Route: Buffalo River Trail (AR)

Location
Arkansas, US
Distance
37.1 mi
Description

The Buffalo River Trail runs about 37 miles from Boxley to Pruitt, Arkansas, though the Buffalo River National Forest.

Run-Paddle Duathlon:  Running up & paddling back is the ultimate Buffalo River challenge! The Buffalo River was the Nation's first National River. The section of river that parallels the BRT is five-star paddling. Combining these two disciplines into a loop route makes for a great day of adventure. This challenge is to be done under moderate water levels as measured from Ponca. It does not do the whole BRT, but instead utilizes the Ponca trailhead, as opposed to Boxley. The paddle is ~24 miles and the run is ~29 miles to combine for 50+ miles of travel through a lush valley surrounded by limestone cliffs and running water. ***This FKT makes more sense to do from Ponca - Pruitt due to different water conditions being required for the Boxley run. The Full Boxley - Pruitt loop is possible, but requires an extra level of swift-water and paddling skills to responsibly navigate the river in high-water conditions, especially if doing this solo. Ponca to Pruitt is the most popular section of the Buffalo River for paddling.

GPS Track

Comments

I will be attempting an unsupported out-and-back the first weekend of November. I plan to complete approximately 50 miles the first day, sleep, and then pick up the remaining 24 on the second day.

I completed this attempt for an unsupported out-and-back. https://www.strava.com/activities/2839224993

I slept twice and took time in camp so this mark will be easy to beat. It's not fast by ultrarunning standards, but I'm proud to submit the first mark for the out-and-back. I'll try to do this again, but in one push, in 2020 or 2021. I'm looking forward to seeing a faster mark from someone else in that time.

Elapsed time: 48:58:48
Time-on-trail (not in camp): 24:16:07

Next time I do this, my goal will be to have both elapsed time and time-on-trail under 24 hours. It should be "easy" for a more experienced ultrarunner to do that in the meantime.

I'll post a link to longer report when I'm finished.

Hey guys! I just ran the BRT and my time was 8:21:55! What a freakin hard trail. I ran it last May supported and ran it not really caring too much about time ran it in 10hrs and 30 minutes about. But then when I looked up fastest times for the run I got a whole new jolt of energy to get up in the ranks with you guys! 

https://strava.app.link/vHJ6XxBFi1

BRT Loop (Ponca - Pruitt): I went out to the Buffalo the other day for a new type of challenge, kayaking the Buffalo's most popular section then running the BRT back all in a day. I wasn't necessarily going for an FKT, but I'm also not aware of anyone else doing this. I have searched around on Google and also asked locals. I did not start from Boxley, but I do think it's possible if you had the right conditions and high water skill level. I started my paddle from the Ponca Low-Water Bridge at 7:00am under moderate conditions and blasted 24 miles down to Pruitt in 5 hours. I took a moderate break (1 hr) at the campground to eat, transition and hide my gear. Then, I ran most of the trail back (29 miles) in 6.5 hrs to finish back at the Ponca Low-Water Bridge at 7:30pm (~12.5 hrs). My route is posted on Strava, and I am about to see if FKT will post it. Pruitt to Ponca makes more sense for this loop, instead of doing the whole BRT from Boxley, because the water conditions have to be a lot higher (and dangerous) for solo-paddling the Boxley section. The full Boxley - Pruitt kayak/run combo will be done one day tho! It was a very rad adventure. Cheers.