Arkansas November 22, 2018
Take This Arkansas Reindeer Trail For A Magical Holiday Adventure
You may not have known this but Santa uses a special type of reindeer when he delivers presents to Arkansas. The Arkansas reindeer, also known as elk during the rest of the year, are preparing for another successful holiday season. The “reindeer” like to frequent around Boxley Valley and there’s no better way to spot them than by traveling today’s scenic drive. Let’s celebrate the holidays as we travel along this festive trail.
They may not have a red nose, but Arkansas' "reindeer" are still a splendid sight to see.
If it's not already part of your holiday tradition, the Newton County Reindeer Trail is the perfect scenic drive to take this season.
The first stop along the route is to Jasper’s Historic Courthouse Square.
Besides enjoying a stroll around the local shops, you can also fill up at one of the most iconic eateries in the state - the Ozark Cafe. Your first elk will be easy to spot, since he's a bit stoic. His name is "Newt" and he stands in the middle of the square.
Continue north along Hwy. 7 until you've reached our next stop, the Hilary Jones Wildlife Museum & Elk
This free education center is a great place to learn more about the elk as well as where to spot them. The center has other informative exhibits and a gift shop.
We have one more educational stop before we head out into the wilderness.
Here at the Ponca Elk Education Center, you'll learn about the ecology of elk in addition to the history of the state's elk. All of the elk we see today in the area are thriving because of the reintroduced herd brought in by Arkansas Game and Fish in 1981. Now that we've become even more elk savvy, let's head to one of their favorite areas.
The next portion of our trail is the gorgeous drive through Boxley Valley.
It's nearly impossible to not spot the elk herds in Boxley Valley, especially around November. The area also has a fantastic collection of historic barns and settlements dating back to the 1830s!
As we drive out of the valley, we'll head into one of the most scenic forests in the state.
The vast Ozark National Forest has over one million acres of beautiful scenery. This portion of the route doesn't have a specific road to take, just meander east and enjoy the view. Highways 7, 16, 21 and 123 each have some lovely detours as well as the chance to spot more "reindeer."
Before coming back around to Jasper, there's one more favorite spot for elk.
The Carver Bridge over the Buffalo National River is another popular place for elk sighting. The nearby Carver Campground is the perfect place to extend your daytime drive into a weekend getaway, too.
We'll complete our loop at Erbie, just north of where we started.
The small community is part of the Buffalo National River Park and has quite a few nearby trails. Be sure you tread quietly as you stroll to the Parker-Hickman Farmstead or the old Erbie Church, elk can usually be seen in the neighboring fields.
This beloved drive through the Ozarks is a festive way to enjoy the area's scenic roads and see the infamous Arkansas "reindeer."
We would love to see your photo’s of the Arkansas “reindeer”! Share your captures with us in our Facebook Group,
Arkansas Nature Lovers. You should join for your chance to be featured and to discover why there’s nothing better than Arkansas’ stunning nature.
Another festive adventure to have this season is at this
lovely Christmas farm.