Anchored around the county seat of Jasper with a population of less than 500 and one of the most picturesque courthouse squares in the state, Newton County is a nature lover’s dream. The majority of the county is composed of the Ozark National Forest and the scenic corridor of the Buffalo National River, the nation’s first national river, where Jasper is a hub. Spring weekends find the area filled with vehicles bearing canoes and kayaks traveling to float the incomparable Buffalo River and, as year-round backpackers head out for scores of trails through the most striking wilderness in the eastern half of the nation. Amidst the scenery, long before the designation of the national river, Newton County was home to self-sufficient pioneers who began arriving in the early 1800s to build log cabins and farms to support their families―a spirit that remains today.