Whether you are seeking an adventure on the water or a more laid back ride, a float down the Buffalo River might be just what you’re looking for. Flowing for over 150 miles and emptying into the White River, the Buffalo River is separated into 3 parts: the upper, the middle and the lower region. Each is special in what they offer ranging from calm, flowing streams for beginners to more rapid flowing waters for the advanced. There are many launching points along the river depending on where you want to begin and how long you want to float. Towering limestone bluffs, some reaching over 400 feet in height, will shade your way as you float at Buffalo River National Park. Experience this most beautiful region of the Ozarks on your next trip to Arkansas.
The Buffalo National River was established in 1972 and designated as the first national river in the U.S. Today, it is a popular destination for canoeing, tubing and kayaking. Floating season is typically in the spring from March through June but many factors go into how the water will be on any given day. From the changing seasons to the weather, the river can change from day to day. The river is considered to be a Class I rating while the upper portion can sometimes fluctuate to be a Class II if the water is high.
There are quite a few places to rent canoes depending on what section of the river you are located. In the upper river area, check out Buffalo River Canoes. They provide a shuttle service and rentals of kayaks, canoes, and rafts. The middle river region offers Crockett’s Country Store and Buffalo River Canoe Rentals. Crockett’s offers delivery and shuttle services and rates for rafts, canoes and kayaks per person. The lower river region is home to Wild Bill’s Outfitter, the largest outfitter on the Buffalo National River. Wild Bill’s offers instructions for first timers or an experienced guide to tag along.
With over 100 miles of trails in the park, be sure to look into the many hiking trails the park has to offer. The Lost Valley Trail is a family-friendly trail and is one of the most popular trails in the park. From the waterfalls and streams to the wide range of plant life to be seen, be sure not to forget your camera on this one. There is also the Hideout Hollow Trail which offers bluffs perfect for sitting and enjoying the surroundings. Memorial Day through Labor Day, guided hikes, float trips and more can be arranged and offered by park rangers.
The National Parks Service limits the number of boats that can be launched on a given day. Holidays and weekends are some of the busiest times so it is best to reserve canoes early as they go quickly.
When visiting the area, the Tyler Bend Visitor’s Center is open year round. This center is a great place to get information. They offer exhibits, park information and books to get you ready for your day of adventure. The park headquarters are located in Harrison, Arkansas. When you find yourself on an adventure at the park and need a peaceful place to end the day, we would love to host you at Arsenic and Old Lace bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs. Choose from one of our five guest suites and we’ll even treat you to a complimentary, gourmet breakfast in the morning. For room availability or to make a reservation, call us at 479-253-5454.
Photo courtesy of OakleyOriginals