Buffalo River Trip (AR) Added To Spring Schedule

paddling a canoe photo

I’m adding a stop on my trip north after the Rio Grande trip in March; A Buffalo river trip in Arkansas in April. In 2008 we had a student on a semester course who lived off the grid near the Buffalo river in Arkansas. When we were out on the Allagash he told me several times that I should canoe the Buffalo river if I ever had the chance. That has been simmering in the back of my brain since 2008, and this year I’m making the time to do so. It is part of my “get out and see the waterways of North America” tour. I’ve got the maps and have been poring over them, which for me is half the fun. There is a guidebook (The Buffalo River Handbook by Kenneth L. Smith) as well, but thus far I haven’t pulled the trigger on it. If you’ve read the guidebook, let me know if you think I should get it.

The first book I ever had on canoeing was Bill Riviere’s Pole, Paddle and Portage. I’m a big Bill Riviere fan. He was a Maine Guide who spent world war 2 patrolling the Maine/Quebec border on snowshoes. Anyway, in the back of the book he has lists of great, canoeable water in most states. He also has pictures of him, taken by his wife, standing and poling a canoe in the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia. It is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid; get out and see other parts of the country by canoe. This year I’m doing it. Thank you Bill for the inspiration.

In addition to the trip south and west, in June I’m planning a shorter trip north and east 4.5 hours for a return to the Bonaventure river in Quebec. It is one of my favorites, and I plan to run it during the short break between the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester and the summer Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. It is shaping up to be a busy year.


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  • Paul Glasscock

    Hi Tim,
    I saw a post on FB about your Bushcraft school and then looked at your FB page and saw you are planning a Buffalo trip in April. I am too, late April to early May to be specific. Spring in the Ozarks before the trees put on their leaves, when the Dogwood and Redbud trees are in bloom, is a wonderful time to be on the Buffalo. Perhaps I’ll see you there. I do have the handbook by Kenneth Smith and about 20% of the book provides notes on the river, 40% on hiking trails, and the rest provides history of the people, places and the park itself. The history is interesting, I always enjoy learning about the places I’m paddling through. As a paddling guide I don’t find it particularly helpful. A better choice for a paddling guide is “The Buffalo National River Canoeing Guide” put out by The Ozark Society. Since you’ll be in the area, the Current River in SE Missouri is a real gem, spring fed by some of the largest springs in the country so you don’t have to worry about having enough water to float your boat which can be a problem on the upper Buffalo. Happy to connect if you’d like.

  • Thanks Paul. I will definitely look up the canoeing guide. I’m planning on being on the water the first week in April so we likely won’t cross paths. And maybe put the Current river on the list for the future.

  • Quinton

    I live in Oklahoma and have done the last 30 miles a few times.Fantastic trip!

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