The Buffalo River is one of our favorites. It located in northern Arkansas and has the distinction of being the first National River in the United States. It is also a Nation Scenic and Wild River. In total, the Buffalo flows over 150 miles. The river flows through Newton, Searcy, Marion, and Baxter Counties, from west to east. The river originates in the highest part of Boston Mountains, flows out onto the Springfield Plateau near Erbie, and finally crosses the Salem Plateau just before joining the White River. The lower section 135 miles of the river is managed by the National Park Service while the upper section of the river in the Ozark National Forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
The Buffalo National River was established on March 1, 1972 through an Act of Congress in order to end plans of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct multiple dams on the river. The National River designation is intended to protect natural rivers from influences that might disrupt the natural habitat for the flora and fauna that reside within the area as well as influences that will deter from the scenery.
While most of the Buffalo is ideal for casual floating and enjoyment on the river, the upper most section of the Buffalo, upriver from Boxley, can be extremely challenging. The Hailstone as it is called requires advanced canoeing and kayaking skills and is only floatable during periods of high water.
The Buffalo River Area features dramatic topography including sink holes and caves, springs, and waterfalls. It also showcases 500-foot tall sandstone and limestone bluffs with beautiful rock formations. A popular hike on the river is the ascent to Hemmed In Hollow Falls. Here, a boxed canyon leads to a 200 foot waterfall which is the highest of its kind between the Southern Appalachians and the Rockies.
The Buffalo National River is a popular recreation area for all thing associated with outdoor recreation including camping, canoeing, and fishing. Primitive Camping is allowed throughout the park with the following exceptions: the Hemmed-in-Hollow area, on Big Bluff, in historical structures, on private property within the park, or within 100 feet of any trail or watercourse. Camping is, however, permitted on gravel bars and sand bars along the river. There are also multiple developed camping sites.
For more information on boat rentals, please visit the following links: