Buffalo National River makes top ten list

Friday, March 15, 2013

National Geographic has announced to the world what locals already know: Buffalo National River is one of the top ten under-appreciated parks in the United States.

In a new feature on their travel website, National Geographic describes some of the most distinctive features of the park, "This beautiful northwestern Arkansas stream was designated America's first official national river in 1972, after years of controversy pitting those who wanted to protect its crystal-clear water, lush forests, and spectacular bluffs against those who wanted the river dammed to form a sprawling reservoir. People who canoe or raft the 135-mile Ozark river today--the spring white water on the upper parts or the gentle flat water of its lower reaches--give thanks that the conservationists won. Three official wilderness areas along its length add to the "wild" quality of the river. At places like Steel Creek, sheer sandstone cliffs rise 400 feet from the water's edge, and all along the river are gravel bars for primitive camping, swimming holes for cooling off on a summer day, and rewarding hiking trails. There's even a ghost town on the lower river: Rush, where zinc was once mined. All in all, Buffalo National River preserves some of the finest scenery in the central United States, as well as one of the country's best float streams."

Superintendent Kevin Cheri expressed his full agreement with National Geographic's assessment of the Buffalo National River and added, "Buffalo National River is certainly one of the most beautiful riverways in the United States, maybe even the world. But it would be a mistake to not recognize the value that the local culture and history add to the visitor experience. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from at Buffalo River."

Additional information about Buffalo National River can be found on their website at www.nps.gov/buff.

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