The Buffalo National River

When you look at America’s rivers and waterways it is hard to stumble across one that is free of human interference. Due to a demand for a freshwater resource and a fast-growing population, many of America’s rivers have had a dam or several dams built along their course. These dams create/provide electricity, freshwater lakes, and recreational gains to the communities around them. Unfortunately, when dams are placed you can see the damage to the affected area’s ecology and its historical features. 

History of The First National River

In 1972, after many pushes from local businessmen and the Corp. of Engineers, Congress and President Nixon chose to make the Buffalo River the nation’s first-ever national river. This act protected around 130-miles of this beautiful 150-mile river. On top of the protected waterway, nearly 100k acres of land that surround the river is protected along with its rich history. This land holds ancient artifacts from the earliest of settlers along with the remains of cabins from miners and later homesteaders.


Due to the unlimited food resources in the area, the wildlife in and around the Buffalo National River is abundant and prosperous. The river itself offers world-class smallmouth bass fishing to any angler looking for a fish with a fight. The river is also filled with other wildlife such as catfish, buffalo carp, bream, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and many breeds of turtles. While traveling down the river you can find river otters and minks running up and down the banks. And,  white-tailed deer come out to retrieve an afternoon drink, and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of an Ozark mountain elk. If you keep your eye on the sky you can see several breeds of birds, including our favorite – the bald eagle. The Buffalo River National Forest definitely has no shortage when it comes to wildlife. And for all of you hunters out there – good news, you are allowed to hunt the land around the river.

How You Can Help 

As all of our readers know protecting and maintaining a large chunk of land and water comes at a cost. Due to a large number of tourists that come out every year (nearly 1,000,000) to enjoy the Buffalo River, many man-hours are needed from park rangers and volunteers to keep the park up to par. On top of this cost, the park would like to provide the visitors to the park with the best experience possible. This means money being spent to modernize access areas and maintain/upgrade campgrounds. One way you and your family can help is by going over to and making a donation to the Buffalo River Foundation. 

Buffalo River Vacation

The Buffalo River is one of the most beautiful pieces of land our country has to offer. So, if you and your family enjoy things like fishing, swimming, and kayaking the Buffalo National River is somewhere to keep in mind for your next big family adventure.  We would be more than happy to help you plan a shuttled kayak/canoe trip down the Buffalo, or help you get on some small mouth bass. If you aren’t into the idea of camping along the river banks then Riley’s Outfitter has you covered. We have a wide variety of buffalo river cabins to select from so that you can find the one that fits your family’s needs. Feel free to check our availabilities, or just give us a call and we can help you get your next Buffalo and White River adventure planned out.

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