Explore the most popular forest trails in Buffalo National River Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Had no trouble following the trail. Quite a severe downhill though, during leaf off its easy to slip on rocks and other debris under the foliage. Waterfall is lovely, has carved itself a nice little canyon. Was beautiful in autumn but low water flow. Hike back out is almost nonstop elevation gain. I stopped one time and did fine but regardless it was a work out. Wouldn’t want to do it during the warm months.

This hike was a beast for me! Partially due to the fact that my brother lied and said it was rated moderate to get me to join in, lol. It’s a workout both ways but the hollow is breathtaking. When we went the waterfall was pretty light but still beautiful. This was my entryway to the world of hiking and I will always remember it fondly ❤️

Beautiful and hard...and worth it, for sure!!! Wear solid shoes, have your first-aid kit, and enjoy the views. Breathtaking!

It’s a pretty grueling hike back up. Be prepared!

Rough road to get there , very short hike in the rain with two falls flowing !!

great place becareful driving down recommend 4x

hiking
21 days ago

Great little hike! Took my time heading down, went down to the falls and then doubled back over to the river. Didn’t time the trek as a whole, started off a little before 1pm and took my time at the river, the 2.3mi hike back up took 50 minutes for me at a steady pace.

Prepare for an uphill hike similar to mountain climbing and lots of stream crossings. Beautiful hike. Rightfully rated hard!

hiking
1 month ago

Yes it is a climb up but it isn’t as hard as a lot of people have said. Bring water and some snacks. There are a few places to stop on the way to take a break if needed. The waterfall was only a trickle but that meant we didn’t get wet crossing the streams. Truly a sight to see!

Simple hike to the falls. Nothing like the sound of water and the spray.

If you want to make it challenging, climb the slippery bank to get the view from on top.

Great trail with an amazing ending! The cathedral is beautiful and the echos are awesome! The waterfall was only trickling very little but that made standing under it that much more fun to cool off. The hike down was pretty easy even though we broke a sweat. However the hike up made it the hardest hike I have ever encountered! It’s one of those that you give your hiking buddy a high five when you reach the top! It was really neat to see, but it’s safe to say I’ll probably only do it this one time.

Very nice, very tall falls. We got off our kayaks to hike up it. The hike there has a ton of scenery, you’ll cross several creeks to get there. Make sure it has rained prior if you want to see the falls in full effect. Well worth the trip.

on Triple Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Short easy hike into the falls - only small twin falls when we were there in late Sept., but still pretty. The drive to the trail head from the highway is rather long (steep, rough, and downhill) considering how short the hike actually is.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was my first backpacking trip and so I might be slightly biased on the rating of 4 stars. It was a great first experience! Though, there were plenty of struggles along the way. My husband, who has been backpacking a few times before, said it was kind of a dud compared to other trips he's been on.

Pros:
*This trail isn't over traveled, especially on the week days. If you're looking to get away and be mostly alone, you won't meet too many people out there.
*There are some sites that were created for backpackers looking to stay in the back country, but you can just as easily create your own campsite and then leave no trace that you were there. One of the spaces that is created for back country camping is said to have Adirondack chairs built out of stone right along a creek that you can swim in. When you get about 2 miles in and reach the first sign on the trail, do not take the trail that goes up the hill, rather take the trail that verges away from the main trail. Not all of our group got to see this site. We camped about half a mile from there, because we didn't know about it. This would have been much preferred, if we had known about it!
*When you do get a chance to see a view of the mountains - it is gorgeous! There's a stretch where you can see the view through the trees right before you come back down the hill to the trail head.
*Wildlife - we didn't see any bears or any signs of bears. We did see a few white tail deer. We did not see any critters - raccoons, opossums, rabbits or squirrels. But there were plenty of bugs: mosquitoes, worms, millipedes, dung beetles, rhino beetles, lots of spiders (big and small), and hoverflies (flies that looks like bees). Spiderwebs on the trails were not very problematic either.

Cons:
*The dirt road to get to this trail is a little difficult in a car - it's a long dirt road, that winds up and down some pretty steep, rocky hills - but it is doable. Most people we saw back there had trucks or SUVs. You know you are starting to get close to the trail head when you have to drive across an area that flows with water. We did this in our car and we were completely fine! However, I would recommend being very careful if you're in a car and it is spring, when the waters may be much higher! There are some people who live back along the road so it appears to be pretty well-maintained. It's a beautiful drive, but definitely be careful driving over the rocks.
*Hiking this trail in the fall meant that water was fairly scarce if you didn't know where to go - as first timers, we didn't really know. Reaching a water source was very important for us and on a couple of different occasions, became a source of some concern. The places on the map where it said you should be crossing water and seeing water, did not have any water the majority of the time. These places were instead extremely rocky and sometimes very slick.
*Around the 3rd mile in, after seeing the sign that can take you to the creek, the main trail starts to climb. It is an uphill trek for what feels like an eternity and for what is really around about a mile. In terms of difficulty, when people say that this trail is moderate, I think the ratings are a bit skewed. The water crossings we did have were not bad! While crossing some of the slick, rocky areas was difficult, it was the uphill climb that made this trail difficult. Anyone seeking to do this trail, needs to know in advance that it is seriously a big heaping helping of SUCK. It's the part of the trail that makes you start to think about why you're doing what you're doing and whether or not it was a good decision to get out there and do it. That's the hill that tests your faith, endurance, and strength. BUT - if I could do it with a 35 pound pack on my back, ANYONE can do it!
*Poison Ivy was prevalent along the trail, as well as, some plants with thorns that overhang the trail.
*One of the main reasons we picked this trail is because we thought we would get to swim in a creek and see the old homesteads and cemetery. We saw some of these sites, but they really didn't end up being all that we had hoped for. It turned out that having a pack on, hiking and toughing it out with friends, setting up and tearing down camp, and just being out in nature was worth way more than the sites we had hoped to see.
*We weren't ready for the trip to end so soon. When we reached the second sign, we got a bit confused about where we were. We walked down the old horse road and ended up back at the car by surprise. We finished a day ahead of schedule. FYI there is ONLY ONE trail head. Take the trail to the right if you want your hike to continue.

There's so much more that could be said - ultimately, it was a great experience and a trail we would recommend, as long as you willing to embrace the suck that comes with the big uphill climb. It's beautiful countryside and well worth the effort and time! Enjoy!

Great hike, but be ready for the return trip!! Took us 1.5 hrs to get down, and 2hrs to get back up. You'll feel it the next day... Waterfalls and Creeks were all dried up in late September. Saw a 24" Copperhead at the waterfall site. Would recommend bringing sandals or watershoes if you want to swim or explore in the river bc it's hard to walk barefoot in all the rocks. River was pretty shallow, but could probably find deeper pools if you explored a bit. Save your energy for the hike up though!!

on Hemmed in Hollow Trail

1 month ago

One of the hardest trail I’ve ever experienced BUT it is really worth it.
Even though, the waterfall was barely floating but it was beautiful and the formation of the surroundings was amazing.

I will do it again on the spring!!

on Triple Falls Trail

hiking
2 months ago

I drove my 2007 accord through the road and it was not bad ( you just need to drive slowly.

The falls was barely dropping!!
I would love to come to this falls after a heavy rain!

This is one of the most difficult and most rewarding trails I’ve ever been on. The trail is well maintained and easy to navigate. The creeks and waterfalls were pretty dry, but the exposed rock formations were beautiful. There’s a really amazing overlook at the first campsite you encounter. It’s worth pausing for a minute just to take in the view. The “end” of the trail is so beautiful! It’s seriously like walking into a cathedral and the echo was one of my favorite features. The climb out was so hard. Had to stop for heart rate and breathing breaks. This trail is so worth the work you’re about to put in.

Great waterfall. Trail not too spectacular other than that, but still worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Instead of hiking from the Compton trailhead, we actually ended up hiking from a trailhead at Kyle's landing. The trail definitely need some maintenance and there were hardly any markers until you got to the compton trail pass and merged from there. From Kyle's landing, the trail doesn't have as much grueling up or down hill hiking, however you do end up crossing the buffalo river about 5 times out (10 total). It was also easy to get lost since the trail wasnt properly marked, we ended up down another trail that took us an extra mile in a circle. you get to see some really cool old barns and houses on this side of the trail though. it ends up being about 6.5 miles, if you don't get lost!

The hike there and back is not easy but the falls!!!! What a spectacular bluff. So much larger than I’d imagined. It was like walking into a cathedral, it creates a magical space to be in. There was only a trickle, but it was still beautiful. There is poison ivy around on most of the trail, but also so many lizards and butterflies. The way back up is serious with large rock steps and large rocks to climb on the way.

3 months ago

Beautiful fall !!

backpacking
3 months ago

My wife and I along with another couple backpacked Sneed's Creek and then back to the Compton trailhead by way of Hemmed in Hollow. Very beautiful! Even though the waterfall was merely just a sprinkling of water it was still amazing to see the size of the wall! Hiking back to the trailhead with our backpacks on was extremely difficult, but exceptionally beautiful. Definitely a hard trail on the uphill hike to the trailhead. Would love to see the waterfall during the wet season. Next time may use this trail as a starting point and not an ending point.

Very beautiful even during the dry season. My wife and I, along with another couple backpacked Sneed's Creek from the Compton trailhead and then looped back by way of Hemmed in Hollow. Sneed's Creek was somewhat overgrown and hard to see the trail, but was very beautiful nonetheless. We camped north of the old homestead near where Sneed's Creek feeds into the Buffalo River. Many primitive campsites were along the trail. We filtered all of our water from the Buffalo, however, I wouldn't recommend drinking straight from the source. Definitely a hard hike with a backpack but very well worth it.

Beautiful area! Paradise for a true nature lover!

We found it easy. We went this last April.
Saw signs pointing us in the right direction. Good flow and only saw 2 people leaving as we were on our way down. The hike there is all downhill. So the hike back is intense but not ridiculously steep.. til the Jeep road. But it’s not too long! Worth it.

On 7/14/18, I hiked the trail starting at the Ponca put-in (b/c a cool dip in the river was to be the reward for an expected onerous hike). Nice trail until I reached where the BRT crosses private land. I lost the trail and attempted to re-connect for 30+ minutes. No luck, so I returned and continued on the BRT to Steel Creek. Really nice trail! Then I returned for a refreshing dip. Look forward to hiking the BRT from Ponca to Pruitt (in various day hikes). And doing the ORT.

hiking
4 months ago

Man, what a snoozer. The drive alone was considered the hike.

The “falls” were barely dripping water when my friend and I got there; there were spiderwebs that had to be knocked down every step; and the “waterfalls” were dinkier than any other.

Save yourself the gas and the maintenance your car may need after the drive, it’s definitely not worth it.

walking
4 months ago

It was a Very Beautiful short walk in.. With wild raspberries growing beside the trail.... best part was the water fall .. worst part was the road in and out is Very Steep at the end ... so a 4×4 is a must!

So freaking amazing!!

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