Kyles Landing

Taking chances and finding new wonderful places. That’s when a spur of the moment, unrouted, unplanned road trip sent us to a real hidden gem.


7/4/20232 min read

Sometimes, you just have to let the world open up to you, and then listen to it. You may discover a hidden gem from time to time. Or in our case, a place so special we have plans within plans on the adventures TBD in one such finding 11 years ago.

We had basically just met and both of us had a little time off, 3- 4 days. It was February 2012. It wasn’t chilling in North Texas and the weather seemed find next door in Arkansas, so a short unplanned road trip was in order. My to be husband said, let’s stop talking about it, lets get in the car and start driving. At first we just picked random directions, like turn left at the light. Go right, go east on the interstate and next we knew we were in Arkansas with no plans a couple of sleeping bags and a toiletry bag. We pulled over at parks and outlooks, ate at low key mom and pop places and realized it was getting late and we needed to figure out if we were camping or staying in a hotel. My vote, camping but where. Neither of us had smart phones. So my husband being the good ole boy he was, just asked a random local at an intersection. It was kind of bewildering to me. But a couple of quick suggestions and some hand waving sent us on our way to one of our favorite places we unearth on an adventure.

Kyle’s Landing. It’s along the Buffalo River and it’s an interesting drive down a steep gravel road where parts of the road are basically cliff side. A little scary your first time down. There are times when you would need to have good clearance and 4x4 to make it in. In February, our first visit, the park is free but closed for winterizing as the restrooms and water is shut off. You can still stay there and rough it. Kyles landing is down in a valley, so although we arrived with what would have been plenty of time to set up a simple camp, it was getting dark early in the valley. We didn’t know if we would stay more then just a night, so we opted to camp in our explorer instead. Before it got dark, we hiked a around a little to get the layout of the area and see if we had any weirdos camping out nearby. We were all alone, how awesome and creepy in the moment.

The river was a beautiful pale blue roughing by. This is a river floaters dream! The next morning we spent the day hiking trails, discovering an amazing new world and ran into very few hikers. One trail had this killer cliff over look that in the winter, when the trees are bare, you can see so much into the valleys and peaks around, we hide runes we had carved at the overlook, with plans to come back in a year of two to find them. Needless to say, Kyle’s Landing was just what we needed to discover in our very new romance. The bonding we had here was a catalyst to building our relationship and we have never looked back.

When you visit Kyle’s Landing in the open season, it’s a bustling vibe, the 33 camp sites will probably be full and kayaks and canoes are flowing down the river. It’s charming but in a whole other way. The over look will be a bit disappointing as the vegetation is thick, so it just looks like trees and hills.

Buffalo River, Arkansas at Kyles Landing. Picture by Chelsea Hoberer