Lost in the Boonies? What's Your Most Important Task?

Search dog and handler.
People who find themselves lost in the boonies, whether it's forest, field, desert or other terrain, frequently make the same mistake. If you find yourself unsure which route leads back to civilization, a recent incident at the Buffalo National River offers a clue about your most important task.

A Miss is Much Better than a Mile for Hikers Rescued in Two Separate Falls

Rescues during carryout at Buffalo River.
Hikers in two widely separated NPS areas were injured in falls during the past week. The incidents led to challenging rescues, but they could have been a lot worse. In both cases, the men escaped what would likely have been a catastrophic plunge by the narrowest of margins.

Wildlife on the Move: Migrations in the National Parks

As the weather cools and available daylight decreases, many wild animals become restless. They know winter is on the way and they could face months of freezing temperatures and food shortages.

The Hunt for Red (and Yellow) October. It's Officially Fall - Let the Quest for Color Begin!

McKittrick Canyon in the fall.
Fall is officially here in the northern hemisphere, and for many travelers that means getting outdoors to enjoy the weather—and some fall color. Most of us are familiar with areas that are justifiably famous for their annual display of red and yellow leaves, so here are a few suggestions for some lesser-known options.

Upon Further Review: Sometimes Chicken Soup Just Isn't Good for a Ranger's Soul

Buffalo River scene
The wide variety of duties performed by park rangers is part of the job's appeal, but some tasks are clearly less desirable than others. Responding to a hazardous materials spill falls into the "negative" category, but in rural America, the definition of "haz mat" can include some pretty bizarre substances.

Traveler's Checklist: Buffalo National River

Canoeing on the Buffalo River.
The Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas features over 100 miles of free-flowing river, massive sandstone and limestone bluffs, and excellent opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities in a scenic setting. Here are some suggestions to help you plan a visit.

Ill-Advised Leap from a Bluff Leads to a Challenging Rescue at Buffalo National River

Rescuers carry victim toward waiting helicopter.
A visitor to the Buffalo National River probably has second thoughts about an attempt to jump from a bluff to a nearby tree. His resulting fall triggered a challenging mission for area rescue teams.

March 1st was a Big Day for More Than One Park

Buffalo River scene.
March 1st is a landmark date for our national parks—and not only because it's the birthday for Yellowstone. Another park became the first of its kind exactly one century after Yellowstone was established. This one includes cliffs, caves and canoeing in its list of attractions.

"Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot" is Still Good Advice

Buffalo National River
A recent report from the Buffalo National River in Arkansas confirms the validity of the old expression about shooting yourself in the foot, although in this case a would-be hunter's miscue had both a literal and figurative outcome.

National Park Quiz 28: Rivers

This week’s quiz deals with rivers flowing within or through the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “Tributaries joining main streams at right angles is a signature feature of trellis drainage” 100 times on the whiteboard.

National Park Quiz 25: Threatened and Endangered

This week’s quiz focuses on troubled species. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “Encountering a four-meter Crocodylus acutus can cause severe de-puckering of the anal sphincter” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Don't Forget Buffalo National River When You're Looking for Fall Foliage

One of the relatively undiscovered gems in our National Park System is the Buffalo National River, located in the Ozarks of north-central Arkansas. The park is perhaps best known for canoeing, but that activity is usually most enjoyable in the spring and early summer, unless you enjoy the possibility of carrying your canoe more than paddling it.
Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America While there are plenty of books that detail the fine line between life and death in the parks, Burnett shares a glimpse of a side of life in our national parks that draws a chuckle, not a grimace.