THINGS TO DO

Before you head to the river, make sure and check out all of the fun you can have while you’re here! You’ll want to plan ahead, so you don’t miss anything. Listed below are resources designed to help you plan your stay, including links to nearby attractions and maps, with a few suggested day trips.

See what adventures you can find!

Floating on the Buffalo River

FLOATING

Ready to hit the river. Get the information you need before you make a splash.

Hiking in Upper Buffalo Area

HIKING

Make sure you have the maps and information you need before your hike.

Trail riding in the Upper Buffalo Area

HORSEBACK RIDING

Before you hit the trail make sure you have the information you need for a great ride.

Floating on the Buffalo River

FISHING

If you love to fish, you’ve come to the right place to plan your fishing adventure.

Trail riding in the Upper Buffalo Area

WILDLIFE VIEWING

This is the place to be for elk watching, bird watching, animal education, and more.

Hiking in Upper Buffalo Area

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Find your adventure in rock climbing, mountain biking, zip lines, and more.

SEASONAL ACTIVITIES

WINTER

November – February


  • Hiking (no bugs or snakes!)
  • Photography
  • Elk Viewing

SPRING

March – early June


  • Canoe, kayak or raft on the Buffalo River beginning from Ponca Low Water Bridge, Steel Creek or Pruitt Landing.
  • Wildflower blooms especially at Lost Valley Trail and Smith Creek Preserve
  • Hiking on all area trails.  Be prepared for wet crossings.
  • Waterfall viewing
  • Birding
  • Photography
  • Fishing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Elk Viewing

SUMMER

Early June – August


  • Canoe or kayak on the Buffalo River down river beginning Pruitt, Gilbert and Carver put-ins.  River level gets too low in upper end to start your float trip near us during summer and fall months
  • Hiking – be prepared for hot weather, ticks, chiggers and snakes
  • Fishing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Elk Viewing

FALL

Late September – early November


  • Elk Rut in the Boxley Valley
  • Fall Colors
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Horseback Riding

DAY TRIPS

Floating on the Buffalo River

Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is a charming Victorian resort village in Carroll County, Arkansas. A place with its own culture and lifestyle, the city has steep winding streets lined with Victorian-style cottages and manors.

Trail riding in the Upper Buffalo Area

Withrow Springs State Park

In the heart of the Ozark Mountains, nestled in a narrow valley cradled by the limestone bluffs of the War Eagle Creek, Withrow Springs State Park is a peaceful setting for camping, hiking, and quiet river floats.

Hiking in Upper Buffalo Area

Branson Missouri

Whether celebrating family, friends or romance, Branson puts you center stage. Experience live shows and one of the world’s top 10 theme parks: Silver Dollar City. Discover our three pristine lakes and the majestic beauty of the Ozark Mountains.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a museum of American art in Bentonville, AR. The museum, founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, opened in 2011, and offers free public admission.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Smith Creek Preserve

Smith Creek Preserve is 1,316 acres of Ozark forest in Newton County which is bisected by Smith Creek, a tributary to the Buffalo National River.   The surrounding forest is home to bats, turkeys, deer, black bear and elk.  It is a valuable property because the preserve helps keep the water flowing from Smith Creek into the  Buffalo River clean and is a vital connector between the 1.2 million acre Ozark National Forest and the 95,000 acre Buffalo River National River Wilderness Area.  The preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy.

The preserve is protected by a locked gate at the end of the parking area just off Highway 21 and is 3 miles south of Boxley Valley Church. The trails are well marked and you will be treated to a wildflower bloom, Elise Falls and the chance to see the 3 springs that feed the creek in the spring and early summer months.  The trail is steep and remote and there are no facilities available.  An information kiosk with maps is at the start of the trailhead.

Smith Creek Preserve

Upper Buffalo River AssociationArkansas Game and Fish Commission

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission plays an important role in keeping The Natural State true to its name. If you’re planning on doing any fishing or hunting on your visit, then this is what you need. This is a wonderful resource for information on hunting and fishing in Arkansas, including regulations and permits.

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Buffalo National River Headquarters

Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains down to the White River. The National Park Service guide to the Buffalo provides lots of helpful information and maps and recommendations for your next adventure.

Buffalo National River Headquarters

Planning A Float Trip

Is it safe? Can I take my kids? Will I have to get out and haul my canoe? Are there any special rules I need to know? The National Park Service has ALL of the information you need on planning your next float.

FLOAT GUIDE

Current Buffalo River Levels

Before you venture onto the river, play it safe and plan ahead using the resources from the National Park Service website. Check out the latest water level maps before you start your adventure.

CHECK LEVELS