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An Adventure Guide to Buffalo River Country in the Spring | Buffalo Outdoor Center

Spring has SPRUNG here in Buffalo River Country! There is so much to love about this area this time of year, but here are some of our favorite ways to experience the season!

Float Trips

No trip to Buffalo River Country is complete without a float down the Buffalo National River! The upper Buffalo, where Ponca is located, offers the river’s—and Arkansas’—finest scenic beauty. With its massive towering bluffs, countless waterfalls, watchable wildlife, ties to both historic and prehistoric cultures, and remote unspoiled location, the upper Buffalo River wilderness is surely mid-America’s finest outdoor destination. We’d love to share our 40+ years of experience with you.  Give us a call at 1-870-861-5514 or email us.  You can also click here for online one-day canoe rental or multi-day canoe rental information.  Click here to access a full-length Buffalo National River map, plus, printable PDFs of river access sections between Ponca and Pruitt.

A group of BOC explorers float on Buffalo National River

Hiking Trails

Buffalo River Country is home to Arkansas’ finest hiking trail scenery, and you and your family will love exploring the hiking trails in the Ponca Area this Spring. There are easier treks for the more novice hikers such as the Lost Valley Trail, and big adventure trails that offer more strenuous options like the Goat Trail along Big Bluff. For more info check out our top hiking trails page, or stop by the store to grab maps and get info from our knowledgeable staff!

Hike out to Whitaker Point in AZ


Looking for that unforgettable family adventure? The Buffalo River Canopy Tour is not just a zip line—it’s a 2-hr nature excursion through the treetops of Buffalo River country! A great activity for family members age 7 and older, and who also weigh btween 70 lbs. and 250 lbs. This is authentic zip line adventure, not the “city” kind with telephone poles between zips and traffic blaring away in the distance. Ponca is located in the beautiful middle of nowhere, and so is our zip line tour!

BOC Tourist enjoying the zip line adventure over Buffalo River Country


There are countless waterfall areas in Buffalo River Country, but our waterfalls are rainfall dependent, so if it’s been raining recently, then that’s a great time to find the waterfalls running.That’s why Spring is the ideal time to go Watefall hunting! Spring rains turn thousands of pour-offs and ledges into cascading strands of liquid angel hair. It is a photographer’s dream world as iconic places like Hemmed-In Hollow and Eden Falls frequently flow with world-class waterfall scenery.  Click here to learn more about where to find Buffalo National River waterfalls!

Cascading waterfall spotted on one of the Buffalo River Country hiking trails


Throughout the Spring there seems to be a new flower blooming every week in Buffalo River Country, with prime wildflower season tending to fall into late April. Among our favorite wildflowers are Indian Paintbrush, fire-pink, wild iris, and the elusive golden ladyslipper, all of which tend to favor waterfall areas and other riparian ecosystems within the park.

Visit Buffalo River to witness the stunning bloom of wild flowers

RV Camping

Our new mountaintop RV park is surrounded by the state’s finest scenery, and created for the discriminating camper! Looking for a Buffalo National River RV campground adventure? Click here to get more info and book yours now!

Buffalo National River Campground Adventure

Mountain Biking

The Upper Buffalo National River is also home to one “Epic” mountain bike trail Offering about 40 miles of singletrack surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains, the Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail (IMBA Epic) is a gem of the Midwest!

Mountain biking in Buffalo River Country

Horseback Riding

This is horse country and riding is a great way to see the landscape. If you have your own horse the Centerpoint Horse Camp is a great basecamp, and for those traveling without their horse check out Rimrock Cove Ranch for guided horseback rides and even hay ride for larger groups!

A girl horseback riding in Buffalo River Country

Elk Viewing

Watching and photographing Ponca’s herds of majestic Rocky Mountain Elk is one of the finest wildlife experiences you can have not just in Arkansas, but anywhere! The elk along the Buffalo River were introduced into the area to replace the now extinct Eastern Elk and have since thrived and roamed wild along the Buffalo National River. Although they are wild you can usually see them grazing in Boxley Valley during the hours right after sunrise and right before sunset. While you are in the area visit the Elk Education Center for more information!

Rocky Mountain Elk spotted in Ponca, Arkansas


The Buffalo National River is a clear waterway, which makes it a great choice as a place to fish for bass, perch and catfish, and fishing holes can be found all up and down the Upper Buffalo River.

A BOC tourist fishing in Buffalo National River


Shifts in evening-to-morning temperatures create shrouds of mist that float above the Buffalo National River corridor.  Many of our cabins overlook this corridor, so you can enjoy the morning mist from your front porch swing with a cup of coffee in hand.  Cabin Bookiing Tip:  Choose one of these cabins for optimum mist-watching opportunities: Cabin X | Mountain Ecstasy Cabin | Mountain Magic Cabin | President’s Cabin | Mountain Breeze Cabin | Arkansas Cabin | Balloon Cabin | Mountain Sunrise Cabin | Compton Mountain Cabin  Or, if you have a group, our RiverWind Lodge offers the perfect perch for enjoying mornings with river mist in the valley below.

A mist covering the Ozark Mountains

Kayaker on a river
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