The Buffalo River gets very little attention from the Arkansas canoeing community. This ends-up being a win for everyone, as overcrowding along the Buffalo is rare. There are many ways to explore the Buffalo and its tributaries. This article will discuss some of the ways you can enjoy this beautiful river without the crowds.
Before you hit the water, you’ll want to get a map of the river at the Buffalo River Elk Visitor Center.
It’s important to know where you are going, how to get there, how to get back and how to find the bathroom. Before you hit the water, make sure you stop at the Buffalo River Elk Visitor Center and pick up a map that shows all of these things. If you are paddling with people who have never been on this river before (or even if they have), it is best to start off with a guided tour. This will give everyone time to relax into their trip and understand what they need for their adventure ahead of time.
The most popular section of the Buffalo River is the Upper Buffalo Mountain area near Ponca.
It’s scenic, with rock outcroppings, caves, and steep bluffs. You’ll have no trouble finding your way from one side to another if you start here because it’s easy to navigate and has a nice flow to it. It also has several access points where you can begin or end your trip if you’re coming from a distance.
If this sounds appealing but you’re worried about being able to paddle against fast-moving water currents or having enough energy left over at the end of your day for hiking back up steep hills after a long day on the river (or just being sore), consider starting at Ponca State Park instead! There are plenty of smooth flat areas where beginners can rent kayaks without worrying about getting swept away by strong rapids and there are plenty more places where advanced paddlers can get wild and crazy while they traverse through roaring whitewater rapids
Camping is allowed in designated primitive areas along the river.
You are allowed to camp along the Buffalo River in designated primitive areas. These areas offer a back-to-nature experience with no amenities or water hookups, so it’s best to come prepared with everything you may need.
A permit is required through May and June for a motorized vessel.
In order to legally operate a motorized vessel on the Buffalo River, you need a special permit. A permit is required from May 1 to June 30, and it costs $10. Permits are available at the Buffalo National River Headquarters in Harrison; they’re also available online or by calling 800-287-0277.
Boats are allowed from sunrise to sunset on a portion of the Buffalo River in Arkansas.
You can canoe on the Buffalo River from sunrise until sunset. From sunset to sunrise, no boats are allowed. Boats are also not allowed at night, so if you’re staying overnight in a campground or cabin make sure you leave your canoe behind! The paddle season lasts from April 1st through June 30th and then again from July 1st through September 30th.
Some campgrounds have canoe rentals, but if you want to bring your own, make sure to check out this helpful list of places that rent canoes and kayaks along the river.
- You can rent canoes and kayaks at some campgrounds along the river, but if you want to bring your own, make sure to check out this helpful list of places that rent canoes and kayaks along the river.
- If you want to explore this part of the Buffalo River by motorized vessel, be sure to get a map from any ranger station or visitor center on your way in.
- If you plan on navigating via a non-motorized craft such as an inflatable raft or paddleboard, make sure to get a permit from any local ranger station or visitor center.
- Finally, if all else fails and you need some help with finding the perfect canoeing spot for yourself (or even renting one), contact one of these places:
Be sure you know where you’re going and what you’re doing before you hit the water.
Before you put a paddle in the water, it’s important that you do the following:
- Know the regulations. While many of these laws are similar to those in other states and countries, there are a few things that can trip up even seasoned paddlers. For example, on certain stretches of the Buffalo River, paddling is only allowed during daylight hours. If you’re going on an overnight trip with your canoe or kayak and will be camping along one of these sections of river, make sure that your vessel has enough lights so that it can safely navigate through this area at night.
- Know the weather. Before setting out on any waterway in Arkansas (or anywhere else), check for current conditions such as wind speed and direction as well as cloud cover and precipitation amounts—all factors which will affect how easy or difficult it will be to paddle effectively across open waters.
If you’re looking for a fun way to experience the Buffalo River, try renting a canoe. The Buffalo River has a lot to offer paddlers of all experience levels. To create the perfect trip, use information from this post! Make sure to check out the breathtaking views and wildlife. You’ll soon notice that the Buffalo River isn’t always crowded, even on weekends.