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.
Today, I have seen fit the first time why this was ranked #1 in the BNR area. Nice wood area from trailhead to Goat Trail/Big Bluff junction. From there, the scenery changes drastically - for the better! This is in the hallmark of Arkansas trails in my book.
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.