Upper Buffalo Trail System

Land Manager: United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests 

Trail Sections:

Click Here for .pdf printout of Full Map

History & Background

Almost 20 years ago, some families living in the headwaters area, where the trail now resides, decided to start building trails that would take them to the area's most beautiful spots but, unlike most trails built in Arkansas at the time, these would be ridden by mountain bikes. They built 30–40 miles of rough cut trails that were technical and tough. After years of working with the U.S. Forest Service and with considerable negotiation, a plan was put together to improve the trails and make them accessible to all mountain bikers. Working with the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists (OORC) and the Walton Family Foundation, funding was put in place to have the trails professionally built. Progressive Trail Design was hired to do their magic, and the rest is history...


The Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail offers about 40 miles of singletrack surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains. This gem of a Midwest ride laces through the headwaters of the Buffalo National River on a mixture of narrow, hand-built singletrack and machine-cut flow trails.

The Epic ride features some of the best experiences available - stunning scenery past steep cliffs, turquoise waterfalls, abundant wildlife and old-growth hardwood forests.

Need To Know

The trails at Upper Buffalo are extremely remote. Come prepared with plenty of food, water and gas to get back home as well as a big sense of adventure. Depending on your route, you may be required to carry your bike through multiple water crossings.

Suggested Route:

Park at Knuckles Creek road trailhead, ride back up service rd 1476 to the fire tower loop trail (29), go down and continue on fire tower trail (35) eventually hitting the intersection of (28) note that this is easy to miss because the sign is a little obscured. It's a left at the intersection. You'll arrive at (26) which is Knuckle connect trail, be sure to turn right here and you'll see (25) off the road on your left. It's uphill to (23) staying right. More uphill to (22) There is no map at 22 but a post. Stay right and shortly you'll come to (21) just a hole, no sign or map yet....go left here onto South bench trail and continue, eventually going by (10) stay right. You'll end up at (11) which is trail of the ancients, go right. Very soon, you'll arrive at (12), go right again and uphill to (19) and across the road to (20) which begins Azalea falls trail, arriving back at 21 (no post or sign) staying left and 22 going left again. Downhill back to 23 and left to 25 and Knuckles Creek rd and left back to the trail head you started at which is uphill 2-3 miles.

If you have more than 1 vehicle, you might want to skip the uphill back to your car on knuckles creek rd.