The Buffalo National River is still open to paddling enthusiasts and alpinists. However, some of the amenities and facilities around the river are shut down.
Following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities in consultation with NPS Public Health Service Officers, there are temporary facility closures in place at the Buffalo National River. These closures are listed below, and any updates will be posted to the park website and social media channels.
Visitors may continue to enjoy trails, the Buffalo River and the open space areas of the park. The health and safety of staff and visitors is the number one priority. The park service is working with the NPS Office of Public Health and the US Public Health Service to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. In the meantime, they will continue to remind visitors to follow the CDC’s guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including maintaining social distancing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and staying home if you feel sick. Visitors can be assured that national parks continue to maintain high standards related to the health and wellness of staff and visitors.
• Tyler Bend Visitor Center
• Buffalo Point Visitor Contact Station
• Steel Creek Visitor Contact Station
• Buffalo National River Headquarters Office
• Group campsites throughout the park
• Pavilions throughout the park
• Volunteer service groups of more than 10 people
• Educational and interpretive programming
• The banks of the Buffalo River downstream from the Pruitt Bridge to the edge of the cleared construction area are closed. Hwy. 7 and the bridge are open as usual. The river and trails are open to thru paddlers, hikers and horse riders.
• Compton-Erbie Road (NC 2700) is closed for construction between the Hideout Hollow Trailhead and Erbie Horse Camp. The river crossing on the Erbie Campground Road (NC 2500) and the Cove Creek crossing on NC 2900 are closed for construction. Project completion is projected in the spring.
• The pavilion at the Ozark Campground is closed. Severe storms in early January shifted and destabilized the structure, weakening support posts and causing the pavilion to lean. Park maintenance staff began repairs in late January.
• Due to a maintenance issue, the Ozark Campground will not have flush toilets or drinking water available. Services will be restored as soon as possible.
• Due to visitor safety concerns associated with stream bank erosion and bridge construction, the Mill Creek Trail at Pruitt Landing is closed until further notice.
• Arkansas Agriculture Department’s State Plant Board (ASPB) has approved a statewide quarantine which covers firewood of all hardwood species. Please do not transport firewood to the Buffalo National River. Campers may use dead and down firewood around the campground. Some outfitters and local businesses will sell local firewood.
Staff will attempt to keep parking lots, open spaces, and trails open, provided no additional public health issues arise.
Visitors are encouraged to “pack it in and pack it out” as trash pickup and park staffing will be limited.
Call the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at (870) 439-2502 for updates and more information.