b)

Buffalo River: Hammerschmidt Falls

Buffalo River: Hammerschmidt Falls photo
Hammerschmidt Falls, Buffalo National River

Back in late November, it was a particularly rainy weekend throughout most of Arkansas, and I was getting a dose of cabin fever and decided to try to get out for a bit. My typical hiking partner decided to sit this one out (something about cold and rainy), so I decided to go check out Hammerschmidt Falls in the Buffalo National River (northwest Newton County).

Hammerschmidt Falls is only a short distance from our cabin, but we had never hiked to it. It sits at a pretty high elevation, so I’ve always assumed it would take a lot of water to get going. But after 2 days of steady rain, I thought the timing would be perfect.

I was right.

Buffalo River: Hammerschmidt Falls photo
Cascade upstream from Hammerschmidt Falls, Buffalo National River
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