Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas
It is pretty easy to forget what outsiders don't know about this place. If you are from a big city you get used to conveniences that may or may not be around here. This entry is about basic facts you need to avoid minor problems like running out of gasoline (I am not kidding.) What you need is here, but you need the facts.
First, if you are in the Ponca/Boxley area, gas stations are in short supply. There is only one in Ponca, at the Lost Valley Canoe store.
The next closest gas station is the Compton One Stop up highway 43, 8 miles north of Ponca up the mountain. The last I knew, the Compton One Stop does not take credit cards, cash only.
If you want to chase gasonline heading east up 74, your first chance will be the Low Gap Store. It currently does not have reliable hours, your only sure thing is in Jasper.
In Jasper you have two choices for gas, both on highway 7. Just south of the intersection of 7 and 74 is a gas station/convenience store. Heading north on 7 from the intersection is a station tied to the only grocery store in Jasper.
To get diesel fuel, you have to go to the Compton One Stop (cash only), or Jasper. Remember that the Compton One Stop does not take credit cards. Jasper has a couple of places you can get diesel fuel.
Places to Eat
There are none in Ponca. Jasper has four popular eating places, the Point of View Restaurant on 74 (closest to Ponca), the Boardwalk Cafe, and the Ozark Cafe, both on highway 7. For an exceptional view while you eat, there is the Cliff House Inn, 7 miles south of Jasper on highway 7.
The Lost Valley Canoe Store functions as a grocery store for folks who camp and locals who want eggs, milk and the like. It has beverages, chips, some gifts and all. It is pretty small but adequate like most convenience stores.
The Compton One Stop 8 miles north toward Harrison on 43 is about the same as Lost Valley Canoe.
The closest regular-sized grocery store is in Jasper, south of Jasper about a mile on highway 7.
The closest ATM is in Jasper, 18 miles. There are a couple of banks there, one just now being built.
The closest library is in Jasper on highway 7 as you are headed south out of town. It has a nice collection of books, and Internet access.
Handyman Hardware 8 miles north on highway 43 is the closest feed store (and hardware).
In Jasper, there is also a feed store just north of the intersection of highway 7 and 74 on the east side of the road.
The closest hardware store to Ponca is Handyman Hardware on highway 43 in Compton. It is a small store but it covers the bases. It serves area farmers. Most basic hardware needs can be met there.
Jasper also has a hardware store adjacent to the grocery store, and gas station, about a mile south of town.
The closest pharmacy is in Jasper. It is an old fashioned, non-franchised establishment locates south of the square at the end of the main strip development on the west side of the road. It is a small but capable establishment. (About 18 miles from Ponca).
The closest auto parts store is in Jasper south of the square in the main shopping area.
Harrison (largest nearby "big city", 12,000 pop)
Harrison is about 30 miles north of Ponca. Take highway 43 to highway 7, then head north. It has many of the usual franchises and quite a few places to eat. There is a movie theater, and a civic theater.
Provisions and Nearby Resources in the Ponca Area
Distances to Nearby Places from Ponca
Compton, 8 miles north on 43
Low Gap, 4 miles east on 74
Jasper, 16 miles east on 74
Harrison, 30 miles north on 43, then 7 north to downtown
Eureka Springs 50 miles west, get map, art galleries, dining, interesting shops, great day trip destination
Best Nearby Day Trip
Eureka Springs -- If you have never been to Eureka Springs, it will surprise you. The town is loaded with Victorian homes with a Currier and Ives look. It has a rich, vibrant arts community and an interesting shopping district, one not loaded with cookie cutter stores. Definitely a "must see" destination and a break from the rustic (if you want one).
Emma's Museum of Junk -- Fun to poke around, changes constantly.
Arkansas House -- Organic Dining and art gallery.
Spring Street Arts -- eclectic, affordable original jewelry and art(on the square)
Cliff House Inn -- American food and gift shop on the Arkansas Grand Canyon (highway 7 south, 6 miles).
Ozark Cafe -- American food and Friday night music.
Nelm's Gallery -- Photo gallery located on highway 74 in Mt. Sherman