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Campground Review: Erbie Campground @ Buffalo National River, Arkansas

After our stay at Hot Spring National Park, we headed north following the beautifully scenic highway 7 through the Ozarks.

Once the sun set though, the road wasn’t nearly so scenic. We saw a road sign indicating a campground in the woods off to our left, so we headed down a dark dirt road in search of a place to stop for the night.

The sign hadn’t made any mention of how FAR it was to the campground, and at night in the dark the five miles seemed like thirty – particularly since there were many steep sections and there was no easy places to turn the trailer around should we decide to retreat.


But in the end, we found Erbie – a beautiful remote campground located right along the Buffalo National River.

Erbie Campground on the Buffalo National River

Not surprisingly considering how remote it is, Erbie has no hookups. The campground is clean and well maintained though, and the spots are fairly widely separated along a large gravel loop. Even though there were two other sites occupied, we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.

Wet Paws! Buffalo (River) & Kitten
Trails to Explore Kitten on the Trees
Kiki here – I loved camping at Erbie. The river was swollen and scary, but there were trails to explore, trees to climb, and even bunnies to chase. I did get wet paws though from all the morning dew – be warned!

Buffalo River Trail Buffalo River - Closed
Erbie is often used as a base camp for people venturing out via canoe or kayak to explore the pristine Buffalo National River. Recent flooding had closed the river, but there were extensive trails to explore nearby.

Parker Hickman Farmstead Parker Hickman Farmstead
One of the trails leads from Erbie Campground to the nearby Parker Hickman Farmstead – a glimpse back in time at turn-of-the-century rural life. I thoroughly enjoyed an early morning hike upstream to explore this place.

Warning - Impassable During High Water Impassable Indeed!
Down the road from the Parker Hickman Farmstead I came across this sign. And as you can see, it wasn’t lying! I am sure glad that the campground was on the near side of the river, or our late-night arrival might have turned into a slow five mile backwards retreat!

Erbie Campground - Rest Rooms Network Access (Limited)
The most significant thing lacking at Erbie was wireless network access of any sort. They did have this museum quality ancient communication device on display however…

Overall, Erbie was a wonderfully tranquil place to spend the night and get away from it all. If only there were at least some network access, I would love to return and explore the area further.


Summary Details:

View: Woods & hills!

Sites: 30+ sites, several large group areas.

Facilities: Pit toilets, boat launch.

Hookups: None.

Cell & Data Coverage:

AT&T – Nope.

Sprint – Did I mention how far down a dirt road this place is?!?

Cost: $10/night


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  1. One of the best times we had with our children was at this site. At the time I was scared to death to be that far back, but the preteens loved being able to swim and fish without all the people around. That was 15 years ago and we can’t wait to go back.

  2. This is one of our favorite places to go ride there is a lot more to explore then what is mentioned above and we have spent a few night sitting mule back down from the church and listened to the singing it just beautiful

  3. I have camped at Erbie Campground many, many times. It is one of my favorite places in the Arkansas Ozarks(a bastardize pronunciation of the French term, aux arc). I was at that campground in September ’09. Water was up, but was able to make that crossing in your picture. Did you look closely at the log corners of the Parker-Hickman house? It’s called half-dovetail. Officially on record as having the “closest tolerance of any existing log structure in the Ozarks”-and ths Ozarks cover parts of 3 states! If you ever get a chance, it’s worth another trip, just to go across the river there to see some more local sites(Erbie Church, local swimming hole about 2mi on a creek straight out from the church, etc). The Erbie Church is owned by the NPS, but is available for use. BTW, last time I was there I got run out by rising water in the middle of the night!

  4. Loved your summary =)

    Network access… HA! We can’t even get network access at some of our HOMES around here let alone the campgrounds. Windstream/Alltel informs us they’ll “get righ on that.” 😉

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