Elk of Boxley Valley: Boxley Valley in Arkansas is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. One of the major attractions of this picturesque valley is the elk herd that calls it home. Boxley Valley is the perfect place to see these magnificent creatures up close and in their natural habitat. This article will give you an in-depth guide to visiting the elk in Boxley Valley, Arkansas.
Boxley Valley is located in the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas. The valley is surrounded by the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River. This area is known for its stunning landscapes, and it’s a great spot for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping. The valley is also home to a variety of wildlife, including elk.
The elk were once native to Arkansas, but they were hunted to extinction in the 1840s. In the 1980s, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began reintroducing elk to the state. Today, the Boxley Valley elk herd is one of the largest herds in the state, with around 500 individuals.
When to Visit Boxley Valley to See the Elk
The best time to see the elk in Boxley Valley is during the fall, specifically late September through early November. During this time, the elk are in their mating season, also known as the rut. The males will be displaying their dominance by bugling, which is a loud, eerie call that can be heard from miles away. The males will also be sparring with each other to determine who is the dominant male.
The rut is an exciting time to see the elk, but it’s important to remember that these are wild animals and should be treated with respect. It’s important to keep a safe distance and observe them from afar.
Where to See the Elk in Boxley Valley
The elk in Boxley Valley can be seen in several locations throughout the valley. The best place to see them is along the Buffalo National River on Highway 43. This is where the elk are most commonly seen, and there are several pull-offs where you can park and watch them.
Another great spot to see the elk is along the gravel road that runs through the valley. This road is called Boxley Valley Road, and it’s a popular spot for wildlife viewing. The road runs for about 10 miles and provides access to several pull-offs where you can park and watch the elk.
There are also several hiking trails in the valley that provide opportunities to see the elk up close. The Lost Valley Trail and the Buffalo River Trail are two popular hiking trails that offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Tips for Visiting the Elk in Boxley Valley
When visiting the elk in Boxley Valley, it’s important to remember that these are wild animals and should be treated with respect. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep a safe distance: Elk are wild animals and can be dangerous. It’s important to keep a safe distance and observe them from afar.
- Use binoculars or a zoom lens: To get a closer look at the elk, use binoculars or a zoom lens. This will allow you to observe them without getting too close.
- Stay on designated trails: When hiking in the valley, it’s important to stay on designated trails. This will help protect the wildlife and their habitat.
- Don’t feed the elk: Feeding the elk is not only dangerous, but it can also be harmful to their health. It’s important to let them forage for their own food.
Other Things to Do in Boxley Valley
While visiting Boxley Valley, there are plenty of other things to do besides watching the elk. Here are a few suggestions:
- Go hiking: Boxley Valley is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
- Visit the Buffalo National River: The Buffalo National River is a great place for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The river is known for its crystal-clear water and scenic beauty.
- Explore the Ozark National Forest: The Ozark National Forest is a beautiful area that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can go camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting in the forest.
- Go on a scenic drive: Boxley Valley Road is a scenic drive that takes you through the heart of the valley. The road offers stunning views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
- Visit the Boxley Valley Historic District: The Boxley Valley Historic District is a small community that was established in the early 1800s. The district features several historic buildings and landmarks, including the Boxley Mill, which was built in 1869.
- Go birdwatching: Boxley Valley is home to a variety of bird species, including the bald eagle, golden eagle, and pileated woodpecker. A valley is a great place for birdwatching, and there are several designated areas for birdwatching.
Where to Stay in Boxley Valley
There are several options for lodging in Boxley Valley, including campgrounds, cabins, and hotels. Here are a few suggestions:
- Ozark Campground: The Ozark Campground is a popular spot for camping in Boxley Valley. The campground features several campsites, RV hookups, and amenities like showers and restrooms.
- Buffalo Outdoor Center: The Buffalo Outdoor Center offers a variety of lodging options, including cabins, lodges, and campsites. The center is located near the Buffalo National River and offers easy access to outdoor activities.
- The Lodge at Mount Magazine: The Lodge at Mount Magazine is a hotel located in the nearby town of Paris, Arkansas. The lodge offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and easy access to outdoor activities.
Boxley Valley is a hidden gem in Arkansas that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing. The elk herd in Boxley Valley is one of the major attractions of the valley and is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. When visiting the elk in Boxley Valley, it’s important to remember to keep a safe distance and observe them from afar. With plenty of other things to do in the valley, including hiking, fishing, and camping, Boxley Valley is the perfect destination for a nature-filled getaway.