Top Ten Kid-Tested Rivers

Buffalo River, Arkansas
By Buck Tilton
  |  Gorp.com

Protected as our first national river, the Buffalo splashes through a steep-walled, Ozark Mountain canyon for its first 25 twisting miles. But below the put-in at the town of Pruitt stretch 100 free-flowing miles beneath picturesque ledges and limestone bluffs that lift at times more than 300 feet above the flat water. The Buffalo ranks as one of the most pristine waterways left in the United States.

One of your most difficult decisions will be which lovely wooded or gravel bar campsite to choose each night.

You and the kids can enjoy short side trips to caves, ghost towns, and historic sites. After 50 miles, below Gilbert, you'll find 15 miles of popular day-tripping water. The last 40 miles of the river, to a take-out at its confluence with the White River, are seldom paddled, providing a rare opportunity to be alone with spring and fall migratory birds, herons and hawks, deer, and otters and beavers. In spring the forest burns with the colors of azalea, laurel, rosebud, and rhododendron.

Practicalities

When: The swimming holes are irresistible during warmer months.

Canoe rentals are available. No permits are required.

For more info: Buffalo National River, P.O. Box 1173, Harrison, AR 72602; (501) 741-5443.


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