PONCA, Ark. – A teenage boy died on Sunday after a fall near the Lost Valley Trail at Buffalo National River on Saturday, according to the National Park Service.
According to investigators from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, they were notified of a 16-year-old hiker who fell near Eden Falls cave at 1 pm.
According to the release, the teen was hiking with a church group when he reportedly left the established trail to climb up a steep hillside near the cave entrance, where he lost his footing and fell 20 feet, sustaining traumatic injuries to his head and spine.
Despite attempts at lifesaving measures by emergency personnel and witnesses on scene, the teen remained unresponsive.
“The park staff and I extend our deepest condolences to this young man’s family and friends,” park superintendent Mark Foust said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved and to the communities affected by such a tragedy.”
The terrain in Buffalo National River can be rugged and steep. Off-trail travel is often dangerous.