Leatherwood Wilderness

Established: 1984
Acres: 16,838 (39,338 combined w/Lower Buffalo)
Region: Ozarks
Section: Ozark Highlands
Subsections: Springfield Plateau, White River Hills
State: Arkansas
Counties: Baxter, Marion, Searcy
Manager: Ozark National Forest (link)
Agency: U.S. Forest Service

The Leatherwood Wilderness contains 16,838 acres are located on the Sylamore Ranger District. It lies approx 15 miles south of Mountain Home and 20 miles northwest of Mountain View, AR. It is bordered on the north, east, south, and southwest by 4 high ridgetop roads. The western boundary is shared with the Lower Buffalo Wilderness, which is administered by the National Park Service and is part of the Buffalo National River. ¬†There are 6 creeks within the Leatherwood Wilderness, which are separated by some of the most rugged, high ridgetop terrain in the Ozarks. They are characterized by steep-sided ridges over 1,200 ft high. Many are with long exposed sides of sheer vertical rock face and benches, giving the appearance of large stairsteps dropping into the drainage below. Elevation varies from 1,300 ft above sea level on the highest ridgetops to 420 ft where Leatherwood Creek exits the Wilderness. The forest is spotted with stands of native shortleaf pine as well as the unique cedar glades nestled within the primarily oak, gum, and hickory forest. There are no developed trails, but several old roads offer access into the wilderness. Points of Interest – Buffalo National River: was the country’s first national river. Lower Buffalo Wilderness: expect to see caves, bluffs, waterfalls, and old cabin sites. White River: Known for its abundance of trout and its scenery, featuring some of the best bluffs in the Ozarks.