The Ozark Plateau is a beautiful and rugged landscape with the free flowing Buffalo River to enjoy. Check out our Water, Bluffs and Caves page for some tips to enjoy your visit.
Animals and Plants
Animals in the park are wild. This is their home and you are the visitor. Observe wildlife from a safe distance. If an animal's behavior changes because you are there, you are too close to it.
Chiggers and Ticks are particularly numerous in the summer, but may be present all year. Stay on trails; avoid walking through thickets or tall grass, and use insect repellant. Snakes are found throughout the park and some are venomous including the Copperhead, Cottonmouth and Rattlesnake. Black Bears can usally be scared away with loud noise, but a mother with cubs will likely be aggressive. Elk can weigh in excess of 500 lbs. and bulls have sharp antlers. Trying to get a great selfie could be your last.
Please leave all wildlife alone. Feeding wildlife is dangerous to you and the animal. Animals that are fed by people learn to expect it and can become aggressive and bite. Our food is not appropriate for wildlife and can make them sick.
Plants in the park are not harmless landscaping. Some seeds and nuts are edible, some will make you sick. Know the difference before you eat wild plants. Poison Ivy is common in the park and may cause an allergic reaction in some people. It may be found at ground level, as a shrub or a vine climbing a tree. Leaves of Three – Let it be.If you touch any part of a poison ivy plant, wash with soap as soon as possible