South Shore of Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas
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Buffalo National River & Crooked Creek Tour

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To reach the Buffalo National River area, take Hwy. 14 south out of Yellville. The South Shore region is bounded on the south by the first “national” river declared by Congress – the Buffalo National River and park. The river flows for 150 miles across northern Arkansas, often beneath towering bluffs. Thousands canoe the Buffalo annually. Consult a Park Ranger to match your skill level to a river section. Smallmouth bass attract the fishing public. For park information/canoe rentals, call Buffalo Point Ranger Station, 870-449-4311 or call the park headquarters at 870-741-7286.

Canoeing the Buffalo National River - Map Location: H-6
Canoeing the Buffalo National River
Map location: H-6

There is no other river quite like the Buffalo River. This is our country's very first national river. Rescued from conversion into a recreational lake in 1972, Congress preserved the free-flowing Buffalo River in its beauty and simplicity. Now managed by the National Park Service, the Buffalo is a float stream and a fishing stream that flows beneath limestone bluffs towering 400 feet tall or rushes over a rocky bed, dropping out of the Boston Mountains in occasional white water rapids.

The slower reaches of the river are always floatable and widen into tranquil pools, bordered by dense hardwoods and lush foliage. When local fishermen want good smallmouth bass fishing, there's no better place than the Buffalo River. When Arkansas travelers want to fill their memory banks with nature's beauty, they, too, head for the Buffalo River. For specific information, contact the National Park Service at Harrison.

 

 

A side trip to Rush by auto starts with a left turn off Arkansas Hwy. 14 onto Marion County Road 6035. A few miles and will bring you to the abandoned town of Rush, which was once a thriving zinc mining center. Many also came in search of silver in the late 1800s up through the World War I era. Then, Rush faded into history. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The campground at Rush is the last on the Buffalo River before it flows into the White.

One walking/hiking trail is of particular interest to history buffs. The Morning Star Loop Trail passes the ruins of the Morning Star Mine buildings, including the remains of the blacksmith shop and smelter built in 1886. Begin at the Morning Star trailhead.

Horses Welcome on Buffalo Park Trails - Map Location: H-6
Horses Welcome on Buffalo Park Trails
Map location: H-6

Backtracking a few miles from Rush to Arkansas Hwy. 14, then driving south will take visitors to Hwy. 268 leading to Buffalo Point Park with a developed campground (open year-round with reduced services during the off season, Nov-March).

The Buffalo Point trail system is about six miles. Trailheads are located in the campground and along the road between the upper information station and the restaurant. Park officials advise that it is much safer to view the bluffs from a distance rather than trying to climb them. Likewise, diving from the bluffs is not recommended due to hidden rocks, tree roots and logs, plus shallow bottoms.

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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
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