Take A Relaxing Float On The Buffalo National River

The Buffalo National River is an iconic 135-mile-long river that flows through the Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas. Known for its stunning natural beauty, it has been designated as America’s first national river and attracts over one million visitors each year.

One of the best activities to enjoy on the Buffalo National River is to take a relaxing float down the river. Whether you are looking to soak up the sun, swim in crystal clear water, or just enjoy the breathtaking views, a float trip down the Buffalo National River is an experience like no other.

Planning Your Float Trip

Before you embark on your float trip, there are several things that you need to consider. First and foremost, you need to decide on the length of your float, the starting point, and the ending point. There are several access points along the river, and each has its own unique characteristics.

The most popular float is the 10-mile stretch from Ponca to Kyle’s Landing, which takes about four to six hours to complete. This is a great option for families with children or those who want a more leisurely float.

If you are looking for a longer float, the 24-mile stretch from Ponca to Pruitt is an excellent choice. It takes about two to three days to complete this float, and there are several campsites along the way where you can stop and spend the night.

What to Bring

When planning your float trip, it is important to pack the right gear. Here are some of the key items that you will need:

  • Float tubes or canoes: You can either rent them from one of the many outfitters in the area, or you can bring your own.
  • Lifejackets: These are essential for safety.
  • Sunscreen: You will be spending a lot of time in the sun, so bring plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin.
  • Insect repellent: The river is home to a variety of insects, so be sure to bring some insect repellent to keep them at bay.
  • Snacks and water: Floating down the river can be thirsty work, so bring plenty of water and some snacks to keep your energy levels up.
  • Dry bags: These are essential for keeping your valuables, like your phone and wallet, safe and dry.

What to Expect

So, what can you expect on your float down the Buffalo National River? First and foremost, you can expect some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The river winds its way through picturesque forests, towering cliffs, and dramatic bluffs.

You can also expect to encounter some exciting rapids along the way. While the rapids on the Buffalo National River are not as intense as those found on some other rivers, they can still be a lot of fun to navigate.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the water on the Buffalo National River is very clear and often quite cold. This can be refreshing on a hot summer day, but it can also be a bit chilly, so be sure to bring appropriate clothing.

Tips for a Successful Float Trip

To ensure that your float trip down the Buffalo National River is a success, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Respect the environment: The Buffalo National River is a fragile ecosystem, so be sure to pack out all of your trash, respect wildlife, and avoid damaging plants and rocks.
  • Know your limits: If you are new to floating, start with a shorter and easier stretch of the river and gradually work your way up to longer and more challenging stretches.
  • Stay safe: Always wear a lifejacket, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid floating during periods of high water or severe weather.
  • Have fun: Floating down the Buffalo National River is a unique and unforgettable experience, so relax and enjoy the ride!

In conclusion, a float trip down the Buffalo National River is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty of this unique part of the country. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable float down one of America’s most beautiful rivers.

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