Rush is a really interesting little area right along the Buffalo River. The community dates back to the 1880s when mines opened as prospectors mined for Zinc Ore that was discovered in the mountains here. The mines were eventually shut down, and then reopened in the 1960s, only to eventually close down again. Rush was once a booming community with an estimated 11,000 residents, but the entire place is now abandoned, with little left other than a few abandoned buildings, the remains of a few others, and a few hiking trails that connect them all. No one has lived in this area for 4 decades, so it is a unique little ghost town right along the Buffalo River.
The Buffalo River in Rush
To get to Rush, simply take Highway 14 South from Yellville. About 10 miles south of Yellville, there will be a sign that clearly marks the left hand turn to Rush. Turn here and follow the paved road all the down the hill to the River area.
There will be two parking spots here. The first will be right after you pass a row of abandoned old buildings. Several of them are houses, and one, is what remains of the town General Store. This store used to be the town center and all of these old buildings date back to around 1899 when the community was at its peak. Across the road is a series of old stone fences, stair steps, and old foundations that are also fun to explore.
The old General Store -- once the center of town.
Just after this row of abandoned houses (which makes up the majority of the Rush “Ghost town” area, there is a parking spot to the left). This is the trailhead to the Morning Star Loop (a short and historic loop trail). If you follow down the road further you’ll get to a split in the road – to the right is the campground, to the left is another parking area with a small shelter house. This spot is closer to the river and I prefer to park here because the river makes a nice little place to cool off after your hikes are completed.
There are 3 different hiking trails here. The very short Morning Star Loop Hike which hits a lot of the historic highlights of the community. The Mine Trail, which is a mostly level trail that runs past many of the historic mine entrances (all of which are fenced off – so obey the fences and signs and stay out – they are unstable). I will cover these two trails together in a separate blog entry.
The final trail is the Monte Cristo Trail – a short uphill hike that I think is the most interesting of the trails. There is also a primitive trail that can connect all three of these routes together into a 3.6 mile loop hike – I discuss this option with the Monte Cristo trail breakdown.
Rush is one of those unique little areas along the Buffalo that is totally different from the other areas along the river. There is a lot to explore here, so give yourself plenty of time to explore.