dogs on leash
Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining un-dammed 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 down to the White River.
The trail is well-traveled and, so, easy to find and follow. Coming back out is a good workout. It's all very much uphill. The views from Big Bluff are jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring.. you're going to need all of your best hyphenated words to describe this one!
I did a "choose-your-own-adventure" hike and went PAST the spur leading to the bluff, and on down to Granny Henderson's cabin, then on to Sneeds Creek and "Rocky Bottom." If you have the time (and the stamina - more elevation changes!) DO THIS. The cabin is just plain neat, and Sneed's Creek and the large, flat rock area (it's way better than I make it sound) are well worth the extra miles. You can piece together this hike from two described by Ernst in his Buffalo River book, or take a gander at the recording from me here. A basic idea of where you're going will get you there, though. Then head back the way you came, and check out the bluff on your way back.
THEN drive the 15 or so minutes further south to the Low Gap Cafe. The food is good, and the service is super-friendly.
My husband and I hiked in to the bluffs on the Centerpoint trail this morning. We are 58 and 62, and did just fine. It was cloudy, but the views were beautiful. We saw 2 bald eagles while there as well. Unfortunately it started to sprinkle as we headed out, and ended up raining the whole way back. It only took us a little over an hour to hike out. Of course with the rain, we didn't waste any time. It was great!
I did this trail as a side stop on my way down to the Buffalo, and Granny's Cabin. The side trip out to the bluff was well worth the extra mileage. The trail can be very crowded, especially on the weekend. Lots of people, and lots of horses. The trail is very rough in spots, and even going downhill you must watch every step. I have been wanting to visit this bluff for a long time now. Well worth the trip. Wonderful views of the Buffalo river from the top, and across the valley below. The trail would only be dangerous for someone who is goofing off and playing around. If you pay attention to what you are doing, and aren't afraid of heights, you would be fine. Uphill climb the entire way out...