PONCA, Ark. (News release) – After much anticipation among wildflower enthusiasts, waterfall hunters, and hikers this spring, the new and improved Lost Valley Area of Buffalo National River will reopen on Thursday, April 18.
Lost Valley closed in early December so that contractors could begin a major improvement project to mitigate flood potential and address visitor safety and area accessibility.
During the closure, the Lost Valley entrance road was rerouted and a new parking area constructed outside of the immediate flood zone of Clark Creek. This relocation is expected to reduce sedimentation of Clark Creek during heavy rain events, which will improve water quality in the Buffalo River less than a mile downstream.
Other new additions include an Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)-compliant parking area, trail, and access road. These features will make the Lost Valley experience more accessible for visitors of all abilities.
Buffalo National River will offer a ranger-guided hike at Lost Valley on Saturday, April 20, to celebrate the grand reopening. Participants can meet at the trailhead in the new parking lot at 1 p.m. Pets are not permitted on the Lost Valley Trail, but pet-friendly alternatives can be found on the park website at www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/pets.htm