A message from Ken Smith:

In spite of uncertainties as this is written in early January, volunteers are to resume work on the Buffalo River Hiking Trail the middle of March.

Presently volunteers cannot work within the 5.5-mile middle section of the trail. In that section a tract of private land sits astride the trail route. Efforts are underway to acquire the tract for the National Park Service. If the tract is not acquired by mid-March (and that’s a very tight deadline), volunteers this Spring can work elsewhere

“Elsewhere” means completing short stretches of unfinished trail along the remainder of the entire 28-mile project. This work also needs to be done, and volunteers would see many interesting parts of the trail.

Whatever happens, volunteers have only about 2-1/2 miles left to complete all they can do in building the trail. Beyond that, a Park Service trail crew will need to install flights of rock steps, then develop parking spaces at trailheads, and finally install directional signs.

College students from Texas State University are to build trail during the week of March 15 – 21. Students from the University of Illinois will work the week of March 22 – 28, and students from the University of Central Arkansas, March 26 – 27. “Alumni” volunteers with previous work experience will work the week of March 29 – April 4.

We plan to set up camp at the group campsites at Tyler Bend on March 12 and close the camp on April 6. During that period, anyone wanting to work on the trail can camp there free of charge. (“Drop-ins” need to bring their own food.)  For further information contact Ken Smith by phone (479-466-7994) or by e-mail (kennethsmithd616@yahoo.com).