By 1860, a few thousand homesteaders had built a life in the Buffalo River Valley’s limestone hills and fertile bottomlands, but 150 years later, the abandoned area feels like a ghost town. Wander the remnants of their lost civilization on this 13-mile shuttle hike past forgotten farms and three of the area’s 40 cemeteries. From Kyles Landing, ascend a 500-foot river bluff en route to 155-year-old Cherry Grove cemetery at mile 5.1, a shady, hilltop repose for 168 souls. Continue 2.1 miles to riverside Erbie Campground (walk-up sites, free November to March). Day two, parallel the river two miles to the intimate, 18-grave Adair family plot, then two more to half-acre Brown cemetery, where a family of children rests. Follow the river1.9 miles to your car at Ozark. (870-439- 2502, nps.gov/buff)
-Text by Sarah L. Stewart. Mapped by Charlie Williams, ouachitamaps.com
- Distance: 20.7
Location: 36.05531, -93.28105
Start at Kyle’s Landing, a canoe launch, developed campground, picnic area and trailhead. Drinking water and flush toilets available Apr-Oct.
Location: 36.050155, -93.273696
Cross County Road 256
Location: 36.054487, -93.255147
Cross Camp Orr Road
Location: 36.072579, -93.234327
Cherry Grove Cemetery
Location: 36.071519, -93.223041
Parker-Hickman Farmstead. When the Buffalo National River was designated, the National Park Service acquired most of the private property within the boundary. The Parker-Hickman log house was the oldest building, built in the late 1840’s. In a peaceful setting, there is a main house (that is empty but open) and several out-buildings.
Location: 36.070014, -93.210021
T junction. Turn left (west) to Erbie Campground.
Location: 36.070442, -93.212214
Erbie Campground has river access, car camping, walk-in campsites, picnic tables, fire grates, drinking water, and toilets.
Location: 36.065292, -93.195395
Location: 36.05533, -93.178005
Cedar Grove Picnic Area
Location: 36.063252, -93.160878
Ozark recreation area