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Meetups /Common Adventure
Places to Paddle
Arkansas Lower Buffalo River
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10/25/2018 11:17 AM
Good question: $100. I hesitated to quote the price since I'm not certain that it is repeatable.
The original proposal was to camp at Buffalo Point and leave our cars at the Rush Landing put-in. Charles got a quote of $60 from Dirst Canoe Rental to move one car one way from the Rush Landing put-in to the Riley Station take-out. That would have required about 2.5 hours of back-end shuttle on Sunday afternoon before a 5 hour drive back to Memphis. A bit much.
Charles also got permission to take-out at Riley Station which is right at the mouth of the Buffalo. We think it's the most convenient take-out, even though they are not a campground. As mentioned, they do have cabins, although none were available the weekend we paddled. They are also a secure place to leave our cars overnight.
Anyway, Charles and I talked it over and decided to see if a front end shuttle could be arranged. When I called Dirst back to explain what we wanted, Sheri quoted me $60 again. I knew that couldn't be right, so I explained again that I did not want a quote for one private car, I wanted a bus shuttle for 6 paddlers and all the gear for an overnight plus a trailer for 6 privately owned boats . I think she pulled the $100 out of the air. The bus would haul several more paddlers, but they do not like more than 6 private boats on the trailer they used that day.
White Buffalo Resort is just upstream from Riley Station on the White River. They have camping, cabins and RV hook-ups. That would work, but it can be difficult to paddle upstream on the White if water is being released to generate power. Power generation is unpredictable. Dirst and the other outfitters also use Ships Ferry, a take-out 6 miles downstream from the confluence of the Buffalo and the White. That might be fine for 3 day paddle but would be back to back 15 mile days in slack water for a 2 day paddle.
PS - Odd I didn't get an email notice of this until today.
10/15/2018 11:06 PM
This is a great write up on what appears to be a fun trip. Just curious about the cost of the shuttle.
Also, if the Riley Outfitters were not available to offer their property to camp, what would be an alternative site?
10/15/2018 1:33 PM
Six paddlers joined the leaderless adventure Oct 5-7 on the Arkansas Buffalo River. We paddled from Rush Landing to where it flows into the White River. This section is about 24 miles of wilderness. We stayed overnight on the bank about the half way point. The weather was warm and the river level was low but floatable. There is however, a rock garden near the end.
Friday night we camped at Riley Outfitters on the White River right across from the mouth of the Buffalo. Riley Outfitters have rent cabins and boats on the White River. They do not have a campground and are not concessionaires for the Buffalo River.
However, when we inquired about using their property as our take-out, the offered to let us camp behind their home and leave our cars on their property white we paddled. It would be impossible to overstate their hospitality. They provided firewood, gave us access to a bathroom and initially declined any payment. Eventually we settled on a small token payment. Please check them out if you need accommodations or services in their area. http://rileysstation.com/
The shuttle is about an hour and 15 minutes one way from Riley Outfitters to the put-in. Consequently we used a commercial shuttle instead of spending several hours positioning vehicles. It also avoided leaving cars at insecure locations. We got the best quote from Dirst Canoe Rental for a package deal of all six paddlers, boats and gear. Once again we were pleasantly surprised. We were picked up in a nice airport shuttle bus with comfortable seats and large, easily accessed storage area for our gear. http://dirstcanoerental.com/
9/27/2018 5:48 AM
Planing is underway for an overnight paddle from Rush Landing to the mouth of the Buffalo River October 6-7, 2018. Contact Mike Dale at (901) 485-1050 if you are interested.
9/19/2018 1:53 PM
Trip Report Sept 6-9, 2018
Charles Neikirk and I arrived Thursday evening and were joined by Mark Raggio early Friday morning. We paddled from South Maumee to Buffalo Point and on Saturday from Buffalo Point to Rush Landing.
The park at Buffalo Point was very nice. The restrooms were fine, firewood for sale on site, pleasant and helpful campground hosts and park rangers, even a restaurant, although we didn't patronize it.
The launch/takeout at Buffalo Point washed out several years ago and is almost unusable. I was told the plan is to repair the washed out loop road as a foot path. It will still be necessary to carry boats to/from the parking lot but hopefully the footing will be less treacherous. I was fortunate to have my boat carried by Mark and Charles. The local outfitters have discontinued use of Buffalo Point and are using Dillard's Ferry at the Hwy 14 bridge as an alternative. I would too on any future trips. Both Maumee and Rush are fine.
Several of the campsites in section B are unusable i.e. washed out, missing or broken utilities. It didn't affect us, but it's sad to see and I assume due to a lack of NPS resources to fix the damage.
The lower river is a beautiful place with high bluffs and woodlands and remarkably free of trash. The weather was much better than the forecast with periods of mist/light rain and no downpours, flooding or lightning. We saw only one canoe on Friday and only a couple of groups paddling on Saturday.
Water levels were at the low end of moderate. The lower river seemed like a series of quiet lakes dammed up by gravel bars. The river was floatable but Charles and Mark made better choices navigating through shallow places than I. There is a handy chart of water levels here: https://ar.water.usgs.gov/buffaloriver/
8/30/2018 9:17 AM
Charles Neikirk and I will be floating the lower Arkansas Buffalo River September 7,8&9. Neither of us has paddled this area before so it will be an impromptu/leaderless float. Anyone wanting to join us is welcome. We will be base camping in Section B (electricity) of the Buffalo Point Campground beginning the evening of September 6th and day floating sections nearby for the next couple of days.
Map here: https://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/maps.htm
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