Popular Lost Valley hiking area near Buffalo River closing for major makeover

One of the Buffalo National River’s most popular hiking destinations will be closed for 10 weeks for a major makeover.

The Lost Valley day-use area and trail near Ponca, Arkansas, will be closed beginning Dec. 10, with an expected reopening in late February.

According to the National Park Service, Lost Valley draws about 77,000 visitors a year but has suffered trail damage and washouts from repeated heavy rain events.

The 10-week-long improvement project that will relocate a portion of Lost Valley Road, parking area, and trailhead out of the immediate flood zone of Clark Creek.

The $1.1 million project seeks to provide safe vehicular access to the Lost Valley Trailhead while minimizing environmental impacts to Clark Creek, the Buffalo River, and surrounding areas.

The Lost Valley area features a heavily used hiking trail, picnic area, amphitheater, pavilion, and restrooms.

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