15 Searcy County Attractions!!
#1 The Buffalo National River! Searcy County is home to approximately 48 miles of America’s 1st National River. Clear, cool water flowing under towering ridges and bluff lines surrounded by hardwood forests and ancient cedars. Miles of gravel and sand beaches await campers and sunbathers. The Buffalo National River, and tributary Richland Creek, are both National Wild and Scenic Rivers! Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, campgrounds, the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, elk viewing, swimming holes, and fishing for smallmouth bass await you in the Heart of the Buffalo National River!
#2 The Kenda Drive-In Movie Theater in Marshall! Arkansas’ only drive-in movie theater that is open year round, and one of only three drive-in’s left in the entire state! Special events also held in the warmer months.
#3 World-Class Hiking! The Ozark Highlands Trail has been noted as one of the top ten long distance hiking trails in the US by the Guardian! Also noted by Outside magazine as one of the World’s Seven Great Winter Backpacking Trips! Rocky Mountain Elk and Bald Eagles may be seen along the journey! The Ozark Highlands Trail connects with the Buffalo River Trail System at Wollum continuing down river to more miles of great hiking!
#4 Motorcycle Riding! Approximately 140 miles of roads! Thousands of riders every year make the trek into the fabulous north central Arkansas Ozarks. Beautiful scenery in four seasons, lots of winding roads, and some fairly lightly travelled locations! Pastoral scenes, quaint towns, and excellent restaurants await the bikers. We have two scenic routes you should try, the Bear Creek Growl and the Leslie Lasso!
#5 Rocky Mountain Elk! Wild elk roam parts of the county and may be photographed anytime, or hunted with permit during hunting season. Searcy County is the Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas!
#6 Bicycling! The Ozark Grinder Trail is a gravel grinder bicycle trail covering approximately 130 miles of some of the most wild, scenic, and remote parts of the north central Arkansas Ozarks! From Tyler Bend at Buffalo National River to Shirley, Arkansas it climbs and descends steep grades and makes many creek crossings.
#7 Old Town Leslie! This quaint Ozark Mountain town is home to one of the South’s finest bakeries, Serenity Farm Bread, and its wood-fired brick oven that produces Old World Sourdough Bread! Leslie also has excellent restaurants, fabulous antique stores, and a new 9-hole, par-3 disc golf course! The Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie seats approximately 350 people in its Killebrew Theatre and in addition to hosting bands, is occasionally used for musicals and plays.
#8 Old Town Gilbert! The “Coolest Town in Arkansas”, the “Smallest Sister City in the World”, and the smallest incorporated town in the state! Super lodging and campground accommodations a short walk from the Buffalo National River. In season, a must visit is the Gilbert General Store, Est. 1901. Come for the cabins, or to fish, rent a canoe, kayak, raft, hang out on the beach, go hiking, or horseback riding! And the short drive to Gilbert off of Highway 65 is very nice!
#9 Downtown Marshall! The center of downtown is the historic Searcy County Courthouse, constructed in the late 1880s, site of the Searcy County Veterans Memorial and the Veterans Wall of Honor! Cresting Backbone Mountain just south of Marshall at the roadside park, and again leaving Marshall heading north on US Highway 65, the motorist will see one of Arkansas’ most panoramic views looking west towards Point Peter Mountain that stands prominent at 2,040 feet above sea level. The airport in Marshall is a great fly-in destination! Coming soon: New City Park and public fishing lake!
#10 Agritourism! Searcy County is on the leading edge of agritourism with the annual Searcy County Fair in Marshall and rodeos in both Leslie and Marshall and diverse farm tours! Farm tours provide wholesome experiences for families. Each tour is $20/ per family and offers a unique experience. Pick the tour/tours you’d like to take. Call the farm directly and schedule the tour. For more information, phone 870-448-4870.
#11 Horseback Riding! We have two horse stable/lodging destinations and more than 100 miles of horseback riding trails. Some of the most enjoyable and scenic horseback riding in the state of Arkansas! Riding in the Ozark National Forest of both western and northeastern Searcy County as well as in the confines of the Buffalo National River! The big trail ride of the year is the annual Falling Water Trail Ride during the first weekend of October. Riders begin the trail from either the Wollum Campground or Snowball Gym.
#12 Hurricane River Caverns. Located near Pindall, the caverns offer both regular and extreme cave tours!
#13 Rock climbing! The Stack Rock Special Interest Area in the Ozark National Forest near Witts Springs is accessed by a 3 mile round-trip hike off of the Richland Road all the way around Stack Rock. The towering overhead bluffs are a rock climbing destination!
#14 Outdoor Photography & Bird Watching! With our Ozark Mountains, rural farm landscapes, historic old buildings, waterfalls, dark night skies, elk herds, bald eagles and other wildlife, the Buffalo River, and four seasons, we are a photographer’s dream destination! Searcy County also has two designated “Important Bird Areas,” the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River!
#15 Museums and Art! We are the home of Essie Treat Ward, the Grandma Moses of the Ozarks! Some of her paintings are on display at the Jim G. Ferguson Searcy County Library in Marshall. Art is also on display upstairs in the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall and at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie, where there is also a museum. The Searcy County Veterans Memorial Museum in Marshall honors local veterans. In St. Joe, don’t miss the St. Joe Depot Museum! Future attraction, the Buffalo River Historic Jail, which will show off the fabulous old Searcy County Jail in Marshall!