Picture yourself surrounded by nature, floating down calm, cool waters, with nothing but towering limestone bluffs above you. The Buffalo National River, the United States' first national river, is roughly 150 miles long, and packed with beautiful scenery and historical roots. The Buffalo originates in the rugged Boston Mountains of the Ozarks near Fallsville, Arkansas. Beginning as just a trickle, the Buffalo River runs down through the Ozark Mountains and empties into the White River. The most ideal way to see the Buffalo River is from the water. Whether you are planning a day float, or looking forward to a several day float, we invite you to explore the many hiking trails and fishing that the Buffalo River has to offer.
There are numerous float trips available depending on the distance you wish to travel. The Buffalo River is broken down into three parts, the upper, middle and lower. The upper part of the Buffalo River is located in Boxley, ending in Carver, the middle from Carver to S. Maumee, and the lower running from N.Maumee to Buffalo City. One of the most popular floats is from Ponca to Pruitt. This 25 mile section of the river has something for the amateur floater as well as the more experience floater, with class I and class II rapids. This section also features beautiful scenery from Hemmed-In-Hollow, the highest waterfall in Mid-America to the 11,300 acres of the Ponca Wilderness.
There are several outfitters located on each part of the river to accommodate your floating needs. The National Parks Service limits the number of rental boats that can be launched on any given day; therefore most outfitters suggest reserving your boats in advance. It is especially wise to book canoes in advance during holiday weekends. Most outfitters also recommend that small children be at least 4 years of age and be able to swim before floating the Buffalo River and all floaters must have a life jacket. Outfitters offer different services from canoe rental, car shuttles, horseback riding, and lodging. You also welcome to bring your own canoe, kayak or small engine boat.