Buffalo River Trail: Steel Creek Campground to Villines Homestead

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(90)
Buffalo National River

Buffalo River Trail: Steel Creek Campground to Villines Homestead is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ponca, Arkansas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length4.6 miElevation gain780 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (90)
Photos (271)
Activities (66)
Completed (266)
View user's profile page
Ariel Barnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
Hiking

beautiful trail. saw 3 backcountry campsites. came from the campground and the incline was hard on us but worth it for the views

View Ariel's activity
View user's profile page
H Reiseck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 9, 2021
Hiking

We were not overwhelmed by this hike. It was fine, but not what we thought. We were told waterfalls, views of the cliffs, etc and you really couldn’t see much at all from the trail. Our boys (6 and 11) were not impressed as there was not much to keep their interest along the way. (But we did Paige Falls and Lost Valley prior to this, which we absolutely recommend!). They did enjoy playing in the water at the campground, skipping rocks, etc.

View user's profile page
Xiaowei Xu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 25, 2021
Hiking

It’s raining but still very beautiful. No body other than us.

View Xiaowei's activity
View user's profile page
Ray Gobert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2021
Hiking

We started at the low water bridge at Ponca. Great hike ! Majestic beauty of the Ozark ! Definitely going back !!

View Ray's activity
View user's profile page
Rory Mauschbaugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2021
BackpackingGreat!Muddy

Hiked this with my son on the 20th. Amazing 60-degree weather!

View user's profile page
Arionis User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2021
Hiking
View Arionis's activity
View user's profile page
Michael Gray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 30, 2020
Hiking

Did the Villines Homestead to Steel Creek and back in 34 degrees, mist and fog. With 5 & 6 year olds. Everyone loved it. Fog decreased the views - which may have helped keep the kiddos focused on the trail. Saw bald eagles.

View user's profile page
S Mcauliff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 10, 2020
Hiking
View S's activity
View user's profile page
Scott Fergel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2020
Hiking

We started this trail on the low bridge instead of Steel Creek. As someone mentioned, this is a rim trail so if you have an aversion to heights this may not be the right trail for you. There are some beautiful scenic spots overlooking the river. I imagine the views would be a little more blocked during the summer when trees are full. With the leaves off we had a decent view. Trail was easy to follow. The trail wasn't too busy.

View user's profile page
Ute Wolff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 4, 2020
Hiking

Shelley & I signed up with the WHO's. Meet @ TH, Steel Creek Campground that is. Drove Hwy 65 through Harrison, took 43 to Ponca. Continue .5 mile down Hwy 43 and make a left onto 74. Follow Hwy 74 for 1.5 miles to well marked Steel Creek Campground sign and entrance on left. This road takes you down into the campground where you will veer left at the Y at the bottom onto gravel and go to the tent camping and park near the bathrooms. The trail head is adjacent to this bathroom. Make sure to turn L @ the Y to go to the "small bathroom" NOT the big one on the R side of Steel Creek. We missed the group, figured out 1/2 hr. later which bathroom, found the TH hidden in the large Bamboo Grass adjacent to the bathrooms. Follow the trail up than turn L, follow trail and cross the paved rd. coming down from the Steel Creek entrance. After that is is well marked, follow trail. Had one water crossing, Steel Creek.

View Ute's activity
View user's profile page
Sherrita Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking

This is a heavily wooded narrow trail that becomes a rim trail after the first mile or so. If you’re like me and you are not a fan of rim trails I’d skip this one. The good news is that the drop off is forested for the most part.

View user's profile page
Joto Holt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 20, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

We started this trail from Ponca Low-water bridge late Saturday morning and ran into only a handful of other hikers once we left the parking lot. Lots of inclines but also plenty of spots to step off the trail for a quick rest. Beautiful scenery. This was a great workout and had a couple fun spots to rock scramble. I am about 100lbs overweight with a bad knee and I managed all but the last 1/4 mile. Apparently I only missed the Steel Creek campground at the end. If you’re not in the best shape but want to get out there, grab a walking stick for support, plenty of water, a granola bar, and go. Just do what you can. This trail is worth it.

View user's profile page
Clarissa Norberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
BackpackingGreat!Rocky
View Clarissa's activity
View user's profile page
Alex Fugate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking
View Alex's activity
View user's profile page
Jennifer Danford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 17, 2020
HikingOver grown

Not very much traffic, I didn’t see any other people on this trail on a Saturday morning. Overgrown in some areas and in the summer the foliage blocks the views over the Buffalo but there are still some beautiful views a mile or so in. If you get to the end, there is a small stream and an old farmhouse. The trail was pretty easy overall and was fairly scenic. Would like to revisit in fall when views would be better.

View user's profile page
Christy Faught
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingOver grown

We did this today. It was hard to see the water due to the foliage. This would have been a better spring fall trail. There were several spots that were overgrown.

View user's profile page
Monica Napier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Water is low this time of year so the natural flowing springs are dry but still stunning views. Beautiful foliage and comfortable hike.

View Monica's activity
View user's profile page
Caradee Fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020

very beautiful and fulfilling.

View user's profile page
Lori Zakas Allred
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Horseback riding

over grown but very easy to follow

View Lori Zakas's activity
View user's profile page
Stu Chumney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugs

Disappointing based on reviews. I’m sure different time of year and different conditions it would have been better. River was essentially dry. 10% of river bed had water. Really couldn’t see the river at all. Maybe in a couple spots. 100s of spider webs to plow through. Actually fairly miserable hike. Easy to easy moderate. Trail was really over grown with a ton of poison oak. Today was pushing hard to make a #2. Not enjoyable.

View user's profile page
Megan Mulcahy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

We hiked this section in summer. I really enjoyed the features along this trail, including the big boulders, crossing creeks, tasty wine berries, the moderate gain in elevation, and of course the lookout over the steel creek section of the river (about 2 miles from the campground marker). We had kids with us (10 & 13) and they coped well. The lookout is great as a picnic spot to stop off before carrying on.

View user's profile page
Shannon Card
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

Nice moderate hike. I prefer to start at Ponca Bridge. It’s prettiest in the spring/ wet season due to a couple of water features. Summer hike is improved by taking a cooling dip in the Buffalo River at Steel Creek campground before heading back. Some elevation gain, but not especially steep.

View Shannon's activity
View user's profile page
Ute Wolff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 30, 2020
Hiking

After Lost Valley we took Hwy 43 towards Ponca, turned R to low water bridge / River access. Found 2 TH on sign, could not get across the creek on one, so took the trail going across the low water bridge to the L - Ponca to Steel Creek Campground. TH to the R is BRT Ponca to Boxley. Our trail leads under the Hwy, past that it is a beautiful trail, saw many wild flowers, trail goes along the Buffalo River, some smaller water crossings, very passable. At times the ridge is high above the river, view is awesome. Ended up @ Steel Creek Campground. Has nice facilities if needed.

View Ute's activity
View user's profile page
Jeff Gross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 11, 2020
Hiking

Started @ Ponca spillway... Well maintained trail with very little traffic... Moderate elevation changes along way... A couple nice views overlooking Buffalo River and a couple small water falls. Had lunch on river @ Steele campsite.

View Jeff's activity
View user's profile page
Brent Robinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 8, 2019
Hiking

Took this hike on a cool December day ... the trail is moderate (on the easy side), but unfortunately has limited unobstructed views of the river below. The best part of the hike was in Steel Creek, where I bushwhacked to the Buffalo River and walked the shoreline.

View user's profile page
Jack Bunny
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2019
Hiking

You'll spend the entire time practicing your lightsaber skills by swatting away spider webs. There are not any views as everything is covered by trees. Dank creek doe

Showing results 1 - 26 of 90