History and Fun Facts About the Buffalo National River, Arkansas

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History of the Buffalo

In 1972, Congress named the The Buffalo National River as the country’s first national river. 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. The Buffalo River ends in the Ozark Mountains and includes Arkansas’ natural beauty. Along the river are multi-colored bluffs of eroded sandstone, limestone, and dolomite. Some bluffs tower to heights over 400 feet. There are also numerous caves and cliffs that you will see while floating the Buffalo. There are also sinkholes, waterfalls, springs, and rock formations. The history and geology of the Buffalo is one of a kind that knowledgeable team at Buffalo River Outfitters knows all about!

Fun Facts

While floating the Buffalo National River, you will also find an abundance of wildlife and plant species. Hunting as well as fishing are allowed in the national river under state and National Park Service regulations. More facts about the Buffalo is that there is a diverse range of cultural resources along with historic sites. Protected sites include prehistoric village and shelter sites, historic farmsteads, mining sites, in addition to Civilian Conservation Corps structure.

Another fact about the Buffalo is that the park has a total of 94,293 acres that is divided into three management districts. These are the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, the Ponca Wilderness Area, and the Lower Buffalo Wilderness Area. Buffalo National River Park headquarters are located in Harrison (Boone County), Arkansas. The park visitation has averaged more than 800,000 visitors a year. In addition to visitor water-based activities, the park offers 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.

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