Goat Trail

Backpacker - - The Survival Issue -

BUF­FALO NA­TIONAL RIVER, ARKANSAS

At 550 feet tall, Big Bluff is one of the tallest nat­u­ral fea­tures be­tween the Ap­palachian Moun­tains and the Rocky Moun­tains, serv­ing as a sort of ex­cla­ma­tion point in Mid­dle Amer­ica. The Goat Trail runs along its face, fol­low­ing a 5-foot-wide lip in the rock, hun­dreds of feet above the Buf­falo River. Get there near mile 2.5 of a 9.7mile loop. Fol­low the Cen­ter­point Trail east for 2.5 easy miles to the Goat Trail, where you’ll crawl through a nat­u­ral tun­nel (an “eye” in the rock) be­fore con­tin­u­ing onto the cliffy bit, which soars 350 feet above a per­fect U-bend in the Buf­falo. Glance down at the oaks and hick­o­ries (which turn in Oc­to­ber), then con­tinue ne­go­ti­at­ing the gnarled, old-growth ju­nipers sprout­ing out of the cliff face to the Old River Trail at mile 3.2. Fol­low it across the Buf­falo (camp here with a view of Big Bluff if you overnight) and west to the Chim­ney Rock Trail, which wends north to the trail­head.

Trail­head Cen­ter­point (36.0640, -93.3604) Sea­son Year-round, but Septem­ber to Novem­ber is best for cool temps and fall fo­liage. Per­mit None Contact nps.gov/buff

Hard­woods smother the Buf­falo River be­neath Big Bluff.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.