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Backpacker Magazine – Online Only
A meandering river and towering cliffs make this the perfect early winter spot
Mid November, along the Buffalo River, isn't too hard to take. Afternoon highs average sixty degrees, near idyllic for hiking, and falling leaves broaden vistas of the Buffalo's limestone and sandstone bluffs. It's a fine time to trek the Buffalo River Trail, linger on the overlooks, scan the river for carousing otters and listen to coyotes and owls as dusk falls. A 26-mile stretch of trail from Ponca to Pruitt delivers the goods, and offers a tempting detour. If river water levels allow a ford at Horseshoe Bend, don't miss the six-mile roundtrip to Hemmed-in Hol's 200-foot high waterfall.
Buffalo National River, (870) 439-2502, www.nps.gov/buff