The Oklahoman features the Buffalo National River

The unwanted Christmas gifts have been returned, and we’re all signed up for penance memberships with weight-loss businesses. Yet our hearts tick the clock forward to the summer when the ice dams break and the rivers flow freely again. Our eyes grow are hungry for the verdant greens of the warmer seasons.

Everyone has heard of National Parks, but it may be a different matter with National Rivers. The concept was new to me when Jeff announced that we were going to explore the Buffalo National River the summer of 2011.

It was easy to see why the National Park Service thought it needed a river to be part of the national legacy. Read the Full Story

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2016 Eureka Springs Blues Weekend: Joining the greats

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – The sounds of rockin’ blues will be again be echoing through The Ozarks that surround this party city when the Annual Blues Weekend returns June 16-19 for a repeat performance.  This year’s event will join the greats such as Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, The Big Muddy Blues Fest in Memphis and Crescent City Blues Festival by adding an outdoor Festival Stage at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR), located just south of Eureka Springs on State Highway 23.  Event Promoter, Charles Ragsdell explain the shift, “All the great festivals use an outdoor stage and our attendees have been calling for it for years. What is unique in Eureka Springs is we will have Blues throughout the day at the refuge and rock Downtown Eureka Springs at the Basin Park and in the clubs in the evening.  In our little way its like combining the open air Telluride Blues and Brews with the dynamic energy of Beale Street festival.”  Eureka Springs Blues Festival just last year was recognized by American Blues Scene Magazine as one of the top ten Most Beautiful Blues festivals joining Telluride described as “situated in an amazing, lush mountain atmosphere.”

Music starts Thursday, with Downtown Eureka Springs and The Basin Park Hotel getting loud with The Return of legend Chris Duarte. Duarte, returning to Eureka Springs for the first time since his ten-year run of Duarte Weekends plays the late night show on Thursday and Friday nights in the Barefoot Ballroom Stage high atop the 1905 Basin Park Hotel located in the middle of Eureka Springs’ entertainment district with many of the clubs therein sporting their own blues sounds all weekend long.

“Blues Weekend signifies the rich history of Eureka Springs as a live music capital of Arkansas.  Every year thousands flock to Eureka Springs for our Blues Weekend, an annual festival of music and fun,” said Tammy Thurow, president of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce.  “This year, downtown will be as fun as ever and with the introduction of the outdoor festival stage we expect it to be as big as all outdoors because it is… outdoors.  The Turpentine Creek Festival Stage will welcome one performance on Thursday, five on Friday, six on Saturday, and three on Sunday.  Proceeds will go to TCWR’s non-profit efforts to rescue then maintain big cats like lions and tigers… and yes, even bears.”

Clubs around town that will be showcasing blues entertainers during the festival include Rowdy Beaver, New Delhi, Chelsea’s, Pied Piper and Rockin’ Pig.  The Headline entertainer that kicks off this year’s festival is a Eureka Springs’ blues favorite Chris Duarte, who triumphantly reappear on the Barefoot Ballroom Stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel after a six-year hiatus.  Both of Duarte’s performances will be at 9 o’clock on Thursday and Friday.  Friday’s show oopens with Kory Montgomery at 7PM.

“Vibrant and relevant, the best way to describe this year’s Blues Weekend,” Thurow added.  “More than 30 entertainers and bands will be sending up positive musical energy at seven venues over four days and nights.  The Eureka Springs Blues Weekend has the reputation of being one of Arkansas’ biggest parties.  Our 2016 event will not disappoint.”

Full details of venues, performers, days and times can be found at  Tickets for Chris Duarte’s two concerts can be obtained at  Many hotels and motels throughout Eureka Springs are offering special Blues Weekend rates.  That information can be found at


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National Parks in Arkansas to kick off Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge

Jan. 1 marks the beginning of the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial celebration and the seven National Park Service sites in Arkansas will kick off the celebration by launching the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge – a year-long program to encourage visitors to “Find Your Park” and improve their health and fitness by completing 100 miles of physical activity over the course of the year. Participants may choose to hike, bike, paddle, walk, run, or roll 100 miles in any of the national parks in Arkansas. Visitors who complete 100 miles of activity will receive a certificate and a commemorative patch to recognize their accomplishment, but the real reward will be experiencing the parks and the many benefits of physical recreation.

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It’s Back … at the Buffalo National River

A young man’s theft of a 400 million-year-old fossil rock from an Arkansas state park years ago prompted a heartfelt note of apology from the now much older and wiser collector from Texas.

He shipped the stone back to Buffalo National River officials last week, regret evident in his words.

“Please return to Lost Valley State Park,” his note reads. “I was young and hid it from my folks. I’m very old now & very sorry. Forgive me.”

The inch-thick stone contains fossilized tracks from prehistoric worms that left their trails in mud that later turned to stone, according to park spokesman Caven Clark.

It’s an eye-catching piece, but Clark reminded all park visitors that removing mementos or archaeological finds from a national park not only is ethically wrong, it’s also illegal.

Read the whole story here

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Fall is an ideal time for Elk Viewing in the Valley

Here is an example of a Bull elk fight in Boxley Valley, October 21, 2012. Boxley Valley is near Ponca, AR in the Buffalo National River Park

CLICK HERE to View Video

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Springfield News Leader lists Buffalo River Floats

Buffalo National River, Arkansas

It’s a good three-hour drive from Springfield, but the Buffalo National River in north-central Arkansas is well worth exploring.

Running more than 140 miles, the river is fed by runoff and is thus sensitive to rainfall. In recent weeks the area has received a lot of rain, and the river swelled to dangerous levels a week ago, but has now dropped back down to navigable condition.

The most popular day trip on the upper Buffalo is from the low-water bridge at Ponca to Kyle’s Landing, a distance of about 10 miles. Last week, water was 7 feet over the bridge, but it quickly receded.

The views from canoe or kayak can be astounding, with 500-foot tall Roark Bluff looming above the river. And that’s not all.

“The scenery is second to none, and there’s so much to do along the river,” said Mitchell Wayman, manager of Buffalo River Canoes based at Kyle’s Landing. “You can pull off and hike a quarter mile to Hemmed in Hollow, which is a 205-foot waterfall. We’ve had people come from around the world to float down and do that hike.”

Wayman said Memorial Day weekend is typically the busiest time on the Buffalo, with thousands of paddlers exploring various segments of the river. With rain in the Memorial Day forecast, Wayman encouraged paddlers to come prepared with a poncho or other lightweight rain gear.

“Just plan for short stints of rain — it’s not like it will be raining all day,” he said. “And the water is warm enough to go swimming. A lot of people were swimming last weekend.”

The middle Buffalo is a bit tamer, with easy class 1 water. Haley Jackson, at Buffalo River Outfitters near St. Joe, Arkansas, said the a good one-day trip would be from Baker’s Ford to Gilbert Access, a distance of about 10 miles.

“The river’s looking great,” she said. “The water came up, but it didn’t last long and it’s starting to clear up. Over the next two or three days its color should be back to normal.”



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Buffalo River Trail

The State of Arkansas has provided a wonderful video on Hiking the buffalo River Trail

View Video here

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Governor Hutchinson favors continued moratorium

Medium and large scale feeding facilities in the Buffalo River watershed should expect a 180 day extension

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Buffalo National River Weddings in the National Park

“I do.”

Breathtaking waterfalls, majestic bluffs, an emerald green stream … is it any wonder that Buffalo National River is a popular destination for outdoor weddings?

Pick up the 2015 Wedding Planner published by Harrison Daily Times for information about planning your Buffalo River wedding. Weddings in the park do require a permit.

More information is available on the park website:

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Who loves the Buffalo River Region – the USA Today does !

Buffalo River selected as one of the ten best National Parks to visit during Fall

We of course already knew that BUT WELCOME NEW VISITORS

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