I don't really know how to describe Buzzard Bluff -- other than, it's just a cool place to explore. We hadn't heard a lot about this place, but had seen mention of it, so we decided to head out and take a look for ourselves. The trail is unmaked, but with some good directions, you should have no problem finding it.
To get to the trailhead, take highway 7 to the small community of Pelsor (about 1/2 way between Jasper and Dover) and turn WEST onto highway 123. Take highway 123 4.7 miles and turn LEFT onto FR1802/1805, CR 14/61, Treat Road. (Yes, this road has 5 different road names depending on what map you're using -- it's a prominent gravel road on your left and had a white sign noting it as Treat Road).
Once on Treat Road, go 6.5 miles down the dirt road (set your odometer, it will seem like forever) and you will come across a white house on your right, and a barn on your left. Find a place to park along the road here. The road is fairly well maintained at this point and can be handled by any type of vehicle. The trail takes off right next to the barn. Try to not block any of the driveways.
The trail takes off just North of the old barn and heads into the woods away from Treat Road. It's not marked, but it's pretty obvious. The trail follows a 4-wheeler road the entire way -- so it is relatively wide and easy to follow (although big mud holes on the trail are a bit troublesome).
The path is pretty flat for awhile, and then turns left and runs along a ridge. There are great views of the valley below on your right when the leaves are off the trees. The trail then turns back righ, and starts to decend a little. And passes a small pond on your left. Keep going. Past the pond, the trail gets steeper down.
At 1.8 miles, there is another four-wheeler road that joins from the left. Ignore it. Shortly after, is another four wheeler road on the left. Make note of this one, because we'll come back to it later. For now, stay on the main trail (which is to the right).
After about another .2 miles, you'll get to a big, roundabout that seems to be a popular camping site and turnaround for four-wheelers. From here, you'll go down the hill on a small trail that is marked with orange paint on the trees. After a hundred yards or so, you'll get to Buzzard's Bluff.
The area is pretty cool -- with a lot of round-topped rocks that look out over a huge valley. We didn't see any actual buzzards, but it sure seems like it would be a fitting place for them.
You'll probably spend a fair amount of time jumping from rock to rock getting some different views and exploring. Just BE CAREFUL. Some of the drops between the rocks are a LONG way down. Explore for awhile.
Once done exploring the rounded rocks, there are other cool things to see here. To your left (as you look out at the bluff) is a small natural bridge that you can scurry down to check out.
To the right of the bluff is a little trail down to the area below Buzzard Roost. Below the Roost is a maze of caves, tunnels and narrow passageways to explore. It appears to be a popular area for camping as well.
There are a lot of neat routes to explore.
Just take your time and explore.
Here, a huge chunk of rock has fallen off the side.
And some of the openings are quite narrow.
The Large Natural Bridge
After you're done exploring Buzzard Roose, there is one more place in the area to visit. Head back up to the top of the Roost, and start to head back to the trail head. After about .2, you'll note the ATV trail that comes in from the right. Turn right here at the first ATV trail.
After another about .2, the trail will split. Take the trail to the RIGHT. When the trail starts to turn back left (to join the other trail), there will be a small spur of a walking trail to the right that goes straight down the hill. Take it. After about a hundred yards, you'll come to the larger of two natural bridges in the area.
This apparently one of the larger natural bridges in the area. It's a great spot, with a great view of the valley below.
When you are finished here, it's time to head back to the trailhead.
Distance: 4 miles (round trip) + some mileage for exploring
Children: Yes, but keep a close hand on them when on the bluff areas
Trail Guide: Tim Ernst's Arkansas Nature Lover's Guide
Footwear: Rocky conditions make hiking boots preferrable
Rating: 4 stars out of 5.