After a grueling drive through the entire state of Kansas and spending 2 nights outside of Kansas City, MO, we were ready to get back in the woods. Since the Buffalo River, which is nestled in the Arkansas Ozarks, had been recommended to us by a couple of people, we decided to make a slight detour away from Atlanta to check it out. We’re sure glad we did.
Buffalo National River offers camping, hiking, and 120 river miles of unspoiled wilderness. This wilderness area is especially unique since its location allows plant and animal species of the Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast to coexist together.
After spending the first day hiking to a nice river overlook, we spent the next two days paddling different sections of the river for a total of 14 miles accessed right from our campsite. The river is clear and unpolluted, with high bluffs framing its banks and long stretches of sandy bottom — perfect for our crew. The weather was unseasonably warm and hit 90 degrees while we were there so we took every opportunity to get wet. Fortunately, the Buffalo River offered both deep swimming holes for rock jumping and plenty of slow, shallow spots for the kids to practice their swimming.
This area was previously unknown to us but being only 9 hours from ATL and offering another 106 miles of river to be paddled, we will definitely be back.
After a 4 day stint in the Mississippi Delta, we headed northwest to Little Rock, AR to visit our friends Campbell and Mary Claire. The rain seemed to follow us from Mississippi so we started off our tour of Little Rock with a trip to the Arkansas Museum of Discovery, which was a great interactive science museum for the kids. We killed a whole day there and still did not exhaust all the museum had to offer. CJ, who goes by the moniker of “Dr. Nancy” from time to time, was particularly enamored with the imaginative play offered by the museum’s model veterinary hospital.
Once the weather improved, we took a hike to the top of Pinnacle Mountain, which was located just a short drive from downtown Little Rock. It wasn’t the biggest mountain in the world, but it did require a lot of bouldering/scampering which was a lot of fun for Liam and CJ and their new friends Analise and Emmaline.
We also took a few urban hikes and were really impressed with the series of parks along the Arkansas River that were linked by several pedestrian paths including the longest pedestrian only bridge in the world (Big Dam Bridge). The trails were a great asset to the city and it was nice to see that they were heavily trafficked. A big thank you to our hosts who graciously opened their home to us and to their sweet girls who Liam and CJ took such a shine to.
Liam and Cora Jean posing outside the H. Clinton Children’s Library
CJ and Emmaline enjoying the view over the AK River
Liam and Analise really hit it off, L was happy to have a buddy
Hiking buddies – these two tore up the trail
Playing at the Discovery Museum
Testing out their on camera skills
Dr. Nancy diligently checking her patients
Liam loved all the building toys
A star is born
Dr. Nancy is all business.