Take Highway 21 south out of Boxley Valley heading up the mountain. Look for the large Nature Conservancy Smith Creek sign on the left (east) side of the highway. Turn into entrance road and park near the red gate
Limited parking outside locked gate. No toliets.
Ponca, Lost Valley Store & Buffalo Outdoor Center.
|Trail maps are available at the kiosk at the gate.
Hiking, wildlife watching and photography., exceptional wildflowers
Smith Creek is remote and is a medium to difficult hike. You will need to hike 500 feet ascent in 1 mile from the main nature trail. DO NOT hike alone.
Spring wildflower bloom.
Unique 3 springs at the head of Smith Creek in high water.
Wet weather cascades and waterfalls.
Beware that it is very hot and buggy in July and August!
Newton County Sheriff (870) 446-5124
| (in Ponca) Directions
GPS: 36.02215, -93.36141 (8.2 miles, 10 minutes)
AGFC elk education center, nationally recognized facility.
Open daily 10 - 4:30 PM, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
GPS: 35.98829, -93.40081 (4.4 miles, 6 mins)
The historic spring fed Boxley Valley Mill Pond is home to a population of trumpeter swans, many different waterbirds, bald eagles in season, as well as beaver, mink, otters and the occaional raccoon. Popular with photographers and wildlife watchers. Very near the best elk viewing areas.
| (2 miles south of Ponca) Directions
GPS: 36.00787, -93.36625 (6.9 miles, 9 mins)
NPS The most popular hiking trail in the upper Buffalo River area. Barrier free stretch, suitable for families. Eden Falls, native american shelter, waterfall in cave, outstanding spring wildflowers.
GPS: 35.88816, -93.4698 (9.7 miles, 37 mins)
Popular 3 mile round trip with 200 ft elevation change. Most photographed Arkansas Landmark. Trail can be rough, a few seasonal creeks. Hazardous around bluff edges, children need to be watched closely. Bear sightings now and then.
Upper Buffalo Wilderness TrailheadDirections
GPS: 35.94606, -93.3994 (1.2 miles, 2 mins)
The Upper Buffalo Wilderness trail travels south past the Whitely Cemetary up to an old roadbed then proceeds south into an area divided between the NPS and NFS. The uppermost Buffalo National River is called the "Hailstone". Rugged and remote, popular with hosemen. Don't hike alone.
GPS: 35.82595, -93.39737 (10.3 miles, 12 mins)
This is a popular short hike of moderate difficulty. The Glory Hole is a waterfall through the top of a cave. It is a popular destination with hikers and most serious outdoor photographers. Fairly remote, probably best not hiked alone. NFS
| (Highway 43 & 21) Directions Web
GPS: 35.97717, -93.40219 (3.5 miles, 4 mins)
Home of Arkansas' famous elk herd, arguably the most viewable in the southern US. Mornings and evenings, fall rut exceptional.