10 Facts About the Buffalo National River

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyThere are so many great things to do outdoors in the state of Arkansas. With hiking trails, biking trails, rock climbing areas, lakes, and rivers aplenty, we’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor activities in Arkansas. There’s one area that seems to rise above the rest, however. The Buffalo National River and the surrounding area offer something for every outdoor enthusiast. The Natural State draws plenty of tourists, but few other areas pull in as many out-of-state visitors as the Buffalo. Here are 10 facts about the Buffalo National River.

10 Facts about the Buffalo National River

  1. The Buffalo National River was designated America’s first National River in 1972.
  2. While the river itself is roughly 150 miles long, 135 miles of the river lie within a boundary managed by the National Park Service. These 135 miles are known as the Buffalo National River.
  3. The boundaries of the Buffalo National River include much of the surrounding land. The total size of the park is 94,293 acres.
  4. Paleoindians inhabited the Ozark region roughly 10,000 years ago. European and American settlers reached the river in the early 1800s. There are still a number of old homesteads and structures throughout the Buffalo River area. Look for them as you hike or float down the Buffalo!
  5. There was a strong push for the Buffalo River to be dammed in the 1960s. Senators J. William Fulbright and John L. McClellan introduce Buffalo National River park legislation in 1967, and the river became the first national river in the United States in 1972. It remains one of the few undammed rivers in the contiguous U.S.
  6. The Buffalo National River is one of the most popular attractions in Arkansas, and averages 800,000 visitors each year.
  7. Big Bluff, which overlooks the Buffalo River and can be accessed via the Goat Trail spur from the Centerpoint trailhead, is the tallest sheer bluff between the Appalachian and the Rocky mountain ranges.
  8. The Buffalo National River offers uniquely dramatic scenery in the cozy Ozark hills. The river cuts its way through towering limestone bluffs that boast impressive waterfalls in wet weather.
  9. The Buffalo National River is home to Hemmed-In Hollow. At 209-feet, Hemmed-In Hollow is the tallest waterfall in Arkansas.
  10. The area is great for kayaking, canoeing, camping, day hiking, and backpacking, and it’s just a short drive to enjoy a day of rock climbing or mountain biking. Visit us at Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters in Fayetteville, Arkansas, before your next trip to the Buffalo!

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