The Buffalo River National Park … one of America’s National Parks. Explore America’s wilderness and experience YOUR America.
The Buffalo River… America’s first national river, flows through 135 miles of pristine wilderness in the Ozarks until it meets the White River.
River Canoeing and River Hiking can be exhilarating but you can enjoy the Buffalo River National Park Region with a scenic drive.
Scenic 7 Jasper Loop – 60 miles and 1.5 -2 hours
From the Lake Harrison Marketplace in Harrison, the Gateway City to the Buffalo National Park Region, turn on Arkansas Scenic Byway 7 and head south. Arkansas’ first scenic highway, Highway 7 is one of the nation’s most scenic drives. The low hills and valleys between Harrison and Jasper was prairie land. (To see what remains of the native prairie, visit Baker’s Prairie in Harrison).
From Highway 7, stop to explore Mystic Caverns. See interesting cave formations like soda straws and an 8 story crystal dome. Tours are available March-November. Continuing toward Jasper, Highway 7 goes past an old amusement park that operated in the 1970’s known as Dogpatch and the historic site where Arkansas marble was taken in 1836 to be used in the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital.
The Pruitt Ranger Station is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic or walk down for a closer look at America’s First River, the Buffalo. If you are hungry for something more substantial, stop on the Jasper square at the Ozark Café. The Ozark Café has been making old fashioned sods, floats, and malts since 1909. It is still a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.
Turn right on Highway 74. As you approach historic Boxley Valley, look to your left. Majestic elk graze in these fields since they were reintroduced here in the 1990’s. A trip to the Elk Education Center is a great way to learn about the story of the elk. You may also catch a glimpse of the Trumpeter Swans floating in one of the shallow pools near the fences. At Highway 43, turn right and travel north back toward Harrison.
Other Scenic Drives Arkansas Art Trail The Arkansas Art Trail is a trail through the Ozarks that highlight significant sights where nature and art intersect. The trail is organized into three day trips with optional side trips noted. To do the entire trail requires three to seven days. Stay overnight in the Gateway City and do the entire trail.
Enjoy camping on the river, find a rustic cabin on the river or relax after a day of adventure in comfortable luxury. Find National Park lodging in the Gateway City to the Buffalo River National Park.
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