Arkansas is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Ever wondered about the allure of exploring a ghost town—where time stands still, and nature claims what humanity once built? If you’re seeking a distinctive adventure in Arkansas, look no further than Rush, the lone ghost town nestled in the Buffalo National River area.

Rush, a bustling mining hub in the late 1800s and early 1900s, attracted thousands in pursuit of zinc fortunes. Boasting over 200 structures at its zenith—stores, saloons, hotels, churches, and schools—Rush succumbed to abandonment as the demand for zinc waned post-World War I, ultimately fading into obscurity by the 1960s.

Today, Rush stands as a captivating historical relic, providing a glimpse into a bygone era. Explore decaying structures, remnants of mining equipment, and delve into the lives of the miners and their families. Amidst the Ozark Mountains and along the Buffalo River, Rush beckons history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventurous spirits.

How to Get to Rush

Situated in Marion County, approximately 80 miles south of Branson, Missouri, and 150 miles north of Little Rock, Arkansas, Rush is accessible via Highway 14 and County Road 603—a gravel road leading to the ghost town. While generally traversable, it may get rough or muddy, especially after rain, so checking road conditions before your journey is advisable.

Alternatively, embark on a hike or bike ride from Buffalo Point Campground, around 11 miles away. The trail along the Buffalo River offers picturesque views of bluffs and water, rated as a moderate day or overnight trip.

What to See and Do in Rush

Rush, an open, self-guided historical site, welcomes visitors year-round at no cost. Pick up a brochure at the entrance or download it from the National Park Service website for a map and information.

Highlights include:

  1. Morning Star Mine: The most prolific mine, producing over 10 million pounds of zinc. Explore foundations, ore bins, tramways, and the mine shaft (exercise caution).
  2. Rush Historic District: Home to ruins of the general store, post office, hotel, schoolhouse, and church. Witness abandoned cars, wagons, and machinery.
  3. Rush Cemetery: The resting place of miners and their families, with gravestones dating back to the late 1800s. Some graves, like that of John Huddleston, the “Diamond King,” hold intriguing stories.
  4. Buffalo River: America’s first national river, offering clear waters, towering bluffs, and diverse wildlife. Engage in fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, or camping at designated sites.

Tips for Visiting Rush

  1. Come Prepared: As a remote site without facilities or services, bring your essentials—food, water, and supplies—and ensure you pack out what you bring in.
  2. Respect the Site: Being a National Park Service-protected historic site, refrain from damaging or disturbing anything. Stay on designated trails and roads, avoiding unsafe or restricted areas.
  3. Embrace the Ghost Town Atmosphere: As a rustic and eerie locale, be prepared for wildlife encounters and unexpected sounds. Enjoy the adventure of stepping back in time amidst the mysterious ambiance of Rush.


Rush, the ghost town of Arkansas, promises a one-of-a-kind journey for those eager to delve into the state’s history and natural wonders. Offering a portal to the past, it invites you to envision the mining and frontier life of yesteryears. Embrace the solitude and beauty of the Ozark Mountains and the Buffalo River, making your visit to Rush an unforgettable adventure.

Leave a Comment