According to the “Arkansas Adventure Guide,” the Buffalo River National River is one of the busiest sites in Arkansas, no matter what the season. The 135 mile National river is lined with bluffs as high as 440 feet, making it one of the more scenic rivers in the United States. This River can be reached via US 65 in Northwestern Arkansas, and lies in the midst of the Ozark Mountains. The Buffalo River was declared a National River in 1972, to protect its natural beauty from development.
If you are a fisherman, you will love the small mouth bass, goggle eye and other game fish that are in the river. This free flowing river makes an ideal spot to catch fish. Fly fishermen enjoy the challenge of the River.
If you are a camper, you will find various campgrounds available along the River. There are primitive tent sites, RV sites with hookups, and open camping. These campgrounds are located along the River, some on bluffs overlooking the River. There are rustic cabins available, with flush toilets, showers, and picnic sites with grills at Buiffalo Point. Most of the campgrounds are open year round.
Swimmers should be aware that jumping from the bluffs is dangerous, because of submerged rocks that might be in the water. The cool waters of the River make for a refreshing swim in the warm summertime.
Hunters will enjoy the various game that live around the River. The wilderness, surrounding the River, makes an ideal place to track wildlife, including deer, bear, and even bobcats. Check with the Department of Parks and Tourism to see when the hunting season is open in the area.
Hikers will enjoy the various nature trails in the area. There are 22,500 acres of wilderness area, around the Buffalo National River. Some of the trails are rocky and the terrain is mountainous.. You can find trail maps at various bookstores and sporting good stores in the Bufalo River area. Some of the trails are long, 36 1/2 miles, but are sectioned off into smaller distances. The Ozark Mountains, coupled with the River, make these trails an exciting experience. There are, also, National Park Service Trails available, and maps and information can be obtained by contacting 870-741-5443 or www.nps.gov/buff.
Most people come to the Buffalo National River to float its waters. Canoes can be rented at numerous places around the River. Canoe companies take the boaters to their starting point and usually pick them up at the end of their journey. Outfitters can offer advice to the boaters as to the intensity of the float trip. They can instruct beginners on the sections that are most calm, and the more experienced would want to find the rapids. No matter what part of the River you float, you will see scenery that will overwhelm you. Springs, caves, waterfalls, natural bridges and canyons are some of the natural scenery that you will enjoy while floating the River.
There are many programs offered to assist you in enjoying the Buffalo National River adventure. There are guided walks, hikes, canoe and float trips, and craft demonstrations throughout the year. You can get information from the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, located 9 miles North of the town of Marshall, Arkansas.
For additonal information on the various camping facilities available, contact www.Recreation.gov.
If your hobby is photography, you will find the scenery breathtaking. The natural beauty of the area makes picture taking a pleasure.
If you don’t want to camp and enjoy the River by day, you can find motels in the nearby towns of Harrison, Jasper, and Yellville, Arkansas. There are various dining establishments, also, in these towns.
References: Arkansas Adventure Guide, published by Department of Parks and Tourism
AAA Publishing Company