Top Ten Canoeing and Flatwater Rafting Trips
Difficulty: Class I to II
Season: March through October
Trip Length: One to several days
Arkansas's Buffalo River was the country's first national river, is roughly 150 miles long, and includes nearly 95,000 acres of public land along its corridor.
Like the Mulberry River and Big Piney Creek, the Buffalo originates in the rugged Boston Mountains division of the Ozarks. Unlike the other two streams, which eventually head south to meet the Arkansas River, the Buffalo goes east where, ultimately, it joins the White River. Along the way it descends nearly 2,000 feet through layers of sandstone, limestone, and chert. One immediately obvious result is bluffs and more bluffs—the highest in all the Ozarks. Other geological wonders are hidden away: springs, caves, waterfalls, natural bridges, and box-like canyons.
The 24-mile stretch downstream from Ponca is the star section on the Buffalo.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication