In 1972, Congress named The Buffalo National River as the country’s first national river. The 135 miles free-flowing river makes up the Buffalo River to which only 11% of the actual watershed is under direct National Park Service management.
The Buffalo River starts in the Boston Mountains and generally flows in an easterly direction before ending in the Ozark Mountains amongst Arkansas’ natural beauty. Along the river are multi-colored bluffs of eroded sandstone, limestone, and dolomite, with some towering to heights over 400 feet. There are also numerous caves and cliffs that you will see while floating the Buffalo, as well as sinkholes, waterfalls, springs, and rock formations. The history and geology of the Buffalo is one of a kind that our knowledgeable team at Buffalo River Outfitters knows all about!
While floating the Buffalo National River, you will find an abundance of wildlife and plant species. Hunting and fishing are allowed in the national river under state and National Park Service regulations. The river also has a diverse range of cultural resources along with historic sites. Protected sites include prehistoric village and shelter sites, historic farmsteads, and mining sites, in addition to Civilian Conservation Corps structure.
The Buffalo National River Park has a total of 94,293 acres that is divided into three management districts: the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, the Ponca Wilderness Area, and the Lower Buffalo Wilderness Area. The park headquarters are located in Harrison (Boone County), Arkansas, and park visitation averages more than 800,000 visitors a year.
In addition to water-based activities, the park offers visitors more than 100 miles of hiking trails and designated trails for horseback riding. Since there are few roads which parallel the river and few accessible overlooks, river and trail trips are among the best ways to experience the park. In short, there are unlimited adventures to be had, places to camp, and sights to see right here in the Heart of Buffalo River Country.