The Buffalo River is about 150 miles long and includes nearly 95,000 acres of public land along it. It was the first river to be recognized as a national river. The River starts in the foothills of the Boston Mountains in Ozarks and heads east through picturesque bluffs, coves and waterfalls.
Where, For a Challenge:
The best of the scenery and float action is located in the area between the between Ponca and the Arkansas Highway 7 crossing. Starting in this section of the river will bring you past the highest waterfall in mid-America, class I and II rapids and some of the most amazing scenery you’ll ever see. This section has plenty of hazards to challenge rafters. There are plenty of campgrounds in this area too.
Where, For Peacefulness:
If you want a more peaceful trip, you should start a bit downstream. The stretch from Arkansas 7 to Highway 123 has some class I rapids and gravel bars. A bit further down is perfect for peaceful canoeing. Just sit back and watch the scenery float past you.
You can float the Buffalo year round. The campgrounds are also open year round but during the winter it gets quite cold.
The water of the Buffalo is great for smallmouth bass. You can also find a variety of other fish including channel catfish.
The hiking is great here. If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can see the same great scenery from the safety and comfort of the banks.
The area has Black Bears and other wildlife and some great cliffs, bluffs and beautiful clear water.
You can swim in the Buffalo, and the clear waters are great for it, however, it’s recommended that you never swim alone in the river.
Services (Rental and Campgrounds):
You can rent canoes at many spots along the river. There are also tour guides, fishing guides and complete tour packages available. You can choose to stay in a log cabin, inn or at a campground. Many of all these are available along the river.
Lost Valley – Eden Falls:
Lost Valley is the home to that waterfall I spoke of earlier. Eden Falls is between Ponca and Boxley on the Lost Valley campground trail. It’s probably 1.5 miles to the falls. Eden falls consists of 3 separate waterfalls, and there are a few other falls on the way (depending on the weather). It’s one of the most scenic falls in Arkansas, and also one of the largest. There are two caves to explore. Bring a flashlight.