Buffalo National River
For many, fall conjures images of blizzards of golden leaves, the eerie bugles of bull elk, and the first crisp, possibly snow-dusted, days of year’s end. For the northern half of the country these are the realities of the National Park System. There are the breathtaking days of hiking, watching wildlife on the move, and even tasting the season in the bounties of wild berries and other fruits.
It's not often you hear about rangers resorting to a canoe to rescue visitors in need, but that's what happened the other day at Buffalo National River in Arkansas when word came of a snakebite victim in dire need of medical attention.
Often the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams in the National Park System is endangered by something we don’t immediately see. Such is the case in Arkansas, where a hog farm less than 6 miles upstream from the Buffalo National River poses an industrial threat to the river.
Massive, water-stained bluffs soaring over 500 feet above your canoe or kayak; the highest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies; potential campsites on gravel bars along over a hundred miles of clear, free-flowing river; all this and more make the Buffalo National River a worthy addition to your list of must-do float trips.
Where can you paddle in the National Park System? What sort of paddler are you? Kayaker, canoeist, rafter? Options abound for all of you, as we explain in Traveler's Essential Guide To Paddling The Parks.
Citing the rising cost of doing business and tighter budgets, Buffalo National River officials have increased the fees for camping along the national river.
Wonderment and joy unfold in the national parks come fall when the wild kingdom becomes more visible, literally voicing the call of the wild in parks such as Great Smoky Mountains or Rocky Mountain or winging overhead in any number of parks.
Few national park visits are complete without a hike of some distance and duration. We made the following hikes in the parks the past year, and think you'll find them interesting possibilities for 2013.
Officials at Buffalo National River in Arkansas have reversed themselves a bit concerning proposed winter closures after an outpouring of public reaction in favor of keeping facilities open.