Over Spring Break, my family took a “social distancing” trip to Buffalo National River. Buffalo National River is a very underrated and under-commercialized area. I did not find many travel tips while planning my trip, so I decided to write this post to help those who came after me. We had to bring most of our food to our cabin and hiking snacks for the kids. Here are five activities for families in Buffalo National River, Arkansas, and some tips to know before visiting the area.
National Buffalo River is in Northern Arkansas, about an hour east of Fayetteville. It is a gorgeous area! But it’s not very commercialized- which is a good thing, but proper planning is needed especially when traveling with kids. We mapped out all of the hikes we wanted to go on before deciding where to stay.
Here are some tips to consider before visiting Buffalo National River.
1. Plan out Hikes in advance. I like to plan out hikes for our family on the app All Trails. If you’re hiking with small kids, I suggest looking for “pet-friendly” hikes. That will help tell you if a walk is appropriate for a small child.
2. Keep your eye on the weather- If the Buffalo river is too high, the canoeing companies won’t let people float on the river. Some hikes might also be too wet. Plan your activities accordingly.
3. Plan on driving between spots- Buffalo National River is over 100 miles long. It takes time to drive between the popular spots.
4. Bring your food and snacks- There are not many stores and restaurants in the area. I suggest packing food for sandwiches breakfast and bringing plenty of snacks.
Buffalo River, although beautiful, had a lot of hikes not appropriate for small kids. Here are some fun, kid-friendly activities.
Five Fun Activities to do with kids in Buffalo River
- Hike Lost Valley- Lost Valley is the most popular hike in the State of Arkansas, and you’ll see why when you hike it. There are multiple waterfalls to see. This hike holds various skill levels, and you can walk as little or as much of it and still see waterfalls. This is a heavily trafficked trail and worth it.
Hike Tyler Bend – Tyler Bend Visitor Center is a neat area. We spent almost a whole day here. We hiked and picnicked. We had a great view of the river. There are some fantastic views on this hike!
Tour Mystic Caverns- We did a Cave Tour in Harrison. There are two caves at this site, and prepare yourselves for a fascinating historical tour.
Float the Buffalo River- The National Park approves many canoe services.
Catch your Supper– In Harrison, you can visit an Italian Restaurant and Trout Farm. You fish, and they will cook up your fish for you!