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Exploring Arkansas May 2009

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Triple Falls, Lincoln Lake, Buffalo National River
Triple Falls is a spectacular waterfall area in the upper portion of the Buffalo National River These fifty foot falls rival any of those seen in Hawaii. Lincoln Lake is a wonderful hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and kayaking gem tucked away in the northwest portion of the Natural State. Episode concludes with a float trip down the Buffalo National River showing exactly why this special river earned its place in 1972 as America's first national river.

TRANSCRIPT

IS THIS A WATERFALL LOCATION OR WHAT? NO, WE'RE NOT IN HAWAII. WE'RE IN THE NATURAL STATE, OF COURSE. IT'S IN THE UPPER PORTION OF THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER, NOT TOO FAR FROM JASPER. THIS IS WHERE WE BEGIN THIS WEEK'S SHOW. WHY NOT? AWESOME. THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU TO LINCOLN LAKE IN THE NORTHWEST PART OF THE STATE, WHICH IS A PRIMO MOUNTAIN BAKING AND MOUNTAIN CLIMBING AREA. THEN WE'LL CLOSE IT OUT IN THE MIDDLE PORTION OF THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER NEAR THE TYLER BEND VISITOR CENTER. NOW, LET'S EXPLORE. 

THIS WATERFALL LOCATION IS VERY EASY TO GET TO. GO WEST ON HIGHWAY 74 FIVE MILES FROM JASPER TO MOUNT SHERMAN. TURN RIGHT AT THE KYLES LANDING SIDE. AFTER ABOUT A MILE YOU'LL VEER RIGHT AT THE FORK, WHICH WILL TAKE YOU DOWN TO CAMP ORR, PARK ACROSS FROM THE FALLS SIGN. THE TRAILHEAD IS LOCATED AT THE SIGN, WHICH, BY THE WAY, SAYS TWIN FALLS, AND DEPENDING ON WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR YOU MAKE THE HIKE AND HOW SOON AFTER A RAINFALL, THERE MAY BE ONLY TWO WATERFALLS INSTEAD OF THREE. THIS PARTICULAR DAY, KATHY HOLT AND HER SON, OLIVER, WERE MAKING THE HIKE TO THE FALLS, AND WE TAGGED ALONG. AND WE TAGGED ALONG. ALONG THE 200 YARDS OR SO OF THIS TRAIL, WILDFLOWERS IN THE SPRING ARE EVERYWHERE, AND THE THIS TRAIL, WILDFLOWERS IN THE SPRING ARE EVERYWHERE, AND THE VARIETY OF THEM ARE COUNTLESS. SO HOW IS IT THAT THERE ARE THREE FALLS AT THIS LOCATION? WELL, THE TWO ON THE LEFT ARE FED BY A SPRING, AND THE ONE ON THE RIGHT IS THE RESULT OF A CREEK. SO THE BLEND OF ALL THREE IS, CREEK. SO THE BLEND OF ALL THREE IS, INDEED, A SIGHT TO BEHOLD. 

I THINK IT'S VERY IMPRESSIVE BECAUSE NOT ALL WATERFALLS ARE THREE. I MEAN, TRIPLE. THIS IS WONDERFUL. IT'S GREAT! I MEAN, THIS IS FUN FOR KIDS AND -- AND ADULTS. I MEAN, IT'S JUST A GREAT NATURAL THING OF OUR STATE. 

DOUG KUNTZ OF FAYETTEVILLE CAME WITH HIS GRANDKIDS AS WELL THIS DAY. 

I ACTUALLY HIKE A LOT THE BUFFALO RIVER TRAIL, THE OZARK TRAIL. IN FACT, MY HIKING BUDDIES ARE DOWN AT PEDAGENI, AND THEY MESSED UP. THIS IS THE PRETTIEST I'VE EVER SEEN TWIN FALLS. I'VE BEEN COMING TO CAMP ORR SINCE I WAS A BOY SCOUT LEAD, AND WE DECIDED TO LOOK AT RAINFALLS TODAY BECAUSE IT RAINED SO MUCH LAST WEEK. WE ARE GOING TO DO SOME MORE. ACTUALLY, MY FRIENDS HAVE ALL THE WATERFALLS GPS'D. I'VE COME TO TWIN FALLS BECAUSE IT'S TWO FALLS. THERE'S THREE TODAY. THE ONE ON THE LEFT UP THERE IS RARELY MOVING AT ALL, AND I WAS HERE LAST YEAR AFTER THE BIG FLOOD, AND THAT CEDAR TREE UP THERE WAS STRAIGHT OUT, BUT IT WASN'T RUNNING LIKE IT IS TODAY. I MEAN, YOU DON'T NEED TO GO ANYWHERE BUT STAY IN ARKANSAS IF YOU WANT TO SEE SOMETHING THAT'S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. MY SON TODAY DIDN'T GO HIKING. HE'S DOWN ON THE BUFFALO IN A SINGLE CANOE GOING FROM BOXLEY TO KYLES LANDING BY HIMSELF. SO WE'RE A REAL OUTDOOR FAMILY. AND I JUST DEARLY LOVE THE OZARKS. AND WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO IN THE FALL IS WHEN IT STARTS GETTING COLD AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY BUGS AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY LEAVES, JUST START HIKING UP HERE. IT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL. AND ONCE THE LEAVES GET OUT AND THE BAD GUYS GET OUT, YOU HAVE TO QUIT HIKING, BUT YOU'LL NEVER HAVE A BETTER DAY THAN TODAY. NEVER HAVE A BETTER DAY THAN TODAY. IT'S JUST ABSOLUTELY GREAT. 

YES, 11-YEAR-OLD OLIVER HOLT JUST COULDN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THIS FALLS AREA. 

I MEAN, IT'S JUST INCREDIBLE! AND HOW POWERFUL THIS IS. AND IT JUST -- IT'S JUST SO WONDERFUL AND A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT. I THINK THIS IS A GREAT -- A GREAT, BEAUTIFUL SIGHT FOR I THINK THIS IS A GREAT -- A GREAT, BEAUTIFUL SIGHT FOR ARKANSAS. 

SO WHETHER YOU HAPPEN TO CATCH THESE FALLS WHEN ALL THREE ARE RUNNING OR JUST TWO, TWIN FALLS OR TRIPLE FALLS IS AN INCREDIBLE SIGHT IN THE UPPER PORTION OF THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER.  THERE IS ONE OTHER THING, THOUGH, THAT WE MIGHT NEED TO MENTION, AND THAT IS THE LEGEND OF THE BUFFALO BIG FOOT, FIRST SUPPOSEDLY SPOTTED IN THIS AREA DURING THE 1850s. REAL OR JUST A LEGEND? WILLY HASN'T BEEN PROVEN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, BUT STILL, MIGHT WANT TO KEEP AN EYE OUT WAY OR THE OTHER, BUT STILL, MIGHT WANT TO KEEP AN EYE OUT NONETHELESS. WEST OF FAYETTEVILLE, LINCOLN LAKE, PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES HERE FROM MOUNTAIN BIKING TO ROCK CLIMBING, YOU NAME IT. HERE FROM MOUNTAIN BIKING TO ROCK CLIMBING, YOU NAME IT. LET'S GO CHECK IT OUT. 90-ACRE LINCOLN LAKE IS LOCATED NORTH OF THE TOWN OF LINCOLN NEAR FAYETTEVILLE OFF COUNTY ROAD 669. THIS ENTIRE AREA IS ACTUALLY ABOUT 400 ACRES OF PICTURESQUE BLUFFS AND BEAUTIFUL VISTAS. VERY SIMILAR TO DEVIL'S DEN STATE PARK, WHICH IS JUST SOUTH OF HERE. 

A LOT OF PEOPLE CALL IT BABY DEVIL'S DEN. IT'S GOT A LOT OF BLUFF LINES. THE ENTIRE LAKE IS LINED WITH BLUFFS. WE HAVE EAGLES HERE IN THE WINTERTIME. YOU CAN SEE THEM ANY TIME YOU COME OUT IN THE WINTER, YOU'LL SEE THE EAGLES. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. LOT OF NICE OVERLOOKS YOU CAN SEE THE ENTIRE LAKE FROM. LINCOLN LAKE USED TO BE THE WATER SUPPLY FOR THE CITY OF LINCOLN. THEY GET THEIR WATER OUT OF BEAVER LAKE NOW. SO WE HAD 400 ACRES OUT HERE AND A 90-ACRE LAKE THAT HAS JUST BEEN SITTING HERE. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN USING IT. IT WAS BUILT IN THE EARLY '60s, AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN USING IT FOR JUST WHATEVER PURPOSE. HOWEVER, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE CITY OF LINCOLN'S PROPERTY, AND I MOVED HERE THREE YEARS AGO, AND I HEARD DOUG HAD YOU KHINS, ONE OF THE CITY'S ALDERMAN, DECIDED TO TURN IT INTO A CITY PARK. HE GOT WITH THE REST OF THE CITY COUNCIL, AND THEY ALL APPROVED IT. HE HAD BEEN WORKING ON IT WHEN I CAME. I OFFERED HIM MY SERVICES, AND HE PRETTY WELL TURNED THE TRAILS OVER TO US. WE'VE GOT ABOUT SEVEN MILES OF MOUNTAIN BIKING AND HIKING TRAILS NOW. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO RIDE BICYCLES, GEOCACHING, ROCK CLIMBING, AS YOU KNOW, FISHING, HIKING. IT'S JUST A WONDERFUL AREA FOR -- MY MAIN PRIORITY, WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO HERE IS MAKE THIS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY AREA, KEEP THE TRAILS CLEAN, KEEP ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OFF OF THEM, MAKE IT A GOOD, FUN PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO BRING THEIR FAMILY. 

I STARTED TO COME OUT TO THIS LAKE ABOUT 17, 18 YEARS AGO, AND IT HAS AWESOME QUALITY ROCKS. YOU KNOW, A ROCK IS NOT NECESSARILY A ROCK. IT IS MUCH DIFFERENT DEPTH OF SAND STONE, QUALITY OF CLIMBIN CLIMBING. THE ROCK AROUND THIS LAKE IS A VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF QUALITY CLIMBING, SO IT'S IDEAL FOR THE VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF QUALITY CLIMBING, SO IT'S IDEAL FOR THE CLIMBER. 

CLIMBING WITH A BASIC TRAINING COULDN'T BE SAFER. I MEAN, LOOK AT ME. I'VE TAKEN ENGINEERING AND PHYSICS IN COLLEGE, AND I REALLY RESPECT DYNAMICS, AND I'M MORE AFRAID OF SKATEBOARDS, FAST-MOVING BASEBALLS, THINGS LIKE THAT THAT I CAN'T CONTROL THAT MAY TAKE THE TOP OF MY HEAD OFF OR BREAK MY ANKLE. CLIMBING IS A MUCH MORE STATIC SPORT. IT'S MORE THINKING, IT'S MUCH MORE LIKE BALLET, MORE LIKE A DANCE. IT'S VERY -- MOST OF THE KIDS THAT ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED IN CLIMBING ARE EXTREME HEALTHY SPECIMENS PHYSICALLY. THEY'RE TIGHT. 

JUDGING BY YOU, YOU ARE APPROACHING 65, I'D SAY. 

I HAVE TURNED MY LATEST LANDMARK -- I WAS TELLING EVERYBODY. AT MY AGE, YOU DON'T GET MANY CORNERS TO GO AROUND THAT ARE GOOD. I'VE GOT A PERMANENT FISHING LICENSE NOW. THAT'S MY LATEST. I'M ALSO A GREAT-GRANDPA. I'M ALSO A GREAT-GRANDPA.

BECAUSE OF THE VARIETY OF BLUFFS AND THE ABUNDANCE OF GOOD CLIMBING ROCK, LINCOLN LAKE HAS, INDEED, BECOME A POPULAR DESTINATION POINT WITH LAKE HAS, INDEED, BECOME A POPULAR DESTINATION POINT WITH AREA CLIMBERS. 

AS A SENIOR AT THE U OF A, I STARTED CLIMBING SOPHOMORE, I GUESS, SO I HAD THREE YEARS TO KIND OF EXPLORE. IT'S REALLY GOOD CLIMBING OUT HERE. IT'S NICE BECAUSE IT'S LIKE 30, 45-MINUTE DRIVE AWAY FROM SCHOOL, SOW DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE GYM OR ANYTHING. YOU CAN COME OUT HERE, AND IT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL TO GET AWAY. ALSO, THERE'S OTHER OPPORTUNITIES ALL OVER NORTHWEST ARKANSAS. THERE'S LOTS OF OUTDOOR CLIMBING. THERE'S HORSESHUH RANCH, CAVE CREEK, IT'S REALLY FUN TO GET AWAY. IT'S NOT THAT FAR. 

THIS WHOLE SECTION OF THE STATE IS KIND OF A ROCK CLIM CLIMBER'S MECCA HERE. 

UH-HUH. IT IS. IT'S AWESOME. IT IS. IT'S AWESOME. IT'S PERFECT OPPORTUNITY. 

SO GRAB YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKE AND YOUR CLIMBING SHOES AND EXPLORE LINCOLN LAKE NEAR AND YOUR CLIMBING SHOES AND EXPLORE LINCOLN LAKE NEAR FAYETTEVILLE. THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER, AMERICA'S FIRST NATIONAL RIVER, AND ARKANSAS, THE NATURAL STATE, CAN RIGHTFULLY LAY CLAIM TO IT. ITS BEAUTY IS UNSURPASSED. YOU SEE, THIS RIVER REMAINS THE SAME AS EARLY EXPLORERS FIRST SAW IT SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO. COME ALONG WITH US, AND WE'LL SHOW YOU WHY THE BUFFALO IS FIRST AND FOREMOST AMERICA'S RIVER. THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER IS 135 MILES OF PRISTINE, PROTEC THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER IS 135 MILES OF PRISTINE, PROTEC PROTECTED PARADISE. DESIGNATED BY CONGRESS IN 1972 AS AMERICA'S FIRST NATIONAL RIVER, IT'S ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING PURE, FREE-FLOWING STREAMS WHICH HAS NOT BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED BY INDUSTRY OR MAN IN THE LOWER 48 STATES. STATES. MANY PEOPLE PLAYED A ROLE IN SAVING THIS RIVER. IN THE BEGINNING, THE LATE DOCTOR NEAL COMPTON OF BENTONVILLE PRACTICALLY LED A ONE-MAN CRUSADE TO KEEP IT FROM BEING DAMMED UP. FINALLY, IT WAS CONGRESSMAN JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT FROM HARRISON WHO INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO SAVE THE BUFFALO AS A FREE-FLOWING STREAM. 

I HAD TO TRY -- AFTER I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO LEAVE THE BUFFALO A FREE-FLOWING STREAM AND THAT I HAD TO DEVELOP A POLITICAL BASE FOR THAT THAT WAS STRONGER THAN THE OPPONENTS. I THINK IT'S BEEN A GREAT THING, AND EVEN TODAY, PEOPLE THAT WERE STRONGLY OPPOSED, THEY'VE BEEN RELOCATED, REESTABLISHED THEIR LIVES, I THINK THEY, TOO, THINK IT WAS PROBABLY A GOOD THING. WE'RE BLESSED TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. IT'S BEEN A BIG PART OF MY LIFE SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID. I FISHED ON IT AND LEARNED HOW TO CANOE ON IT AND LEARNED ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF, YOU KNOW, HIKING AND NATURE, THE WILDLIFE, AND I WAS PRETTY FORTUNATE. I WAS A BOY SCOUT GROWING UP, SO I SPENT A LOT OF TIME AROUND CAMP ORR IN THE UPPER PART OF THE RIVER. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE SECTION HERE. THIS IS SKULL BLUFF. I'M JUST VERY FORTUNATE TO BE HERE AS LONG AS I HAVE. I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO LIVE WITHOUT IT, SO IT'S HARD FOR ME TO REALLY TELL YOU MUCH OF AN OPINION BECAUSE I'VE NEVER HAD TO LIVE WITHOUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I'VE BEEN BLESSED, I WILL SAY THIS. I'VE BEEN BLESSED, I WILL SAY THAT. 

TO REALLY EXPERIENCE THIS RIVER, YOU'VE GOT TO FLOAT IT, EITHER BY JOHNBOAT, CANOE, KAYAK, RAFT, OR WHATEVER. JUST FLOAT IT. BECAUSE ONLY THEN WILL YOU JUST FLOAT IT. BECAUSE ONLY THEN WILL YOU TRULY BECOME A PART OF IT. THIS PARTICULAR DAY, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF OUR OUTFITTE OUTFITTER, WE OPTED TO GET AROUND IN A JOHNBOAT TO COVER MORE SCENIC MILES IN A SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME. 

THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT IF YOU JUST WANT TO SIGHTSEE AND CHECK EVERYTHING OUT, JUST TO GET THE BOAT AND RUN UPSTREAM WHEN THE RIVER'S GOOD. BY CANOE, I THINK FROM MOUNT HERSEY TO WOOL LUM, IT'S ABOUT NINE MILES. IT'S A FAIR DAY. IT'S A LONG SHUTTLE IS WHAT THE BIGGEST PART IS. IT JUST TAKES A WHILE TO GET FROM ONE ACCESS AREA TO THE NEXT BECAUSE THEY'RE SO REMOTE. BUT THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO PRETTY IS THAT IT'S THE MOST REMOTE PART OF ARKANSAS. 

AND IF TIME REALLY ISN'T OF ANY GREAT CONCERN, YOU CAN DO THE FULL-BLOWN RIVER JOURNEY OF TEN DAYS OR MORE. 

WE DO GET A FEW AVID ADVENTURERS THAT LIKE TO GO AND DO THE WHOLE RIVER. WE GET A FEW A YEAR. BUT WE DON'T HAVE AS MANY AS IT USED TO GET. IT SEEMS LIKE MOST PEOPLE ARE DAY FLOATERS AND HIKERS. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE STARTED TO COME UP TO HIKE. AND KAYAKING HAS GOTTEN REAL POPULAR, TOO, ON THE BUFFALO. IT SEEMS THAT PEOPLE CAN COVER A LOT MORE MILEAGE IN A KAYAK THAN THEY CAN IN A CANOE, SO PEOPLE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN TRYING TO SEE MORE  -- SEE AS MUCH OF THE RIVER AS THEY CAN AT ONE POINT IN TIME, SO THEY LIKE TO COME UP, GET IN THE KAYAK, TAKE A LONGER STROLL, AND REALLY ENJOY THE SERENITY BECAUSE YOU CAN GET AWAY FROM THE CROWD IN A KAYAK BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SUCH LONGER STRETCHES THAT YOU CAN GET WHAT FEELS LIKE THE RIVER ALL TO STRETCHES THAT YOU CAN GET WHAT FEELS LIKE THE RIVER ALL TO YOURSELF. 

WHATEVER YOU DECIDE ON, IT'S A WISE CHOICE TO GET WITH ONE OF THE RIVER OUTFITTERS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'VE NEVER BEEN ON THE RIVER BEFORE. MANY OF THEM GREW UP ON THIS RIVER, LIKE BENN MILBURN, AND KNOW IT LIKE THE BACK OF THEIR HAND. 

I GET ASKED A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT WHICH PART OF THE RIVER IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SECTION OF THE RIVER, AND I HAVE TO TELL EVERYBODY THAT THERE'S NOT ONE SECTION ANY PRETTIER THAN THE REST. IT'S ALL BEAUTIFUL. SO IT'S TOUGH TO -- YOU KNOW, IT'S TOUGH TO SAY WHAT'S BETTER THAN THE NEXT. IT'S TOUGH TO SAY WHAT'S BETTER THAN THE NEXT. IT'S ALL PRETTY GOOD. I'VE HAD GUYS FROM LOUISIANA COME UP, AND THEY'RE USED TO MUDDY RIVERS, AND THEY THINK THE RIVER IS A LOT SHALLOWER THAN IT IS. I'VE SEEN THEM STEP OFF IN FOUR OR FIVE-FOOT-DEEP HOLES OF WATER, THINKING THAT IT'S ANKLE DEEP, AND GO FOR A SWIM, WHICH IS -- THAT'S PRETTY AMUSING WHEN YOU SEE SOMEBODY DO THAT, BUT EVERYBODY HAS ABOUT THE SAME -- YOU KNOW, THEY ALL HAVE ABOUT THE SAME RESPONSE. THEY'RE AMAZED AT HOW PRETTY THE RIVER IS, AND THEY ALL WANT TO COME BACK AND SEE MORE OF IT BECAUSE YOU CAN'T EVER GET ENOUGH OF IT. I'VE LIVED HERE MY ENTIRE ENOUGH AND STILL HAVEN'T GOT I'VE LIVED HERE MY ENTIRE ENOUGH AND STILL HAVEN'T GOT TOO MUCH OF IT. 

BUT THE RIVER IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF WHAT THE ENTIRE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER AREA IS ALL ABOUT. THIS RIVER HAS PROVIDED FOR THE LIVELIHOOD OF MANY PREVIOUS GENERATIONS, AND THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN APPRECIATE THAT ASPECT IS TO VISIT ONE OF THE RESTORED HOMESTEADS ALONG THE BUFFALO, SUCH AS THE COLLIER HOMESTEAD NEAR THE TYLER BEND VISITOR'S CENTER IN THE MIDDLE PORTION. THE COLLIERS CAME HERE FROM KENTUCKY DURING THE EARLY 1930 1930s. THEIRS WAS A SUBSISTENCE FARM, AS MANY WERE BACK THEN. IT WAS A HARD LIVING, BUT TO THEM, A GOOD LIVING. BEHIND THE HOMESTEAD, A QUARTER MILE-LONG TRAIL WILL LEAD YOU TO TWO SPECTACULAR OVERLOOKS OF MILE-LONG TRAIL WILL LEAD YOU TO TWO SPECTACULAR OVERLOOKS OF THE RIVER. IN THE UPPER PORTION, NEAR PONCA, YOU CAN EXPLORE LOST VALLEY, WHICH IS MORE OF A RAVINE OR GORGE. FIRST PHOTOGRAPHED BY A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER IN 1945, THIS AREA BECAME KNOWN AFTER THAT AS LOST VALLEY. THIS EASY TO MODERATE ONE-MILE HIKE WILL TAKE YOU ALONG TOWERING CLIFFS AND SEVERAL WATERFALLS, WITH EDEN FALLS BEING THE MOST IMPRESSIVE. THERE'S ALSO COBB CAVE, WHICH IS A LARGE NATIVE AMERICAN BLUFF SHELTER. AND AT THE END OF THE TRAIL, THERE'S ANOTHER SMALLER CAVE YOU CAN EXPLORE WITH AN UNDERGROUND WATERFALL. JUST BE SURE AND BRING ALONG AT LEAST TWO LIGHT SOURCES. ALSO IN THE PONCA AREA ALONG BOXLEY VALLEY, YOU CAN SEE ALL THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK THAT WERE BROUGHT INTO THE STATE DURING THE 1980s. EASTERN ELK WERE NATIVE TO THE BUFFALO RIVER AREA BUT VANISHED BY THE 1840s AND ARE NOW EXTINCT. PROBABLY THE MOST RUGGED AND DIFFICULT AREA TO GET THROUGH AND THE MOST TREACHEROUS IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL OR PREPARED IS ALONG INDIAN CREEK CANYON SOUTH OF KYLES LANDING. THE FIVE-MILE OR SO TRAIL, IF YOU CAN FOLLOW IT, WILL TAKE YOU INTO SOME OF THE MOST UNTOUCHED WILDERNESS IN THIS SECTION OF THE COUNTRY. BUT IT IS RECOMMENDED FOR EXPERIENCED HIKERS ONLY. THERE ARE WATERFALLS GALORE THROUGHOUT THIS REGION, WITH UNIQUE ROCK FORMATIONS SUCH AS THROUGHOUT THIS REGION, WITH UNIQUE ROCK FORMATIONS SUCH AS THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE. ALONG THE LOWER PORTION OF THE RIVER, YOU CAN VISIT THE OLD ZINC MINING TOWN OF RUSH OR WHAT'S LEFT OF IT. IT NOW REMAINS AS THE ONLY GHOST TOWN IN THE NATION THAT'S PROTECTED BY THE FEDERAL GHOST TOWN IN THE NATION THAT'S PROTECTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. FOR THE MOST AWESOME AND MOST SPECTACULAR SCENERY ALONG THE BUFFALO, THERE ARE TWO AREAS IN THE UPPER PORTION OF THE RIVER THAT ARE A MUST-SEE. FIRST, HEMMED-IN HOLLOW FALLS, AT 220 FEET, IT'S ACTUALLY THE TALLEST WATERFALL IN MID-AMERICA BETWEEN THE ROCKIES AND THE APPALACHIAN. THERE'S A TWO.5-MILE TRAIL THAT LEADS TO IT, VERY STRENUOUS, THOUGH, SO THE EASIEST WOULD BE TO FLOAT THE RIVER AND THEN TAKE ANOTHER TRAIL FROM THE RIVER, WHICH IS ONLY ABOUT A 3 TAKE ANOTHER TRAIL FROM THE RIVER, WHICH IS ONLY ABOUT A 3 30-MINUTE HIKE. AND FINALLY, WE COME TO THE GOAT TRAIL ALONG 500-FOOT-TALL BIG BLUFF. THE SCENERY HERE WILL JUST LITERALLY TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY AS YOU HIKE ALONG A TRAIL THAT GOATS DID, INDEED, USE YEARS AGO FROM A NEARBY HOMESTEAD. TAKING IN THE SIGHTS HERE, YOU QUICKLY BEGIN TO REALIZE WHY IT WAS SO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO SAVE THE BUFFALO RIVER REGION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. 

IT REALLY IS A TREASURE OF AMERICA. IT IS. IT IS. EVERYBODY SHOULD COME SEE IT AT IT IS. EVERYBODY SHOULD COME SEE IT AT LEAST ONCE. 

SO YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO EXPLORE WHAT MANY OTHER STATES ONLY WISH THEY HAD, A NATIONAL RIVER. PLEASE DON'T PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY FOR AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY BACK TO FRONTIER AMERICA ON THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER. AND FOR MORE ON THIS DESTINATION PLUS MANY OF OUR OTHERS AND TO VIEW OUR MAPS OR TO ORDER A COPY OF AN EPISODE, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, AETN.OR AETN.ORG/EXPLORINGARKANSAS. AND WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN THE NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON EXPLORING NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON EXPLORING ARKANSAS.

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