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6/21/2012
  The Lower Buffalo Wilderness. Anyone heard of it?. It seems this Wilderness area isn't utilized much...except by horsemen...for there is sparse info available on the interior of this block of geography. Many times I have contemplated exploring here but could not make myself go...but now I was determined. I have been in the area before scouting for entry points and found the best way in to be from CR 6064 which starts out as Hwy 101 just west of Cotter or about 7 miles east of Yellville. There is a small pull-off parking area as noted on the map as my starting point. It was surprising to see that the trail going in was very well maintained by the assumed horse people that are assumed to frequent this place. I got there at 4:00 p.m. Thursday with the the gear needed to spend the night if the terrain was found to pleasing. It was not found to be particularly pleasing to me. The forest was mostly oaks and other hardwoods with pines intermingled to add some pineyness....no beeches that I could see....but the usual sprinkle of dead trees that are typically found in the Ozarks were also found here. There is not much of a population of rocks here...no boulders...hardly any exposed rock faces. The trails are on old road beds and are very rocky on slopes. Many deer were happened upon...at least 10. The Buffalo River was skirted but I was not thrilled with the whole experience so I never made it down to the rivers edge to check it out. This wilderness is just across the river from Leatherwood Wilderness but still feels completely different from Leatherwood. The mountains only peak out around 1100 feet and the distance to the valley floor is not dramatic. Creeks are mostly exposed bedrock with moderate gravel. These were mostly dry with occasional flow due to the many springs in the area. On one stretch of the trail there are numerous crossings that would be a hassle if full of water...for there are no rocks to leapfrog across. All in all I am glad to finally see a small part of this wilderness. There appears to be many trails and who knows...maybe other chunks are more exiting...and winter might be better, allowing views though the forest. Total miles in the loop hiked was near 11. Temp was in low 90's...sunny to partly cloudy. In by 4:00, out by 8:30. Many ticks crawling and many ticks attaching...which is to be expected. I took only one photo...below.

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