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Lost Valley State Park is an outdoor recreational area not far from Compton, Arkansas. The park is intersected by the Buffalo River, one of the few remaining rivers in the country that hasn't been altered by the building of a dam. It is also home to the Lost Valley Trail leading farther into the wilderness, eventually coming to a halt at a cave. The park is a box canyon that may have once been all underground; if true, then Cobb Cave (a large bluff providing shelter) and the underground cave at the trail's end may be all that was left of the original cavern. Booking an RV rental near Lost Valley State Park is an excellent way to start your northwest Arkansas explorations.
Lost Valley is in a picturesque setting with a wide variety of scenery. Nature lovers will adore the wildflowers and medicinal plants on-site, and there is a creek with waterfalls that will capture your attention. The trail will take you through thick tree stands with sparse ground vegetation and is reasonably level at the beginning. The area is well marked with signage, so finding your way around will be easy. Camping near Lost Valley State Park will put you in touch with nature without having to sacrifice your creature comforts, letting you enjoy the best of both worlds.
Lost Valley State Park is a popular spot for hiking; the initial section of the trail is ADA accessible. The trail will take you to Cobb Canyon, which was discovered by an archeological team from the University of Arkansas; continue past Cobb Canyon, and the path comes to an end at the underground cave. You can enter the cave and make your way through it with flashlights until you come to an inner room that has its own waterfall.
While hiking the trail, you can enjoy nature and wildlife watching, or perhaps even stop from time to time to take photos. Lost Valley State Park is open to the public year-round, and the seasonal changes make this area a photographer's playground, with sunny days and overcast days shrouded in fog; water levels vary, and a good rain can allow photographers to use a variety of techniques in their photos.
Buffalo Natural River is another outdoor feature you should enjoy during your stay. Tubing downriver is a popular pastime here; the water can be accessed from various locations. You're welcome to fish in the river, either angling or fly fishing while you're here. There are dozens of fish species in the river, with approximately a dozen available for catching. Private companies offer guided tours of the river and of Buffalo River National Park; you take a tour for sightseeing, fishing, and photography, to name a few. You can also camp in an RV near Compton and create your own self-guided tours, taking in the sights you want to see.
Buffalo Outdoor Center RV Park is a family-friendly RV campground near Jasper that allows pets and has a bathhouse with showers and a laundromat. It is located at the crest of a mountain, providing panoramic views of the valley below and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Each individual campsite has a picnic table and fire ring, level concrete pads, full hookups with 20/30/50 amp electricity, and pull-through access. The sites can be rented by the day, week, or month, and have WiFi service.
Shady Oaks Campground & RV Park is a cultivated RV park that still has the ambiance of an undisturbed natural setting. Individual campsites are nestled among a stand of trees that can be explored and offer quiet and tranquility. The campground has restrooms with showers, a laundry facility, a groomed hiking trail, and a dog park. Additionally, there are volleyball and basketball courts, a horseshoe pitch, and a playground for young kids. If the weather isn't cooperating, you can still enjoy a pavilion with games and other activities to entertain you, and a kitchen where you can prepare for group get-togethers.
Harrison is a mid-size city with numerous landmarks for you to visit with your motorhome rental near the Lost Valley Trailhead. A few spots to check out include Mystic Caverns, Hurricane River Cave, and Maplewood Cemetery. The cemetery has a lane lined with maple trees, and you can drive or walk through as you take in the views; the cemetery is lovely all year, but especially in the fall as the leaves turn red. You can also take in the Ozark Moonshine Run, which passes through both scenic and historically significant areas as you drive the route. There are numerous places to go shopping, plus wellness spas and a theater that hosts live shows and concerts. If the day is becoming long and your thoughts turn to dinner, Harrison has a range of inexpensive and moderately priced eateries that include Asian and Mexican venues, pizzerias and steakhouses, and much more.
Valley Springs is a small-town farming community that is easy on the eyes. The town is divided by Crooked Springs, separating the main town section from its more rural area. The Harrison, Arkansas National Historic District is slightly north of the river, and there are a museum and several churches to see while you're here. Valley Springs has a small but sufficient restaurant scene, which includes cafes, pizzerias, and a barbecue joint. You can dine in or grab some takeout and head back to your Valley Springs camper rental to enjoy a delicious meal under a star-filled sky.