Buffalo National River cleaning up for visitors

HARRISON, Ark. (KTHV) - Last weekend's flood event deposited the usual limbs, leaves, and muck over all the river access sites, roads, and trails near the Buffalo River.

Although it was bad, it could have been much worse if preparations had not been taken to remove sensitive elements from the path of the flood waters.  

The launches and crossings are still being evaluated as the waters recede: repairs will be prioritized based on equipment and labor availability. 

Lost Valley is open to the public. There are several areas with damage along the lower half of the trail.  The upper end has very minor damage.

The trail is currently open but the park will need to schedule a temporary closure for to repair the trail when time and labor allow. Elsewhere in the Upper District crews are repairing roads and replacing missing culverts.  They are also assisting Newton County in a repair of the Mill Creek crossing on the Pruitt-Yardell road. 

Tyler Bend Campground is open although the Middle District crew will be finishing up minor repairs and preparing the launch trail for the Special Olympics event scheduled for this Friday morning. For current conditions at Tyler Bend and elsewhere in the park call 870/439-2502.

Buffalo Point Campground is closed today, May 2nd, but it is anticipated that it will be back in service the morning of Wednesday, May 3rd. For an updated on the campground please call (870) 449-4311.

The search for the missing canoeist last seen Wednesday, April 26 near Kyles Landing has been scaled back to a single boat which is still finding articles of clothing and gear from the two canoes overturned that day. 

As things calm down, park staff are sharing stories of picnic tables in trees, high sand piles at river access sites, and some close calls.

One set of kayakers was talked out of putting on the river at the onset of the heavy rains and later thanked the ranger for convincing them to stay off the river.

Clark Creek at Lost Valley was reported to have gone from ankle-high to waist deep in the space of a half hour on Saturday afternoon as rangers assisted hikers crossing the stream. 

Please report any accidents, missing persons, or unsafe conditions to park dispatch at (888) 692-1162.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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