Education

thoughts written by student after spending A Day by the Buffalo
Students discover many interesting and valuable ideas during A Day by the Buffalo.
 

The National Park Service offers many educational opportunities for students to experience the natural and cultural history of Buffalo National River. Park Rangers provide a variety of park interpretative programs. Rangers are available for classroom visits and presentations about the river, its inhabitants, and the National Park Service.

If you would like a ranger to come to your classroom or assist you with a field trip that is not part of the Day by the Buffalo curriculum, please call the area you would like to visit.
Steel Creek Contact Station, Upper District 870-861-2570
Tyler Bend Visitor Center, Middle District 870-439-2502
Buffalo Point Contact Station, Lower District 870-449-4311

Curriculum-Based Education Program

Wouldn't it be great if you could incorporate lessons from the classroom into a real world, hands-on experience? You can! Buffalo National River has a curriculum-based program aligned with the Arkansas Standards called A Day By the Buffalo. The teacher's guide is available upon request at e-mail us. For brief descriptions of our most popular programs scroll down.

We encourage you to review your curriculum schedules and include A Day by the Buffalo programming throughout the school year whenever you are teaching the appropriate concepts.

Reservations for Day by the Buffalo programs are accepted all year. Information and forms are sent to principals and teachers each fall as a reminder. Information and reservation forms may be requested at e-mail us. All reservations are first come first served.

 
photo of 4 students in foreground viewing and taking pictures of waterfall in background
4th grade Students from Huntsville Intermediate School at natural bridge during Lost Valley Hike for Day by the Buffalo field trip.

NPS photo

Upper River (Boxley Valley/Ponca area)

1. At The Water’s Edge
The Buffalo River teems with life. Investigate this habitat through first-hand exploration. The plentiful macroinvertebrates found in the underwater world reveal the quality of the water found within their environment. Students can use this knowledge in other streams they might explore.

2. Lost Valley Hike

The power of water continually cuts, carves and influences the ecology of an area. Hiking the box canyon of Lost Valley will offer students the chance to see, hear, and smell the ever changing landscape.

3. Beaver Jim’s Cabin

The Ozark’s earliest settlers were a determined and independent lot. A scavenger hunt and exploration of the James A. Villines cabin and grounds introduces students to the pioneering ways used to settle what was the most rugged and isolated pocket of the Ozarks.

4. Boxley Mill Tour

The first Boxley Mill was built in the 1840’s and later it was replaced by a larger mill in 1870. Three generations of the Villines family ran the mill until 1950. Tour the first floor of the mill and learn the importance of this historic place to the Boxley area.

 
color photo of blond boy walking up onto porch of cabin
Young boy entering the main room of the Collier Homestead Cabin located at Tyler Bend, Buffalo National River.

NPS photo

1. At The Water’s Edge
The Buffalo River teems with life. Investigate this habitat through first-hand exploration. The plentiful macroinvertebrates found in the underwater world reveal the quality of the water found within their environment. Students can use this knowledge in other streams they might explore.

2. Collier Homestead Tour (This program is wheelchair accessible, although assistance is required.)

Change came slow to the rugged Ozark Mountains. A tour of the Collier house and grounds -- one of the last places to be homesteaded in the Buffalo River Valley -- gives students insights to the things they have in common with their ancestors. (This program can be modified to include an extra mile of hiking. The trail is not an accessible trail.)

 
color photo of children in the space under a bluff where native people would shelter
Five students in bluff shelter known as Indian Rockhouse. Archeological evidence found here indicates this area was used by native people as they traveled through the Buffalo River area.

NPS photo

Lower River (Buffalo Point) Yellville/Flippin area

1. At The Water’s Edge
The Buffalo River teems with life. Investigate this habitat through first-hand exploration. The plentiful macroinvertebrates found in the underwater world reveal the quality of the water found within their environment. Students can use this knowledge in other streams they might explore.

2. Overlook Hike

The Ozarks have been called a biological crossroads, where species from the north mingle with those from the south and the southwest. On this hike, overlooking the river valley, students explore different environments and meet some of these interesting inhabitants.

3. The Indian Rockhouse

(This program requires a minimum of four hours to complete. If selected, it will be the only activity available for the day.)

A moderately strenuous 3.5 -mile hike to this massive bluff shelter gives the students an opportunity for an in-depth look at the Ozark environment and how humans have used the plants, animals and physical features of this land to survive. The group will hike to the Rockhouse, rest and eat lunch, and then return to the trailhead.


Lower River (Rush) Yellville/Flippin area

(Due to road conditions, this program is not recommended for schools travelling in busses larger than the standard school bus.)

1. At The Water’s Edge
The Buffalo River teems with life. Investigate this habitat through first-hand exploration. The plentiful macroinvertebrates found in the underwater world reveal the quality of the water found within their environment. Students can use this knowledge in other streams they might explore.

2. Rush, The Ghost Town

Rush was once the largest town in northern Arkansas. Today it stands deserted, but can still tell a story of its boom days as a zinc mining center. Students explore the remains of Rush on a short hike in the Morning Star area to learn about the "town that zinc built."

Last updated: December 11, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601

Phone:

(870) 439-2502

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