Highway 43 south out of Ponca 4 miles. Look for famous trumpeter swans, largest body of water in Boxley Valley.
35.98829, -93.40081

Printable Map
Not applicable.
Nearest Gasoline:
Ponca at Lost Valley Store
Photo Gallery:
Mill Pond Gallery at Arkansas wildlife photo website.
Wildlife watching, bird watching, photography.
Special Issues:
The Mill Pond is on private land. Visitors must stay on roadsides, pulled off out of traffic.
Seasonal Opportunities:
Bald eagles from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day. Other migrating birds visit during annual migrations.

Elk herds visit the south end of the pond during the rut.
Emergency Numbers:
National Park Service  (870) 365-2700
Newton County Sheriff  (870) 446-5124
Relevant Offsite Links:  In-depth information on elk watching in Boxley Valley and the upper river area. Visitor guides, frequent updates, information. It has a special entry on Lost Valley.  No visit to the area is complete without visiting the award winning Ponca Elk Education Center. See their Annual Color Fest in October.
Buffalo National River
Upper River Area

Boxley Valley Mill Pond

Boxley Valley Mill Pond

The Boxley Valley Mill Pond is best known for its huge trumpeter swans, but there are many things to see at the Mill Pond.

During bald eagle season, from Thanksgiving to  Valentine's Day, bald eagles often frequent the mill pond. It is the most likely place to see them in Boxley Valley.

Other water birds and migrators are frequent visitors to the mill pond. Egrets, osprey, warblers, red-winged blackbirds, herons, wood ducks, and blue-winged teal are just a sampling of the species.

Marine mammals including otter, beaver, and mink are often seen. Other mammals like raccoons and skunk visit now and then.

The mill pond is a vibrant place teeming with wildlife and changeable with the seasons.

Because of its location in the middle of Boxley Valley attractions, the mill pond is an easy choice to be included in trips for elk viewing and on the way to trailheads nearby.
Trumpeter Swans at Boxley Valley Mill Pond
Trumpeter Swans at Boxley Valley Mill Pond

Itinerary Builder -- Attractions Close to the Boxley Valley Mill Pond

Ponca Elk Education Center

(in Ponca)   Directions
GPS:  36.02215, -93.36141  (4.2 miles, 5 minutes
AGFC elk education center, nationally recognized facility.
Open daily 10 - 4:30 PM, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
(870) 861-2432

Smith Creek Preserve

   Directions    Web
GPS:  35.93548, -93.38612  (4.2 miles, 5 minutes
Nature Conservency, hiking trail 500 ft. descent in 1 mile. Two track road, hiking trail, very scenic spring fed creek with outstanding spring wildflower show. Popular with photographers.  Remote, don't hike alone.

Lost Valley Hiking Trail

  (2 miles south of Ponca)   Directions
GPS:  36.00787, -93.36625  (2.9 miles, 5 mins)

NPS  The most popular hiking trail in the upper Buffalo River area. Barrier free stretch, suitable for families. Eden Falls, native american shelter, waterfall in cave, outstanding spring wildflowers.

Hawksbill Crag

GPS:  35.88816, -93.4698  (8.8 miles, 31 mins)

Popular 3 mile round trip with 200 ft elevation change. Most photographed Arkansas Landmark. Trail can be rough, a few seasonal creeks. Hazardous around bluff edges, children need to be watched closely. Bear sightings now and then.

Upper Buffalo Wilderness Trailhead

GPS:  35.94606, -93.3994  (3.1 miles, 4 mins)
The Upper Buffalo Wilderness trail travels south past the Whitely Cemetary up to an old roadbed then proceeds south into an area divided between the NPS and NFS. The uppermost Buffalo National River is called the "Hailstone".  Rugged and remote, popular with hosemen. Don't hike alone.

Glory Hole

GPS:  35.82595, -93.39737 (14.3 miles, 18 mins)

This is a popular short hike of moderate difficulty. The Glory Hole is a waterfall through the top of a cave. It is a popular destination with hikers and most serious outdoor photographers.  Fairly remote, probably best not hiked alone. NFS

Boxley Valley Elk Herd

  (Highway 43 & 21)    Directions    Web
GPS:  35.97717, -93.40219  (.6 miles, 2 mins)

Home of Arkansas' famous elk herd, arguably the most viewable in the southern US. Mornings and evenings, fall rut exceptional.