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Monday, December 8, 2008

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch-located near Jasper, Arkansas

JASPER, Ark—As many families stack firewood, stock cupboards, and remove wooly sweaters from storage, it seems counter-intuitive to turn their thoughts to summer vacation plans. Yet, seasoned travelers know once the calendar reads 2009, the most popular weeks and accommodations are snapped up quickly.

This is especially true for those whom have their hearts set on highly sought after destinations, places like NW Arkansas’s Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. The Western Dude ranch with Southern hospitality is winning the favor of travelers from every corner of world. Add to its growing popularity the brief “high season,” a capacity of just 13 families, and a tendency for guests to return the same time each summer, and it’s apparent why making reservations months in advance is advised.

Four generations of the Johnson family work the 500-acre spread, where families journey from far as London and Rome to the retreat in the heart of the Buffalo River Wilderness area. Known as one of the cleanest, most scenic rivers in the United States, The Buffalo carves a path through the mountains forming towering sandstone and limestone bluffs as high as 440 feet, the tallest in the Ozarks. Visitors may explore caves, bluffs, waterfalls, old cabin sites, waterfalls, and may even spot a local black bear. But the river wilderness is more than a place of natural beauty as well as the site of the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. It is, in the words of the National Park Service, "an island of time and space, a valley where turn-of-the-century lifestyles and landscapes still exist.” Some guests are drawn to the ranch as a place of solace, to be inspired and refreshed by nature. Others travel here to satisfy an appetite for adventure. For many it’s an ideal place for both experiences. read more...

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