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The upper section of the Buffalo River is a Class I-II river. This means that almost anyone can enjoy our river, while still offering a challenging experience for others. Class I is flatwater with little or no current, and no rapids and few obstructions. Class II is a fast current with small rapids, or obstructions. The Buffalo River has a lot of sharp turns with trees and natural obstacles at the exit of the turn. This makes a relatively easy river much more challenging and fun. The Buffalo is a good mix of current and flatwater that provides a great place to relax and recover from the excitement of the turns. While the current if often a welcome site after some of the flatwater stretches. Float much lower than our runs and you will find much more flatwater with almost no current.
Check this website for water level information. USGS
We have a variety of different float trips covering 24 miles of the river. The river's putins are commonly at bridges. Our floats are commonly combinations of various sections tailored to your needs.
18 miles-10+ hours: Murphy Bridge to Buffalo Canoeing
11 miles-6 hours: Grinders Creek Bridge to Buffalo Canoeing
6 miles-3 hours: Texas Bottom to Buffalo Canoeing
7 miles-3 hours: Buffalo Canoeing to Topsy Bridge
For a two-day trip try Grinders Creek to Buffalo Canoeing,
Continuing on to Topsy Bridge the second day
Specific River Sections
Murphy Bridge (mm 105) to Grinders Creek Bridge (mm 97):
This float is the highest on the river we normally put in, it is characterized by fast, narrow chutes, and shallow water. It begins at nearly as high on the Buffalo River as you can float. There is very little traffic on this section, and people can easily spend an entire day on the river without seeing anyone. This run is excellent early in the season when water levels are higher, but later in the year the water levels become too low to run. The put in is a low water bridge, along a small country road, only inches off the water.
Grinders Creek Bridge (mm 97) to Texas Bottom Bridge (mm 93)
This section is a commonly floated section with acceptable water levels until late August. The river is still fairly narrow with only one long flatwater stretch. Several challenging turns offer a great excitement level. The put in is a modern bridge that sits along side an old low water bridge that has been blown out to allow passage through on the river.
Texas Bottom (mm 93) to Riverside Bridge (mm 90):
This section begins our most popular float. The put in is a low water bridge, just high enough to float under. The float starts off quickly; the first turn often flips everyone in a group, even the experienced canoeists. The river runs narrow and fast for the majority of the section, with two long flatwater sections, the longest flatwater lies just above the ending point. .
Riverside Bridge (mm 90) to Buffalo Canoeing (mm87):
This is the second section of our most popular float it begins at a high bridge, 100 feet above the river. Just downstream from the bridge is the old low water bridge that the newer bridge replaced. The old bridge has sunken in the middle until the river flows across it. However, due to the strong current under the bridge we recommend pulling out and crossing the bridge instead of attempting to float it. After the bridge the river becomes narrow and swift. The three miles between the put in and takeout are some of the quickest on the river. The takeout is the campground where your cars are normally parked.
Buffalo Canoeing (mm 87) to Topsy Bridge (mm 80):
Commonly the lowest section with a lot of current, this section is fairly swift, there are several flatwater sections, yet none are excessively long, the float passes quickly, with great scenery. The best rapids on the river lie a mile north of the takeout, a solid class II. The takeout is a tall bridge with a steep hill on the right.