The Mulberry River
can catch the rains, take a float trip on
the Mulberry River, just off I-40 in
- The Mulberry River flows for
most of its length through the Ozark
National Forest in the Ozarks.
- After your river kayaking trip
on the Mulberry River visit some of
Arkansas wineries in nearby Altus,
- A whitewater
river similar to
Lower Mt Fork River near Broken Bow in SE Oklahoma,
The Mulberry River is a
bit more intense.
- Intersects with The Pig Trail
Scenic Byway at Turner Bend.
The Pig Trail 19-mile route popular
with area bikers.
- US Forrest Service offers some
FREE camping at the Wolf Pen Access
& Recreational Area.
- Don't forget your spray skirt
when paddling the Mulberry River!
Click Photo To Enlarge
The clear, cool Mulberry River is one of
the wildest Ozark rivers during spring.
In fact, it is wild enough to be home to
the largest concentration of black bears
The nearly 55-miles of the Mulberry
River includes: ledges, willow thickets,
and sharp turns that add up to a Class
II to Class III rating for paddling this
scenic Arkansas float river.
Convenient Arkansas Whitewater for
Mulberry River Canoe Outfitters List
The Highway 23 crossing of the
Mulberry River is less than 12 miles
north of Interstate 40. Outfitters
are located on and near the river
and supplies and overnight
accommodations or camping can be
found easily. Be sure to check the
river levels before hitting the road as
this river requires local rainwater for
Paddle The Mulberry
River - Class Two Rapids in East Arkansas
Check out our Oklahoma
Canoe and Kayak
Paddling Page to learn about more great
river trips in the Oklahoma area! You can read
about our most recent float trips on our
Kayak Oklahoma Blog.
Float Trip Report: September 26,
2009 - Our first visit to The Mulberry River
in Ozark, Arkansas this weekend was a blast!
a couple hours down I-40, the Mulberry River
offers a fun ride with constant current and
loads of fairly easy rapids. In fact, the
Mulberry offers about 40 miles of great canoe &
kayaking water. This river is rainfall driven,
so you must plan your trip carefully. Too much
water makes it very dangerous and too little
water means dragging your kayak through the
shallows. Visit the Turner Bend website for a
daily updated gauge of the current river level.
Since we arrived at Turner Bend late in the
afternoon, we took a short four mile float trip
from public access at Redding Campground in The
Ozark National Forest down to the Turner Bend
take-out at the Highway 23 bridge. The Mulberry
River level was at 2.05 feet a the Turner Bend
gauge. Perfect for a couple of recreational
kayakers like us. The nice folks at Turner Bend
shuttled both of our kayaks for a mere $16.
Just about two minutes past the put-in at
Redding Campground, we hit the first riffle. I
was glad to have my
sprayskirt on as at one
point I could not see over the top of the wave
crashing across the bow of my kayak! Thankfully,
the riffle was long on water, but short on
rocks. Despite the refreshing and
unexpected dousing, we slid through the
whitewater with no real problems. If you
paddle this river expect another rapid to be
around every corner.
Dianne did get into a spot of trouble running
the only named rapid on our trip: Sacroiliac
Rapids. Watching the current push her
hard toward a massive boulder shaped like a
Panther's head on the left as the river channel
swung hard to the right, gave me pause.
She paddled her way out of the jam, but I
decided to run the rapid with an emphasis on
staying the heck away from that huge boulder.
Taking the bumpier, shallow path down the middle
took the steam out of that rapid. A large metal
bridge crosses the river right after the Turner
Bend take-out, so it should be pretty tough to
miss the large stone steps that mark the end of
the trip. -
More Mulberry River float trip details on our kayaking blog.
The free-flowing Mulberry River flows
clear and cool through the hills of the Ozarks and into
the Arkansas River just a few miles downstream from Ft.
This Ozark whitewater roller coaster
offers at least 20 significant Class II-III rapids to
negotiate. The best Mulberry River water levels and
weather conditions are usually found from mid-March to
It is a very fun and scenic river that
is totally dependant on local rainfall. Be sure to
check the river conditions before heading toward the
Mulberry. During the dry months, the river is
still a good place for swimming and
In 1985, the General Assembly declared
the Mulberry to be a scenic river of the State of
Arkansas and in 1992 it was named a National Wild and
The Ozark Highlands Trail, which runs just north of kayak outfitter Turner Bend. extends from one end of the Ozark National Forest to the other. There are numerous access points on the trail. You can easily include some hiking along with your float trips to the Mulberry River.
Paddling The Mulberry River is not recommended for
anybody with less than an intermediate level whitewater
proficiency whenever the stage is greater than 2.4 feet.
This is a cold water river, so
drysuits or some other quick drying apparel for
safety. As always,
wear your PFD and take your
kayaking self-rescue gear as well.
Mulberry River Canoe & Kayak Outfitter List
Byrd's Adventure Center of the Ozarks
7037 Cass Oark Rd.
Ozark, AR 72949
Byrd's Adventure Center offers: Canoe,
kayak or raft rentals, shuttle services, wet-suit
rentals, hiker shuttles, bike rental, guide services,
lodging , campground & supplies. Mulberry River Float
Trips from 4
miles to 40 miles long. 8 miles upriver from
Turner Bend - Canoes, Kayak & Rafts
20034 North Hwy. 23
Ozark, AR 72949
A 27 year old family business, Turner Bend offers: Canoe, kayak or raft
rentals, shuttle services, guide services, two cabins,
14 campsites & a paddler supplies store.
Mulberry River Float Trips from 4 miles to 23 miles
long. 8 miles downriver from Byrd's Adventure
Turner Bend also provides Hiker shuttles
for the Ozark Highlands Trail, which runs just north of
Class II Whitewater on the
Lower Mt. Fork River near Broken Bow,
Oklahoma Area Float Trip Outfitters List