Buffalo River Trail – South Maumee to Highway 14


Great Photos – Buffalo River Trail in Searcy County

—  The Buffalo River Trail segment between The South Maumee
Road and the Highway 14 Bridge is just over 11 miles in length and has some
stunning overlooks of the Buffalo River!  Kudos to the National Park
Service, Volunteer Coordinator Ken Smith, and dozens of volunteers who
helped to complete this beautiful trail!  At places the trail runs through
lush, dense, bottomland forests, and by contrast also winds along upland
ridges.  It also traverses beautiful glades with native wildflowers and
sometimes clings to the edge of near vertical hillsides.  Near the South
Maumee Road there are beautiful waterfalls after healthy amounts of rain.
There is a water crossing between the South Maumee Road and the Spring Creek
Road when the trail crosses beautiful Spring Creek.  Between the creek and
the Highway 14 bridge there are some majestic views of the Ozarks and the
Buffalo River far below.  Canoeists and sometimes soaring birds are seen
below the trail.  This trail can be strenuous at times and is not for small
children as there are dangerous drops nearby.  However, it is a spectacular
attraction for Searcy County!  Well worth the hike.


Recommend bringing a camera or camera phone, strong hiking stick, sturdy
shoes, and having a pack with an ample supply of water and snacks.”
Remember to carry out all of your trash.  The trail is fairly well marked,
but sometimes switches back, look for white Park Service metal markers on
trees.  The trail sometimes runs along old roads as well.  Enjoy!

Click on the smaller photos for a slide show.

Hurricane River Cave announces Extreme Cave Tours

Hurricane River Cave

In an exciting announcement, Hurricane River Cave has announced they will be offering two Guided Extreme Cave Tours for 2013.

In addition to their regular cave tour, there are two different Extreme Cave tours offered.

The Deep North, or the East Passage cave tours.

These cave tours can be somewhat customized, to accommodate different fitness levels.
Our extreme cave tours ( by reservation ) feature a combination of the following: vertical climbs; slipping, sliding, stumbling; hands and knees crawls; belly crawls; tight squeezes; contortionist positions; tortuous, irregular terrain; gooey, sticky clay; soupy clutching mud; disconcerting ravine crossings, of indeterminate depths; wadingand or swimming; a short boat ride; bear beds, and numerous bear claw marks; sites where a saber tooth tiger, and many prehistoric, short faced bears, were discovered; and human remains, which are still there, in their final resting place, as of 2013.  The cave entrance is right next to the waterfall: you will walk right by it.Duration: 3-5 hours. Each extreme cave tour, covers about one and a half miles: although you will feel like you’ve done 5.The cost of these cave tours is $89.00 per person, plus state and local taxes: currently at 9 % ( 2013 ). Group rates, and family rates, are available.
For this cave tour, you will be supplied with a Petzl caving helmet, with a headlight, along with knee pads, and gloves. You will be accompanied at all times by a guide, for your safety, and the protection of the cave. Prepare to get extremely muddy on this trip. Lace up boots are best; however, tightly laced up sneakers are also OK. A long sleeved shirt is necessary; a belt is very important to hold up your jeans, as they will loosen up and sag, when they get wet and muddy; and you should wear a swim suit underneath your clothes: so that you can strip off all your muddy clothes, at tour end, before you use our hot showers: for which, we supply towels. We encourage the use of waterproof cameras, and sport cams for photography.
Check out the 5 Star  ratings on on Hurricane river cave from Trip Adviser.Com .


Hurricane River Cave is located in Northwest Searcy County, Arkansas on U.S.  Highway 65, halfway between Harrison and M
arshall (about a half hour drive either way), and about 50 minutes south of Branson, MO

You will be guided along a level ancient underground riverbed. These fantastic water-eroded passageways are the most unique of their kind among American show caves. Our cave features stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies, soda straws, rimstone dams, cave popcorn, columns, moonmilk, stalactoflats, canopies, along with rare and unique shields, and more!

The Cave’s visitor approval ratings get high marks, according to an official state exit poll. Only the extremely claustrophobic would feel uncomfortable in Hurricane River Cave.

A number of unusual skeletons have been discovered in the cave. Among them are a saber-toothed cat (Smilodan Floridanus); many bears (including the prehistoric Ursus Americanus Amplidens); and, in 1989, a complete Indian skeleton, which is still in its final resting place which you will see on the Extreme Cave Tour.insidecave3

Not only are the caverns spectacular, but so are the grounds. The cave entrance is at the base of a towering bluff and is graced by a much photographed waterfall (specially created for the visitor) that spills between 150 and 300 gallons per minute. This water crashes down through a series of smaller waterfalls and pools. Green manicured lawns, flowering shrubs, flowers and trees complete the scenery.  Especially pretty in the early spring are the native Arkansas red bud and dogwood trees.

The cave is  open from March 1st to October 31st. Winter visits are available by appointment. Guided tours take approximately 45 minutes, and it’s rare that anyone ever waits more than 20 minutes. The distance covered is about ¼ mile and is not strenuous — only one incline and two staircases (17 and 27 steps respectively)


Sheltered picnic tables are also available.

Hurricane River Cave gift shop showcases rocks, minerals, ceramics, full leaded crystal, and jewelry. tables are available. There is ample parking space.

Come and visit Hurricane River Cave.

For more information or to contact Hurricane River Cave, call 870-429-6200, email, or visit the Hurricane River Cave website.


Click on a picture below of a slideshow of photos from the Hurricane River Cave.


Buffalo River Hiking Trail Completion Near

Buffalo River Trail Completion Now Somewhere In Sight

By Ken Smith

“Somewhere in sight”?  What does that mean?  It means a 28-mile stretch of the Buffalo River Trail that volunteers have been building here in Searcy County during the past seven years could get completed in 2013.  Like, sometime next year.


We don’t know exactly when.  Or where, or how, that can happen.  Next year the volunteers will be joined by the National Park Service’s (NPS) trail crew.  Volunteers will continue building trail through isolated country north of Morning Star, moving upriver.  The NPS crew will start at U.S. 65 and build trail downriver—toward the volunteers.


So sometime next year we hope, NPS crew and volunteers will meet up.  The guys (gals, too) can drive the Golden Spike.  The trail will be complete.


The entire trail is located within the Buffalo National River’s park boundary and is called the Buffalo River Trail.  Officially it’s the Buffalo River Hiking Trail (though part of it will be open for horseback travel).  Also it’s an eastward extension for a long trail—the Ozark Highlands Trail—that from U.S. 65 goes 180 miles farther west.  When the new segment in Searcy County is completed, a hiker will be able to hike from Lake Fort Smith State Park all the way to the Highway 14 Bridge in Marion County.


The 28-mile trail segment currently being built will go down the south side of the BuffaloRiver from Highway 65 to Highway 14.  There will be public access to the trail at the two highways and along the trail segment where it crosses the Zack Ridge, Red Bluff, South Maumee, and Spring Creek Roads.


Thus the trail is in five parts or segments, from one of these roads to the next.  No segment is longer than about six miles.  At each road a public trailhead will have parking space and direction signs.  Almost everywhere else the trail is located past private property that surrounds the park, with no public access.


The trail is like a little highway, 24 inches wide, very often going across steep hill sides.  But the trail itself is designed to avoid any grades steeper than 10%.  (That means no more than ten feet up in a hundred feet of trail).  Thus it’s designed to make it easier for us old folks.  And it’s easier to get to many nice back-country places along the Buffalo.


For those who want big scenery, there are 24 overlook areas where the trail goes across the tops of high bluffs, providing wide views of the river and surrounding hills.  There are good side trips.  River gravel bars (fish, swim, camp).  Historic sites (the old M&NA railroad), and Red Bluff (not red, but impressive).


There are natural curiosities such as Rattlesnake Rock and The Dog’s Head.  Nature’s interest is everywhere—in the trees, rock formations, wildflowers, wild animals, and much more.  The new trail will be easy to find and use.  It can appeal to many kinds of folks—trail-strollers, trail-hikers, trail-runners, and backpackers.  Enjoying the trail should be young folks, retirees, and those in between, as well as nature lovers, ladies bird watching, kids curious about everything, and locals hiking to new hunting and fishing spots.


Almost the entire new 28-mile trail segment lies within Searcy County.  The last quarter mile of the trail to the highway 14 bridge is in MarionCounty.  It’s one more thing that can make SearcyCounty attractive to visitors and provide a positive economic impact locally.


The trail, combined with the county’s other attractions—including historic Gilbert, historic Leslie, floating the Buffalo River, exploring Richland, enjoying scenery everywhere—can help put Searcy County on the “to do” list for people who come and rent cabins, buy fishing tackle, and eat in restaurants.  These visitors, then, would not be quickie pass-through tourists.  They would be people seeking escape from city noise and clutter.  Visitors from Dallas, Memphis, and St. Louis.  Yes, SearcyCounty can be well positioned to offer escape.


If visitors find that escape, peace and quiet here, they’ll want to come back and stay longer.  Having the trail here can give them one more reason.


Ken Smith, Coordinator of volunteer work on the trail


See more pictures of the Trail work and beautiful sights along the trail below.



Bear Creek Log Cabins – Buffalo River Cabin Rentals



Looking for secluded Buffalo River Log Cabins to rent for Vacation?

Let our family home be your family’s home-away-from home. Relax in our cozy cabins and roam our 1,100 acre paradise.

Private and peaceful, our third generation cattle farm nestles along Bear Creek just before the creek enters Buffalo River National Park.

“One word: INCREDIBLE!” Jerry & Diane Moore, Cabot AR

You’ll find plenty of room to roam, lots of inspiring views, and just about everything any man, woman or child needs to unwind and get back in touch with our natural heritage and the healing inner quiet everybody’s looking for these days.

Visit Bear Creek Log Cabins for YOUR Buffalo National River Family Reunion or Vacation

Some folks say it’s a perfect log cabin rental resort for families, church groups, parties, family reunions, and just relaxing with friends. Others use it as a rustic hunting lodge, a remote fishing spot, or a home base for taking the kids ATV 4-wheeling and canoeing.

Whatever you’re looking for in Arkansas USA vacations for the family, we’ll help you find it. And we’ll make sure you enjoy your private getaway in our comfortable Buffalo River log cabins.

“We enjoyed our second visit as much as our first. Maybe we’ll see you again this summer.” Glen & Melinda B. — Russellville,  AR

Right in the heart of NW Arkansas

Our guests enjoy family day trips to nearby Branson, Missouri and Eureka Springs, Arkansas as well as the Ozark National Forest and Blanchard Springs Caverns near the Ozarks Folk Center.

We’re just four minutes from Buffalo National River Park on US Highway 65 in the Middle River Section. Your perfect headquarters to float “The Buffalo,” hike the Ozark Highland Trail, and enjoy the scenic roads and trails the Ozarks are famous for with your motorcycle, four wheel drive, or mountain bike.

Welcome to our little corner of heaven!

You’re welcome to bring your ATV 4-wheelers  for four-wheeling, or your mountain bikes and your horses for trail riding.

You can enjoy hunting and fishing on our property at NO CHARGE as long as you have a valid Arkansas license and hunt or fish in a safe and legal manner.

You can easily obtain a hunting or fishing license from Arkansas Game & Fish Commission when you arrive.

We’ll be glad to help you plan your next MO – AR family reunion, vacation or week-end getaway.

“The cabin has so much character and charm. . .Your attention to detail is apparent. . . The decor is so cozy.” Tim & Susan Z. — Vilonia AR

Our VERY private vacation rental cabins offer a perfect family reunion location. Hunting clubs and large groups are welcome.  Each of our log cabins is unique, with completely different settings and decor. All cottages feature covered front porches and screened back porches.  We designed each of our vacation rental cabins to be roomy enough for a church retreat or a hiking club meeting yet cozy and private enough for romantic couples on a honeymoon or anniversary.

Contact Bear Creek Log Cabins  for Buffalo River Log Cabin Rental Information and Reservations

For more information about Bear Creek Log Cabins call 870-448-5926 or visit their website.

Bear Creek Log Cabins has  5 cabins available in various secluded locations.  For Booking information go here.






Finally, you may have seen some of the many Elk pictures we have on our site.  All the elk pictures on our site have been taken either on property owned by Bear Creek Log Cabins, or property directly adjacent to Bear Creek Log Cabins.  If you haven’t seen the elk pictures they are on featured areas of our website.


New Member – Elk and Eagle Trading Post, LLC

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC and its owners Darryl and Dana Treat.

Darryl is a Searcy County native who retired after more than 26 years in the US Air Force. He has now set down some business roots on Main Street in Leslie with Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC. The trading post is predominately, but not entirely a gift shop. Inside the store you can find locally-made, Arkansas-made and American-made products. For you hikers, they have hiking sticks, hiking medallions and hiking sew-on patches.

When you’re looking for birthday and Christmas gifts give the trading post a look. They carry books from Tim Ernst, as well as house flags, Post Familie muscadine juice and products from Ratchford Exotic Meats. There are also Ozark T-shirts and socks from For Bare Feet, Inc. If you’re tired of giving your kids or grandkids electronic gifts, then take a look at some of the old-fashioned games available in the store from Channel Craft. No batteries or electric outlets required!

They also have pottery with local and regional imprinting. Handmade, wheel-thrown, brush-decorated pottery that is kiln fired at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

When relatives and friends come to visit take a jaunt on down to Leslie and shop around town. When you’re leaving the trading post, if you didn’t notice them on the way in, don’t forget to look high up on the front of the store for a nice set of elk antlers.

Check out Elk & Eagle Trading Post on Facebook.


Searcy County Recreation

Searcy County offers a wide range of  Get-Away destinations, from family fun at Arkansas’ only year round Drive-in Movie to high adventure kayaking on class IV whitewater on Falling Water and Richland Creek .

Our mountains and the Buffalo National River provide a perfect setting for a week or weekend of fun. We offer a variety of canoeing, horseback riding, ATV Riding, camping and hiking opportunities for the beginner and the adventurer.  Our outfitters and campground operators can supply you with everything you need for the perfect vacation.   We have many rental cabin opportunities also.  If you’re looking for a place to rest and relax, you’ve found it.

For a great guide to the Buffalo National River, click here.  Note:  This is a large PDF file and may take a few minutes to load for slower connections.

In addition to all the great Searcy County activities, our location makes it a perfect place to see all the region’s attractions. Enjoy music at  Mountain View’s Folk Center, world class golfing in the Fairfield Bay area, trout fishing on the White River, and a variety of activities only an hour and fifteen minutes  away in Branson, Missouri.