Background Information

Several of the stream write-ups in the "floater's kit'' recommend the purchase of ''general highway maps" for particular counties. Contact the Map Sales office for information regarding current pricing at:

Map Sales, Room 203
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
P.O. Box 2261
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

For a more detailed look at the land, refer to topographic maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey. Obtain an "Index to Topographic Maps for Arkansas'' from:

Arkansas Geological Commission
Map and Publication Sales
3815 West Roosevelt Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204

Ten Important Reminders

1. Wear those life jackets.
2. Take along a spare paddle.
3. Pay attention to local weather forecasts.
4. Dress appropriately for the season.
5. Don't travel alone.
6. Avoid camping in areas subject to sudden rises.
7. Know your ability and don't exceed it.
8. Refrain from drinking creek or river water no matter how clean it appears.
9. Carry out whatever you carry in.
10. Should you capsize, try to stay with your boat and swim it to shore, making certain that you're on the upstream side of the craft to avoid getting pinned between it and rocks or willows.

Degree of Difficulty
The narratives also occasionally refer to class ratings for the streams, based on an international scale of six levels of difficulty:

Class I: Easy
Moving water with few riffles and small waves. Few or no obstructions. Correct course is easy to determine.

Class II: Medium
Fairly frequent, but unobstructed rapids. Course generally easy to recognize. Some maneuvering is required.

Class III: Difficult
Numerous rapids with high and irregular waves. Narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering. Course not always easily recognizable.

Class IV: Very Difficult
Long rapids characterized by high and irregular waves with boulders directly in swift current. Course often difficult to recognize requiring some scouting from bank.

Class V: Exceedingly Difficult
Continuous rocky rapids with high and irregular broken water that cannot be avoided. Extremely fast flow, abrupt bends, and strong cross currents. Difficult rescue conditions. Frequent inspections from bank necessary.

Class VI: Limit of Navigability
Class V difficulties increased to the upper limits of skill and equipment. Extremely dangerous. Only for teams of experts.

Additional Information
Many of the streams mentioned in this collection flow through or near Arkansas's two national forests—the Ouachita National Forest and the Ozark St. Francis National Forest. Both offer superb hiking, camping, and hunting opportunities in addition to their river recreation possibilities. For more information contact:

Ouachita National Forest
Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is the agency charged with managing the state's wildlife resources. It has established a fine network of hatcheries, public fishing lakes. and wildlife management areas. More information, including order forms for hunting and fishing licenses, may be obtained by writing:

Information and Education Division
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
2 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism manages the state park system, produces the Arkansas Vacation Kit, and houses the Arkansas Trails Council. For details on these or similar topics, write:

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 682-1191

In 1979 the legislature established the Arkansas Natural and Scenic Rivers Commission, a body charged with developing a system to protect "natural beauty along certain rivers of the state." For more information on the Commission and its activities, write:

Arkansas Natural and Scenic Rivers Commission
c/o Department of Arkansas Heritage
Heritage Center East, Suite 200
225 East Markham
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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