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Check out these Great Searcy County Attractions!

The Buffalo National River

1) The Buffalo National River

Searcy County is home to approximately 48 miles of America’s 1st National River! Clear, cool water, towering ridges and bluff lines, and miles of gravel and sand beaches await floaters, fishermen, campers, and sunbathers! The Buffalo National River, and tributary Richland Creek, are both National Wild and Scenic Rivers! Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, campgrounds, the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, elk viewing, bald eagles, swimming holes, and fishing for smallmouth bass await you in the Heart of the Buffalo National River! Gilbert, the coolest town in Arkansas, has the closest lodging to the Buffalo River! Great spots such as Skull Rock, aka the Bat House, the Nars, Shine Eye, and Red Bluff Overlook! The Buffalo National River has been designated the status of an International Dark Sky Park!


Buffalo National River

Buffalo Camping & Canoeing at the Gilbert General Store

Silver Hill Float Service

Crockett’s Buffalo River Canoe Rental in Harriet

Tyler Bend Visitor Center


Kenda Drive-in

2) Kenda Drive-In Movie Theater in Marshall

Arkansas’ only drive-in movie theater that is open year round, and one of only three drive-in’s left in the entire state! A fixture in Searcy County since 1966. Come see a double feature on the 72 foot wide screen! Movie audio is provided by either digital FM radio sound or traditional speakers. Admission is $6 for adults, ages 12 and up. Children under 12 are free with parents, unless otherwise specified. Throwback Thursdays in 2019 are April 25, May 30, June 27, July 25, and August 29! Free admission on Throwback Thursdays, great cars, full concession! Vintage cars only allowed to drive in (limited to 1980s and older vehicles) but anyone can walk in! Other special events also held in the warmer months.


Kenda Drive-In

Kenda Drive-in

3) The Richland Waterfalls Welcome Center

The Richland Waterfalls Welcome Center is a one-of-a-kind welcome center with a primary focus on the waterfalls of the Richland Creek Watershed! More than 30 waterfalls are featured by the welcome center. Richland Creek and tributaries, such as Falling Water Creek, traverse some of the most stunningly beautiful, rugged, and remote landscape in all of middle America! Most of the watershed is within the boundaries of the Ozark National Forest and drains to a northbound rendezvous with the Buffalo National River. The Richland Creek Wilderness contains 11,801 acres in the Ozark’s Boston Mountains. Wildlife such as Black Bear and Rocky Mountain Elk inhabit portions of the watershed. There are no official trails to any of the waterfalls, however the US Forest Service advises that you hike on existing unofficial trails. There is poor to nonexistent cell phone coverage in most areas. Please practice “Leave No Trace.”

Witts Springs is the gateway to the Richland Creek Wilderness of the Ozark National Forest! At approximately 1,900 feet in elevation, Witts Springs is a launching point for hiking the nearby Ozark Highlands Trail, experiencing the Richland Waterfalls Welcome Center, visiting a Civil War Historic Marker, horseback riding in the Ozark National Forest, following the Arkansas Quilt Trail, rock climbing at Stack Rock, area ATV rides, whitewater kayaking and waterfall photography along the Falling Water Creek and Richland Creek watersheds, hunting, camping at the Richland Creek Recreation Area & Campground, riding the Growl and Lasso and Lost Mine Run motorcycle routes, viewing the amazing naturally dark night skies, and cycling the Ozark Grinder Trail gravel grinder bicycle route! The annual Pedestal Rock road bike ride and Lick Fork gravel grind takes place here each October, as well as the 1,000+ mile Arkansas High Country Race, an epic bikepacking adventure race that transits the area each June! For more information,call the chamber of commerce at (870) 448-2557.

The welcome center is a collaborative project of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce and Witts Springs Community Voices. Special thanks is owed to Mr. Roger Harness, The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas, Flintrock Video Productions, Ozark Mountain Region, Mr. Rick Henry, Mr. Andrew Hendrix, Dana Treat Photography, and the US Forest Service.

There are also plenty of falls northeast of Marshall. East Maumee Falls is 67 Feet high along the Buffalo River Trail about one mile down trail from the South Maumee Trail Head. West Maumee Falls is a 53 Foot waterfall. Wet weather dependent. You can view an album of Searcy County falls here. 

Motorcycling Vacation

4) Great Motorcycle Roads

Thousands of riders every year tour our four-seasons Ozarks roads! The 57-mile Bear Creek Growl and the 64-mile Leslie Lasso are two routes that combine into one ride called the Growl-Lasso! The combined 121-mile ride takes in Marshall and the historic Searcy County Courthouse. The route also passes by the Kenda Drive-In, the only year-round drive-in movie theater in Arkansas! Leaving Marshall, the rider will see one of Arkansas’ most panoramic views as they look west toward Point Peter Mountain. Descending into the lush farmlands of the Bear Creek valley, the rider might see some wild elk! The trail motors through Snowball, gateway to the Richland Valley, the Ozark Highlands Trail, and horseback trailheads. Witts Springs offers a wonderful food stop in the higher regions of the Ozarks! The descent back toward Marshall is beautiful and passes an old wooden plank bridge across Bear Creek! Miles of bucolic farm country scenery!

The Leslie Lasso portion begins on State Highway 66, in the quaint Ozark Mountain town of Leslie, home to shops, parks, great restaurants, and a wood-fired brick oven bakery that produces old-world sourdough bread!


Travelling east from Leslie involves tackling a mountainous, 11 percent grade. After passing through Oxley, another wonderful food stop, the route descends into Stone County. At the community of Timbo, the route takes a left on State Highway 263. The scenic drive continues through the community of Onia and just to the west of the Ozark National Forest. At the town of Big Flat, the rider will turn left onto Highway 14. Here the Leslie Lasso re-enters Searcy County. The next eight miles twist and curve and transit the clear waters of Big Creek. In Harriet, the route follows State Highway 27 back toward Marshall passing by the South Maumee Road, which leads to hiking, canoe access, and a primitive campground on the Buffalo National River. Short of Marshall, the ride turns onto State Highway 74. This portion offers pastoral countryside with little traffic before intersecting once again with Highway 66 and returning to Leslie.


The Lost Mine Run enters Searcy County near both Pindall and Witts Springs. Both communities are wonderful food stops! The US Highway 65 portion offers more great food in St. Joe as well as the St. Joe M&NA Railroad Depot Museum! This scenic ride passes near the Buffalo River resort town of Gilbert and the National Park Visitor Center at Tyler Bend! 


The Push Mountain Road/Sylamore Scenic Byway transits Searcy County from Big Flat to the Highway 14 Bridge. Very scenic, crooked roads take you past horseback riding stables in Big Flat, a large Christian retreat, a canoe outfitter in Harriet, rental cabins, a wonderful food stop north of Harriet, and a great guest farm before descending down to the Buffalo National River! 

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5) World Class Hiking

The Ozark Highlands Trail has been noted as one of the top ten long distance hiking trails in the US by the Guardian! Also noted by Outside magazine as one of the World’s Seven Great Winter Backpacking Trips! Approximately 208 miles long from Lake Fort Smith State Park and across Searcy County to Dillard’s Ferry (Highway 14.) The Ozark Highlands Trail connects with the Buffalo River Trail and shares the trail. Other hiking opportunities at Gilbert and Stem Rock! Always leave a trip plan and please wear orange when hiking during gun hunting season. Check with the Ozark's Highland Trail Association for additional information.


Buffalo River Trail

Tyler Bend Hiking Trails

wildlife wild life

6) Elk

Wild elk roam parts of the county and attract photographers and hunters! The elk may be hunted with permit during hunting season. Searcy County is the Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas! This year’s Arkansas elk hunt was a record harvest! 54 out of 67 harvested elk came from Searcy County. The last Arkansas elk count was February 2018, before elk calving season, when about 559 elk were counted.

7) Cycling!

The Ozark Grinder Trail is a gravel grinder bicycle trail covering approximately 200 miles and 13,000 feet of elevation in some of the most wild, scenic, and remote parts of the north central Arkansas Ozarks!   From Gilbert and St. Joe, through Tyler Bend at Buffalo National River and all the way to Fairfield Bay, Arkansas it climbs and descends steep grades and makes many creek crossings. The first annual Ozark Grinder Trail Race will be held 12-13 September 2020. This 134 mile race with more than 10,000 ft. elevation gain will begin in Gilbert and end at Fairfield Bay.



Also don’t miss the annual Pedestal Rock Road Bike Ride and Lick Fork Gravel Grind in Witts Springs! Epic 100K gravel grind. We have a local bicycle group, the Welcome Home Cyclers. We have a bike ride between Leslie and Marshall, the Chocolate Roll! The 1st Annual Arkansas High Country Race for bicycles is also coming through Searcy County and is approximately 1,041 miles with 84,373 ft of climbing, unofficial estimates! The total adventure time on this course is 107+ hours! The annual race will next be held on 6 June 2020, starting from the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge in Little Rock at sunrise. This is a self-supported ultra-biking event.


Near Searcy County is approximately eight miles of new mountain bike trail going in near Botkinburg a little south of Leslie at Bluffton Preserve. The trail system will largely be GREEN (beginner) trail with some alternate lines that will be BLUE (intermediate) and BLACK (advanced). The trails will be multi-use for bikers and hikers. This trail system is being constructed by Affordable Trail Solutions and is owned by The Nature Conservancy. Takes in views of Archey Creek. Lodging available in Leslie for mountain bikers!

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Click Here to Learn More about Bikepacking! 

Falling Water Horse Ride

8) Horseback Riding

We have multiple horse stable/lodging destinations and more than 100 miles of horseback riding trails! Some of the most enjoyable and scenic horseback riding east of the Rockies! Riding in the Ozark National Forest of both western and northeastern Searcy County as well as in the confines of the Buffalo National River! The big trail ride of the year is the annual Falling Water Trail Ride during the first weekend of October. Riders begin the trail from either the Wollum Campground or the Snowball Gym. Lodging that stables or pastures horses are labeled with a horse and rider symbol.


Click here to explore horse lodging options in the county

9) Incredible Lodging

Amazing cabins, lodges, cottages, glamping, RV campgrounds, farm stay, yurt, and teepee accommodations can be found right here in Searcy County! Ozark Mountain and/or Buffalo River country!


Click here to explore lodging options in county

BBQ ribs on a grill

10) The Food!

People come from far and wide for our fresh sandwiches, smoked meat and cheeses, chocolate rolls, great burgers, old-world sourdough bread, fried pies, Mexican food, Chinese food, pastries, steaks, pies, biscuits and gravy, fried catfish, live music, and more! Check out our chamber list of places to eat! 


Check out our local restaurants.

Mariners Compass Gilbert

11) Arkansas Quilt Trail

Searcy County is on the leading edge of the Barn Quilt Movement in the state of Arkansas with 23 hand-painted quilt blocks up around the county!


Click here to learn more.

Windmill at Night

12) Dark Night Skies, Photography, and Bird Watching

The Buffalo National River is the 1st park in Arkansas to be named an International Dark Sky Park! Searcy County has some of the darkest night skies in the Eastern United States with Bortle Dark-Sky Scale Two designations for sites along the Buffalo National River from Woolum to Tyler Bend to Gilbert to the Spring Creek Access to Buffalo Point! The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale runs from one to nine. Very few places in the United States achieve a one. With a designation of two here in Searcy County, the Milky Way can be seen in great detail! Star Parties are occasionally held at the Tyler Bend Campground. Lodging locations are available that provide access to a great natural night sky!

(Photo Courtesy Dana Treat Photography)

13) Rock Climbing

The county has bountiful rock climbing opportunities, including sites at the Stack Rock Special Interest Area, the Devil’s Tower of Searcy County. There’s hiking and rock climbing destinations about 16 miles from Witts Springs, just off the Richland Creek Road. Always leave a trip plan with someone before embarking on back-country adventures.

Killebrew Theater in Leslie

14) Museums and Art Galleries

Artworks, museum exhibits, concerts, Shakespeare and variety shows can all be enjoyed in the Killebrew Theater at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie, and the Searcy County Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall.


Don’t miss the St. Joe Depot Railroad Museum, the only place in Searcy County to have your Arkansas Historic Preservation Program passport stamped!


The Buffalo River Art Gallery in Gilbert showcases an eclectic blend of modern and classic art, and hosts entertaining craft events. 


Essie Ward paintings can be viewed in the library in Marshall. Art is also on display upstairs in the Courthouse in Marshall. And coming soon: the Buffalo River Historic Jail Museum in Marshall!

15) AgriTourism

Dogwood Hills Guest Farm of Harriet is a state leader in agritourism and hosts fabulous monthly farm-to-table dinners! Ratchford Buffalo Farms of Marshall provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a buffalo farm! Other AgriTourism events include an annual Bull Bash, Farm Tours, the wonderful annual Searcy County Fair in Marshall, rodeos in both Leslie and Marshall, and the Searcy County Farmers Market (Tues. 9am till 1pm & Fri. 3-6pm) in Marshall! Agritourism provides wholesome experiences for families! For more information, phone 870-448-4870.


Click here to learn more about AgriTourism in Searcy County.

Family History

16) Geneology

The Searcy County Library in Marshall is a goldmine of genealogical research. They are equipped with an expanded genealogy department and research area. Contact the library at 8704482420. In addition, the 30th Annual North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will be May 31-June 1, 2019 in Marshall! Don’t miss this event!

17) Antiquing!

Great Antiquing can be found here in Searcy County, along with flea markets and thrift shops! Come spend a day!


Leslie Antique Mall in Leslie

Cove Creek Emporium in Leslie

Antiques And in Leslie

ReWorx in Marshall

“The Gettin Place” Flea Market in Marshall 

Lynda’s Closet in Marshall

Searcy County Rural Help Center Thrift Store in St. Joe

Taylor’s Corner on Square in Marshall

Searcy County Humane Society Thrift Store in Marshall

Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC in Leslie

Dry Creek Mercantile in Pindall

Fun for the Family

18) Disc Golf

Play a round of Disc Golf in Leslie! Free, nine hole disc golf course with a walking track and playground! Take Main Street south through town and turn right on Limestone. Course on the left.


19) Downtown Marshall's Public Park

The park has paved jogging/walking trail, a stage, picnic pavilions and a 2-acre pond stocked for fishing. It's the perfect place to hang out for the day, and get to know the neighbors.

Small Airport

20) Whitewater Kayaking on Falling Water Creek

After large rains, especially in winter and spring, Falling Water Creek can be suitable for whitewater kayaking for experienced kayakers on the stretch below the Falling Water Creek bridge not far from Witts Springs!


Check out this online photo album.

Music in the Park

21) Live Music

Get up and dance every 2nd and 5th Saturday Music at the Killebrew Theater inside the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie!


Live Music on Friday and Saturday Nights at Ryan’s Main Street Grill! Karaoke on Thursday night!


McEntire Music Jam in Marshall at the Veterans Memorial Hall! Free to the public! Pickers and singers invited! Every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 6:30 pm. Excellent acoustics! 108 Noah Horton Memorial Drive, Marshall, Arkansas 72650


Ben's Place in Gilbert showcases live music outdoors). For details, contact the Gilbert General Store at (870) 439-2386

22) Hunting and Fishing

Searcy County is the home of some great hunting and fishing! Whitetail deer are the prime target for large game hunters, but Searcy County is blessed with hundreds of acres of forests filled with abundant wildlife. For public land hunting, there are parts of four Wildlife Management Areas, two National Forest areas and hunting is also allowed in the Buffalo National River Park. Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas! This year’s Arkansas elk hunt was a record harvest! 54 out of 67 harvested elk came from Searcy County. Great place for black bear hunting! Wild turkey, rabbit, squirrel, bobwhite quail, dove, and various furbearers, coyote, and even wild hogs roam the county.


Hunting and Fishing licenses are sold in several locations in the county. There are many species of fish in the Buffalo National River and other various streams in the county, but smallmouth bass, catfish and sunfish are the most popular. A few trout make their way up the Buffalo River in the Winter from the White River, but catching one is fairly rare.

Side by Side ATV Ride

23) ATV Riding

The Dustin Reid Memorial ATV Poker Run at Witts Springs is 6-April. The Fall ATV Poker Run is 31-Aug at Witts Springs. Learn more about this event here. 


Bear Creek Log Cabins near Marshall has a 1,200 acre family-friendly outdoor paradise for things including ATV riding!

24) Campgrounds

The middle area of the Buffalo National River includes one developed campground at Tyler Bend. 10 walk in and 28 drive in sites on a first come first served basis. The campground provides flush toilet restrooms, one with hot showers. Water spigots are located throughout the campground. A dump station and tank filler is located near the park entrance at Highway 65 but there are no RV hookups in the campground. Campground open year round. For pricing and reservations, go to www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.


Woolum camping area is open year round. Woolum is located seven miles southwest of St. Joe on paved and gravel roads. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No fees charged. Horse camping is permitted. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided.


Grinders Ferry and Shine Eye Both offer easily-accessible but primitive camping right on the Buffalo River. Vault toilets will be open year round with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees charged.


South Maumee is open for camping all year. South Maumee is located seven miles off Hwy 27 north of the community of Morning Star on paved and gravel roads. Campground has five campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring and lantern hook. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees.


Spring Creek Campground has 12 designated sites with tables, fire rings, and lantern hooks at each site. The campground has a vault toilet with limited servicing. No water available. No fees charged and camping is open all year. No RV’s allowed. Spring Creek has 13 designated campsites.


Buffalo Camping & Canoeing in Gilbert has primitive campgrounds 3/4 a mile from the Buffalo River. They have RV and tent sites, with shower house and restrooms, but no dump station. May require a float reservation before booking campground.


Gilbert RV Campground RV section has 18 grass and gravel lots. 20, 30, and 50 amp electric hookups. The tent section of the campground offers eight tent sites, including “shot gun cabins".


Richland Creek Campground has a small picturesque mountain stream with waterfalls, rocks, and bluffs. There is access to the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. 11 family camping units. Because of very rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take camping trailers to Richland Creek.


Pine Grove Trails near Leslie is a great horseback riding destination with RV camping available.


Boston Mountain RV Park in Marshall has 50 amp service, water and sewer hook-ups, and PRIVATE showers!


Shelton’s Big Flat Getaway offers the wild country of eastern Searcy County! Named one of “15 Perfect Arkansas Getaways!” 30 RV hook-ups, six Cabin’s, large outdoor stage, and covered horse barns! View the stunning Ozarks on horseback!

Stem Rock Formations

25) Stem Rock

Stem Rock Natural Area has a beautiful rock formation near Oxley! The 3/4 mile trail from the parking area to the rock formation is mostly level. There is a sign at the trailhead where you park. No vehicles are allowed down the trail, but you can mountain bike down. This is along the Ozark Grinder Bike Trail. 


If you are into Geocaching, there is a cache at Stem Rock! See if you can find it! Stem Rock is a pretty awesome place. If you do find the cache, be sure to add something cool to the cache and sign the log book. To find information about the cache, including its GPS coordinates, or to log your exciting find, go to www.geocaching.com, and search GC code “GC75BGF”. 

26) Roten's Furniture

Roten’s Furniture of Marshall is one of Arkansas’ very Best furniture stores! More than 44,000 feet of show rooms! 70+ years of business in downtown Marshall! 


Call (870) 448-2452 to find out more.

Small Airport

27) Fly-In Destination

The Searcy County Airport (4A5) in Marshall is a Level 2 general aviation airport regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics for the benefit of the flying public. The airport has a Precision Approach Path Indicator, (PAPI) and features a 4003′ x 75′ lighted (MIRL) runway, runway strength 12,500 SW, rotating beacon, 120′ x 150′ hangar, 18′ side walls, 60′ stack doors, 8′ loading dock, and a large paved apron. One hundred octane aviation fuel is available and credit cards are accepted. Bathroom and pilot’s lounge. Industrial land is located nearby for development! 

Tennis in the Summer

28) Marshall Civic Center

Offering a swimming pool during summer season, tennis courts, walking track, playground, basketball, and weight room, the Civic Center has something for every active body. Pool parties are available.


Call (870) 504-0964 for more information.

29) Historical Markers

Searcy County is rich with history. Head out and see if you can find the more than a dozen historical markers located all around the county. The markers cover diverse topics, including the Civil War, Veterans, Country Music and the region's Geology.


For more information on the historical markers, click here


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