Dagger Zydeco Recreational Kayak







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Elk River in Noel, MO





Dylan and Thomas Canoe the Kings River in Eureka Springs, AR
Kings River Float Trips near Noel, Missouri.  










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Scenic Kayaking on The Kiamichi River in Southeastern Oklahoma.







Kayaking from Grave Creek to Lake Eufaula







Add some zipLines, climbing wall fun and forest adventure to your float trip with a visit to Loco Ropes Treetop Adventure Park in Mountain View, Arkansas.

Loco Ropes Treetop Adventure Park
1025A Park Avenue
Mountain View, AR 72560
Phone: 870-269-6566



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The Buffalo National River
Great Float Trips on  Beautiful Ozark Rivers Abound in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
  • Elk River Canoeing and Kayaking in Noel, Mo is an Ozarks river that is very close to Oklahoma.
  • The Buffalo River near Harrison, AR offers countless float trip opportunities, see outfitters list below.  Take your camera on the Middle Buffalo River, take your sprayskirt on the upper Buffalo River!
  • The White River has it's confluence with the Buffalo River near Mountain Home, Arkansas. It is well worth paddling when you are in the area.
  • The Buffalo National River is one of the best smallmouth bass streams in the state of Arkansas. During warm-weather it is a breathtaking canoe stream paddled by many, but in winter it is nearly deserted.  It offers enough canoe camping to get anyone back-to-nature. This crystal clear river runs over colorful gravel between beautiful limestone bluffs.  The river is lined with dogwood and redbud trees that come alive with fabulous color both in the Spring and Fall Canoeing seasons.

    Click Photos To Enlarge
    Scenic Bluffs on the Buffalo River
    The Buffalo River - Photo by Thomas P. Jones

The Buffalo River, located in northern Arkansas, originates in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks, flows for over a hundred miles before joining The White River. It is officially a national treasure and locally considered to be a great Arkansas Kayaking trip for Oklahoma folks.

Jump down to our Buffalo River Outfitters List

The upper section is in the Ozark National Forest and it is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  it also has the most exciting rapids and is designated as a National Scenic River and a National Wild River.

The rest of the river is simply heaven for canoe paddlers. The Oklahoma Flatwater paddlers lead at least one trip down this river every year and OKC Kayak even offers guided Buffalo River adventures.

Paddle The Buffalo National River - The Perfect Canoe Camping River  

Nothing cools you down faster than a spring fed river or a crisp clear lake on a hot Oklahoma day. Check out our Oklahoma Canoe and Kayak Paddling Page to learn more! You can read about our most recent float trips on our Kayak Oklahoma Blog.

Trip Report  - 5/25/05 Buffalo River and Illinois River

Paddling the Buffalo River in Arkansas

Be it canoe or kayak, we like nothing better than sliding across the water on 'our own steam'. How can something this much fun actually be good exercise? 

To introduce Faithful Son to this healthful and enjoyable sport, we planned a float trip via canoe on a small part of The Buffalo River in near Gilbert, Arkansas. One thing that surprised us all was the gravel. In my muddy Oklahoma hometown area, gravel is a rare and precious resource. We mistakenly wore sandals to paddle this lovely river, but we saw no sand.

The Buffalo River is a beautiful river of crystal clear waters and gravel banks surrounded by high limestone bluffs of purple and orange. In 1972, it was designated by Congress as America's first National River, on the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Yellowstone as our first National Park. 

Find a Spray Skirt for Your Kayak.


The Buffalo River near Gilbert, Arkansas
Buffalo River - Arkansas Paddling

It is also just across the Arkansas border from Oklahoma, only a few hours from Tulsa. In the Fall and Spring the Buffalo River offers breathtaking seasonal color.  Take your camera...heck take your tripod too on this wonderful river!

The Buffalo is the last major undammed river in Arkansas and is wonderfully pristine, yet well complimented with canoe and kayak outfitters in the surrounding small towns like Ponca, St. Joe, Yellville and Hasty. 

We have used both Silver Hill Canoe Rental and Buffalo Camping & Canoeing and I can honestly say they were both first rate. They offer numerous float trips  depending on distance you want to travel.

The river is categorized into three parts, the upper, middle and lower.  Click the links below to see our list of outfitters for each section of the Buffalo River.

  • The upper part of the Buffalo River is located in Boxley and ending in Carver.  (outfitters in Ponca, Jasper and Marble Falls, AR)

  • The middle part of the Buffalo River runs from Carver to S. Maumee. (outfitters in St. Joe and Gilbert, AR)

  • The lower part of the Buffalo River runs from N. Maumee to Buffalo City. (outfitters in Yellville, AR)

The large town in the area is Harrison, Arkansas and offers many fine restaurants, shopping, hotels, motels, cabins, cottages, etc.

Buffalo River - Arkansas Paddling

Here's a link to a good river map: Buffalo River Map

Sadly, I'm afraid the Buffalo River float trip failed to convert Faithful Son from XBox to paddle junkie as it rained steadily for the majority of our float. Dianne and I were paddling away on the river, so we found the rain to be a cool and refreshing crowd control device, but Dylan darn near froze in the middle of the canoe! Oh well, better luck next time, eh?

Thankfully, Gilbert, Arkansas is close enough to Tahlequah to allow us an afternoon float trip down the Illinois River on our way back home. 

Safe river levels for canoes on the Illinois River in Northeastern, Oklahoma.
Click to view recommended paddling levels for the Illinois River near Tahlequah, OK

Buffalo River Canoe & Kayak Outfitter List

Upper River - Boxley to Carver

Buffalo Adventures
HC 70 Box 136 A Jasper, AR 72641 
Phone: 870-446-5406 

Buffalo Outdoor Center, Inc.
Location: Ponca, AR. 72670 
Phone: 800-221-5514 

Gordon Motel, Inc.
Location: P. O. Box 60 Jasper, AR 72641 
Phone: 800-477-8509 

Kellerís Kanoes
Shuttle services and rental of canoes, kayaks, & rafts. Closed for the season as of Sunday 6/26/2011.
Location: HCR 73, Box 39 Marble Falls, AR 72648 
Phone: 870-446-2644    Email: info@floatthebuffalo.com.

Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging
Cabins, campsites, shuttle services and rental of canoes & kayaks. Floating Season is March to June.
Location: Hwy 43, Box 10 Ponca, AR 72670 
Phone: 870-861-5522 

Razorback Canoe Rental 
Location: PO Box 1 Marble Falls, AR 72648 
Phone: 870-446-2255 

Riverview Motel Canoe Rental
Location: P.O. Box 352 Jasper, AR 72641 
Phone: 870-446-2616 

Middle Buffalo River - Carver to South Maumee

Buffalo Camping & Canoeing (We tried 'em, they rock!)
Location: P.O. Box 504 Gilbert, AR 72636 
Phone: 870-439-2888 

Buffalo River Outfitters
Guided trips, luxury cabins, shuttle services and rental of canoes, kayaks, rafts & horses.
Location: Rt 1 Box 56 St. Joe, AR 72675 
Phone: 800-582-2244 

Crockett's Canoe Rental 
Location: P.O. Box 26 Harriet, AR 72639 
Phone: 800-355-6111 

Silver Hill Canoe Rental (We tried 'em, they rock!)
Shuttle services and rental of canoes, kayaks, rafts & tubes. Open all year.
Location: Rt. 1 Box 48A St. Joe, AR 72675 
Phone: 870-439-2372   Email: info@silverhillcanoe.com

Lower Buffalo River - North Maumee to Buffalo City 

Dillard's Ozark Outfitters, Inc.
Location: 12656 Hwy. 14S - Yellville, AR 72687 
Phone: 800-423-8731

Dirst Canoe Rental
Location: 538 Hwy. 268 - Yellville, AR 72687 
Phone: 800-537-2850 

Wild Bill's Outfitters
Cabins with Jacuzzi, shuttle services and rental of canoes, kayaks, rafts & tubes.
Location: Jct. Hwy 14 S. & 268 - Yellville, AR 72687 
Phone: 800-554-8657 

...Complete Oklahoma Area Float Trip Outfitters List



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