The center is located in Ponca roughly opposite the Ponca Post Office. Very easy to find.  Parking south side of facility.
36.02215, -93.36141

Printable Map
None -- Color Fest is free.
Toilets, water.  Pavilion with picnic tables.
Nearest Gasoline:
Ponca at Lost Valley Canoe
Education exhibits inside and out. Annual Color Fest.
Special Issues:
The Center is barrier free with handicap parking in front.

Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Hours 10AM to 4:30 PM. Open year round. Open 7 days a week during October.
Other Seasonal Opportunities:
The Color Fest is held during the latter part of the elk rut in Boxley Valley. Visitors to the Color Fest are just minutes away from outstanding elk viewing in Boxley Valley, just south of Ponca on highway 43.
Emergency Numbers:
National Park Service  (870) 365-2700
Newton County Sheriff  (870) 446-5124
Relevant Offsite Links:  Official website for the Ponca Elk Education Center.  In-depth information on elk watching in Boxley Valley and the upper river area. Visitor guides, frequent updates, information. Many elk photo galleries and tutorials.
Buffalo National River
  Upper River Area

Ponca Elk Education Center (AGFC)

About Ponca Elk Education Center's Color Fest -- October 28 & 29, 2011 from 10AM to 4:30PM

Autumn is an especially beautiful season in the
Natural State when cool air and bugling elk call us to enjoy the outdoors. Witness inspiring artwork in the unspoiled beauty of Boxley Valley while professional and open air artists capture the peak of fall color as they demonstrate their techniques amid the wildflower gardens, shady deck and creek trail.  Visit with the artists, purchase their work, or bring your own supplies
to capture the amazing Ozark scenery yourself.

Special presentations by ceramic artist Winston Taylor are available for groups and you won’t want to miss the elk photography workshop at 2 p.m. each day by Michael Dougherty. 

Artwork from the Junior Duck Stamp Contest, as well as winning artwork from local school contests will be on display through Sunday. The
Newton County Senior Center will be grilling a variety of meals for your picnic needs.

This is a FREE public event sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The event will be cancelled if it rains.

870-861-2432 for more information.

The Ponca Elk Education Center recently received national recognition from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as one of the 25 top conservation spots.  The Center is free of charge.

AGFC's Ponca Elk Education Center

Schermerhorn Trailhead

GPS: 36.07326, -93.26404       (11.7 miles, 25 mins)

This is a popular trail round trip is around 2 miles. The trail leads to a falls and old bluff shelter. The bluffline is quite scenic with large boulders and pines. Many side trails to explore as well. Watch out for slippery rocks. The road to the trailhead can be hazardous in wet weather. The road past the trailhead into the park is 4WD only, and not maintained.

Compton Trailhead

GPS:  36.0817, -93.30536     (9.3 miles, 16 mins)

Another trailhead down to Hemmed In Hollow, Granny Hendersons, and Sneeds Creek. Very tough hike, over 1,000 ft. descent on switchback trails. Plan to take all day for this one. Don't go alone, and don't go if you are not reasonably fit. Popular with hikers and horsemen. HIH easier hike from parked canoe.

Centerpoint Trailhead

GPS:  36.06368, -93.36017    (3.6 miles, 5 mins)

This trailhead is popular with hikers and horsemen. It is one of two ways to famous Hemmed In Hollow, the dangerous Goat Trail, Sneeds Creek Trail, and Granny Henderson's cabin. Big elevation changes, not for out of shape hikers. 1,000 ft descent. For most, this is an all day hike requiring frequent rest stops.

Hawksbill Craig

GPS:  35.88816, -93.4698  ( 13.1 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.

Boxley Valley Elk Herd

  (Highway 43 & 21)    Directions    Web
GPS:  35.97717, -93.40219  ( 4.7 miles, 6 mins)

Home of Arkansas' famous elk herd, arguably the most viewable in the southern US. Mornings and evenings. Most visitors to the Color Fest will want to make the short drive through Boxley Valley to see the elk rut. The date of the Color Fest is during the latter part of the elk rut.

Boxley Valley Mill Pond

GPS: 35.98829, -93.40081    ( 3.9 miles, 4 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.

Itinerary Builder -- Attractions Close to Ponca Elk Education Center's Color Fest

Lost Valley Hiking Trail

  (2 miles south of Ponca)   Directions
GPS:  36.00787, -93.36625  (1.3 miles, 2 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.

Color Fest 2011 -- Ponca, AR

Ponca Elk Education Center During Color Fest