“In a Day’s Drive”: Zipline through the trees at the Buffalo River

In a Day's Drive

It's about 60 miles from Fayetteville

PONCA, Ark. (KNWA) — Those looking for a little bit of excitement that’s within a day’s drive of Northwest Arkansas can zip through the trees above the Buffalo River in Ponca, Arkansas.

The Buffalo Outdoor Center’s “Zipline Canopy Tour” takes visitors on a seven-station zipline adventure. The most important part of the two-hour endeavor is that it’s as much safe as it is fun, said Jeremy Wilson, the canopy tour’s manager.

“We’re here at the first one in Arkansas,” Wilson said. “This is our ninth year.”

Safety is always at the top of mind, Wilson said, as the breaking system is under guides’ control rather than a self-breaking system implemented in many ziplines. Attendees must wear equipment, including a helmet, intended to protect them from any possible problems. There isn’t a moment where a “zipper” isn’t tethered to a line.

“Really, on the other end, once you’ve made that decision, you’re like, ‘Give me another one,’ you know?” Wilson said. “‘Show me another adventure.'”

The zipline tour is less than an hour-and-a-half drive away from Fayetteville. Riders said they really enjoyed flying through the trees near the Buffalo River, one of Arkansas’ most-beautiful natural spots.

“When I first decided to come to Arkansas and explore the state, I did not know that they’d have so much to do here,” said Brooke Shaffer, a University of Arkansas sophomore. “I just thought it was kind of like cool hiking spots that just looks kind of jungle-y and forrest-y.”

The tour costs under $100. It’s open year round, and Wilson said one of the best times of the year to go out is during the fall when the leaves start changing colors.

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