III. General Regulations


(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:

  • In all areas of the park

(a)(5) The following conditions are in effect for the walking, climbing, entering, ascending or traversing the listed archeological sites or cultural resources, monuments or statues.

  • Entering a historic structure not open to the public is prohibited.

(b) Hiking or pedestrian traffic is restricted to the trail or walkway as listed in Section 1.5 of this document

  • All established trails except in Wilderness areas. Bushwhacking (shortcutting trails and/or removing vegetation) and/or creation of social trails is prohibited in any area.

  • Hunters may leave trails when pursuing game in legal hunting season.

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

    • Edible species of fruits, nuts, mushrooms, and berries may be gathered by hand for daily personal consumption. Collection for commercial purposes is prohibited.

The Superintendent has determined reasonable quantities of fruits, berries, or nuts of all edible species may be gathered for personal use or consumption. Based on professional judgment and available information, the Superintendent has determined that gathering the fruits, nuts, mushrooms, or berries of edible plants within Buffalo National River boundaries for personal use will not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of any of those species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources. It is not expected that large numbers of people will gather edible fruits. nuts, mushrooms, and berries in the park. In addition, there are many open and forested areas adjacent to the park which has better access and in some cases, more abundant edible plants. No rare, threatened or endangered plants are included in this listing.


36 CFR §2.2 - Wildlife Protection

(a)(I) The following are prohibited :

  • Harvesting or altering habitat of mussels

(b)(2) Hunting is permitted and mandated by Federal statutory law

Hunting is permitted and is regulated by non-conflicting Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Regulations

(b)(3) Trapping is permitted if specifically mandated by Federal statutory law.

  • Trapping is prohibited

  • Private inholdings and Agriculture Permit Holders may trap feral hogs with a special park use permit from the Superintendent's Office if damage to fields is occurring.
(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:
  • Lawfully taken wildlife may be transported through the park but must be tagged according to state law requirements and in route to the nearest wildlife check station or being transported for processing.

  • Transportation of live feral hogs is prohibited in accordance with AR state law.

(e)The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All areas within the boundary of the park


36 CFR §2.3 ·- Fishing

(a) The following State fishing laws and/or regulations, as noted, do not apply in the listed areas:

  • Only fishing by hook and line, with rod or line being closely attended, is allowed throughout Buffalo National River. Bow fishing, noodling, hogging, are not permitted. Gigging and Snagging are permitted per 7.35(a)(1)

(d)(2) Possession or use of live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibian, non-preserved fish eggs or roe is permitted in the following fresh water areas:

    • The Buffalo River and all its tributaries as long as all mentioned items are harvested from the Buffalo River or any of its tributaries.

    • Bait purchased from a licensed dealer is also permitted

(d)(4) In accordance with federal statutory law, commercial fishing is authorized in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

    • Prohibited

(d)(8) Fishing is allowed in or from the following otherwise prohibited areas:

  • Not Applicable


36 CFR §2.4 - Weapons, Traps, and Nets

(a)(2)(i) Weapons, traps, or nets may only be carried, possessed or used at the following designated times and locations:

  • As Buffalo National River is a Wildlife Management Area weapons may be possessed while hunting during hunting season in accordance with state law
  • Weapons may be possessed within a vehicle while on a city, county, state or Federally maintained road or right of way and in accordance with Arkansas State Law.
  • Concealed weapons permit holders may carry a modern handgun

  • Weapons are prohibited in all Federal facilities to include Visitor Centers/Contact Stations, Headquarters and Maintenance Facilities.

  • Loaded weapons are not permitted in camping areas, parking lots and at fishing or boating accesses per Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Management Area regulations. Concealed carry permit holders may carry a modern handgun.

  • Traps may be utilized in accordance with special park use permits issued by the Superintendent's Office


36 CFR §2.10 - Camping and Food Storage

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Designated campgrounds/campsites

  • Gravel bars that are naturally devoid of vegetation and are within 100 feet of the river and at least 1/2 mile from any developed area.

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • On gravel bars on the Buffalo River that are naturally devoid of vegetation and within 100 feet of the river.

  • Designated campsites

(b)(9) Violating conditions which may be established by the Superintendent:

  • Operating electricity producing generators between the hours of 8:00pm and 8:00am is prohibited.

  • Portable swimming pools, wading pools, washing machines or any container used for storing more than 20 gallons of water is prohibited.

  • No person, party or organization shall be allowed to camp at Buffalo National River for more than a 14 day period in a campsite and will not exceed a total of 30 days in a calendar year without authorization of the Superintendent. After this 14 day period campers must change sites.

  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, camping in any campground/campsite is limited to a total of 14 consecutive days in a 21 day period. After this 14 day period campers must leave or go to a different campground. Changing sites within the occupied campground is not allowed. Campers may come back after 21 days has passed from the day of first occupancy.

  • Drive-In horse camping is only authorized at Steel Creek, Erbie Horse camp, Woolum, Log Wagon Gap and Hathaway Horse camps.

  • At Erbie Campground, Recreational Vehicles and pull behind campers are limited to the 14 designated RV sites.

  • The following campgrounds are walk-in tent camping only. Recreational Vehicles and pull behind style campers are prohibited: o Kyle's Landing, Steel Creek, Rush, Spring Creek and Carver.
  • Camping is limited to 6 people per site at camping areas.

  • All group sites are limited to a minimum of 10 people and maximum of 25 people.

  • "Reserving" of sites in any campground in a manner where a person pays for days in advance and is not physically present at that site or within Buffalo National River is not allowed. A minimum of one person per site must be present or the site must have a tent, RV, or show some other form of occupancy on the site. First come first serve basis is applicable in all campgrounds except those where reservations are required and taken through the reservation system.

  • Unless participating in an approved activity, utilizing any type of woodland tool to chop wood or cut vegetation: modify and/or develop a campsite or trail is prohibited. Woodland Tools are defined as tools such as: chainsaws, weed eaters, hand saws, axes, hatchets and machetes.

(b)(10) Camping outside of designated sites and areas prohibited:

  • Camping within any National Park Service developed area unless it is in a designated camping site is prohibited.

  • Camping is permitted on gravel bars at Woolum, Shine Eye and Grinders Ferry

  • Camping is permitted on Gilbert Gravel Bar only on that area downriver from where the Gilbert Road enters Gilbert Gravel Bar.

  • RV/pull behind campers are prohibited in tent camping only sites

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:

  • Food, garbage and equipment used to cook or store food must be kept sealed in a vehicle, or in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk or other object, or shall be stored as otherwise designated (food boxes at camp sites). (this is only an example-we do not have food boxes)

The Superintendent has determined that leaving food items, items used to cook food or store food in the open, greatly increases the chance of wildlife entering visitors camping/picnicking area and habituates the animals to become familiar with people losing natural wariness of humans. Leaving these items unattended greatly increases the chance of campsite/picnicking area disturbance where items, especially trash, will be scattered throughout the immediate area possibly posing a threat to the wildlife and/or people.


36 CFR §2.11 - Picnicking

Conditions for Picnicking:

All pavilions except Lost Valley require fee payment and may be reserved through the reservation system.

36 CFR 2.1 3 - Fires
(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:

  • Developed campgrounds

  • Picnic areas

  • Backcountry camping areas

Established Conditions for Fires:

  • In developed areas fires must be confined to grills and pads

(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:

  • May not be used in caves or rock shelters if the lighting source is kerosene, gasoline or any combustible liquid

(b)(9) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:

    • Fires may not be left unattended and must be extinguished upon leaving a campsite or picnic area

(c)During periods of high fire danger, the Superintendent may close all or a portion of the park area to the lighting and maintaining of a fire.

  • When the surrounding counties have put a Burn Ban in affect Buffalo National River will implement a Fire Restriction which allows fires in fire grates and grills only. If the fire danger becomes extreme there will be a total ban of fires and smoking. This ban will be put into effect based on the US Forest Service National Fire Danger Rating System and may be implemented even when surrounding couties do not implement Burn Bans.

36 CFR §2.14 Sanitation and Refuse

(a)(2) The use of government refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse, brought from a private or municipal property is allowed under the following conditions:

  • Prohibited


36 CFR §2.15 - Pets

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:

  • All government buildings

  • All Park areas with the exception of campgrounds, parking areas, Mill Creek Trail and trails within Buffalo Point Campground (Overlook Trail, Campground Trail and Forest Trail).

  • Designated wilderness areas with the exception of gravel bars along the river corridor.

  • Leashed pets are permitted on gravel bars no further than 100' from water's edge.

  • When floating with pets, leashed pets are permitted on gravel bars no further than 100' from the water's edge.

  • Caves

(a)(3) Pets may be left unattended and tied to an object in the following areas, under the following conditions noted:

  • Prohibited

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • In trash receptacles where provided

  • Removed into the wood line and at least 15 feet from any public use area

(b)The use of dogs in support of hunting must be in accordance with Federal and State laws and the following conditions:

  • Chase for pleasure and dog training are not allowed

(e)Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Pets must be on a leash

  • Pets are not allowed in shared government quarters

36 CFR §2.16 - Horses and Pack Animals

(a)The following animals are designated as pack animals for purposes of transporting equipment:

  • Horses

  • Mules

  • Burros

  • Llamas

(b)The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:

  • Lower Buffalo Wilderness-The loop trai1 from Hathaway Horse Camp to Cow Creek, from Cow Creek along Buffalo River to Cook Hollow and then back to Hathaway Horse Camp

  • Ponca Wilderness designated trails. Social trails are not "designated trails."

  • Abandoned roads (abandoned roads that need major maintenance may not be cleared for use).

(g)Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

  • Horses or pack animals may not be tethered within 100 feet of a watercourse or within a designated campsite not designed for horses.

  • Horses or pack animals may not be tethered to signs, buildings, historic structures or live vegetation to include trees

  • Horses or pack animals are not allowed to graze on hay leases


36 CFR §2.17 - Aircraft and Air Delivery

(a)(1) Areas designated for operating or using aircraft are provided for in section 7**.

(a)(2) The operation or use of aircraft under power on water within 500 feet of designated swimming beaches, boat docks, piers, or ramps is permitted in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

    • Throughout the park during emergency operations

    • During training operations with a permit signed by the Superintendent

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.

  • The removal of downed aircraft requires written authorization prior to removal on a case- by- case basis

36 CFR §2.18 - Snowmobiles

(c) Snowmobiles may be operated only on routes designated in section 7.'*

36 CFR §2.19 - Winter Activities

(a)The following park roads and/or parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic may be used for skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, inner tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter activities under the conditions noted:

  • None

(b)The towing of persons on skis, sled or other similar device by motor vehicle or snowmobile is allowed in the following areas and/or routes:

  • Prohibited

36 CFR §2.20 - Skating, Skateboards and Similar Devices

The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:

  • Prohibited


36 CFR §2.21 - Smoking

(a)The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

  • Government buildings

  • Historical structures

36 CFR §2.22 - Property

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Visitors on backcountry trips may leave their vehicles unattended at designated parking areas for the duration of their trip

  • Agriculture permit holders, use and occupancy holders and employees within park housing may leave personal vehicles and farm implements unattended at locations of use in excess of 24 hours.

36 CFR §2.23 - Recreation Fees

(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:
Entrance Fee Areas:

  • none
Daily Site Use Fee Areas:
  • Designated Campgrounds
  • Designated Fee Pavilions

36 CFR §2.35 -Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • All government buildings


36 CFR §2.38 - Explosives

(a)Fireworks and firecrackers may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • Prohibited

36 CFR §2.62 - Memorialization

(b)A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains, or in the following designated areas without a permit, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:

  • The scattering of human ashes from cremation, without a permit, is allowed under the following terms and conditions:

    • The remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized.

    • The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water.

    • The scattering of remains from the air is to be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above the ground.

    • No scattering of remains from the air is to be performed over developed areas, facilities, or bodies of water.

36 CFR §3.3 – Vessel Permits

Permits are required for the use of a vessel in the following areas:

  • Not Applicable

36 CFR §3.7 Personal Floatation Devices

  • Occupants of a vessel who are twelve (12) years of age or younger must wear personal flotation devices, of the types described below in brackets, securely fastened to their persons at all times while aboard any vessel. (One (1) Type I, II, 111, or V, if used according to its approved conditions, personal flotation device (PFD) which is U.S. Coast Guard approved, in good and serviceable condition, and of proper size for each person on board]. Vessel: every description of watercraft, or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on the water.

36 CFR §3.8 - Boating Operations
(a)(1) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels using a trailer:

  • All areas outside of designated wilderness that are opened to the operation of machinery/motorized vehicles

(a)(2)The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels propelled by machinery:

  • All areas outside of designated wilderness that are opened to the operation of machinery/motorized vehicles

(4) Vessels must meet the following size, length, horsepower restriction or width restrictions:


36 CFR §3.12 - Water Skiing

(a)The towing of persons by vessels is allowed in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:

  • Prohibited

36 CFR §3.16 - Swimming and Bathing

(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:

  • Bathing is not permitted in any portion of Buffalo National River.

  • Rinsing is allowed however, bathing with any type of soap is not permitted.

(a)(2) The following restrictions apply to all swimming and wading activities:

  • Not Applicable

36 CFR §3.17 - Swimming Areas and Beaches

(b)The use of flotation devices, glass containers, kites, or incompatible sporting activities is not permitted on the following swimming beaches, as noted:

  • Glass containers are not permitted within 100 feet of any river or stream

36 CFR §3.1 8 - Scuba and Snorkeling

(a) SCUBA diving and snorkeling is permitted in the following swimming, docking, and mooring areas under the terms and conditions noted:

  • All areas within the park


36 CFR §4.10 - Travel on Park Roads and Routes

(a)Park roads open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below, and/or as indicated in the following publication or document (attached):

  • All roads that are not signed "Closed to Motor Vehicles", "Authorized Vehicles Only" or are gated and locked.

  • Unless specifically allowed, parking on gravel bars, except to unload canoes and other gear at designated boat launches, is prohibited.

  • Unless specifically allowed, driving on gravel bars is prohibited.

(c)(1) Track-laying motor vehicles, or other motor vehicles equipped with a similar traction device may be operated on the following routes under the terms and conditions noted:

  • During construction projects

36 CFR §4.11 - Vehicle Load, Weight and Size Limits

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

  • No single vehicle operated on any road within Buffalo National River, unladen or with load, shall have an overall length in excess of forty feet (40').

  • No bus operated on any road within Buffalo National River shall have an overall length in excess of forty five feet (45').

  • No motor vehicle shall be operated on any road within Buffalo National river with more than two(2) trailers or which has an overall length in excess of forty feet (40').
    These regulations reflect State regulations.

36 CFR §4.21 - Speed Limits

  1. The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

    • All gravel roads-20 MPH

    • Tyler Bend Road-35 MPH

    • County Road 56 to Kyle's Landing-20 MPH

    • Camp Orr Road-20 MPH

    • Steel Creek Road (paved portion)-25 MPH

    • Steel Creek Road (gravel portion)-20 MPH

    • Buffalo Point Campground Road 25 MPH

    • Rush Road-20 MPH

  • HWY 7, 65, 14, 43, 74, 268, and 21 are posted per State Regulations

36 CFR §4.30 - Bicycles

(a)Park roads and parking areas that are closed to bicycle use are listed in section 1.5 of this document.

  • Bicycles are not permitted on trails

The following additional routes, in developed areas or special use zones, have been designated for bicycle use:

  • NA

(d)(3) Riding a bicycle abreast of another rider is allowed on the following routes:

  • Prohibited

36 CFR §4.31 - Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is permitted in the following areas under the conditions noted:

  • Prohibited


36 CFR §7.35 Buffalo National River Special Regulations

(a) Fishing. (1) Unless otherwise designated by the Superintendent, fishing in a manner authorized by State law is allowed.

  • The gigging and snagging for rough fish, use of attended and identified trot lines, and non­commercial capture of bait fish, using traps or seines is permitted. Gigging and Snagging will be permitted within the established time frame by Arkansas Game and Fish Regulations.
    Rough Fish - Gar (except alligator gar), bowfin, common carp, Asian carp (grass carp, bighead carp, silver carp), sucker (including buffalo), bullhead and drum.

(2) The Superintendent may designate times when and locations where and establish conditions under which the digging of bait for personal use is allowed.

  • Digging for bait is prohibited

(3) The Superintendent may designated times when and locations where and establish conditions under which the collection of terrestrial and aquatic insects for bait for personal use is allowed.

  • The collection of terrestrial and aquatic insects for bait is permitted if the insects are collected by hand or hand net for use as bait.

  • Violating a designation or condition established by the Superintendent is prohibited.

(b) Frogs, Turtles and Crayfish. (1) The Superintendent may designate times and locations and establish conditions governing the taking of frogs, turtles and crayfish for personal use.

    • The collection of bullfrogs, turtles and crayfish is permitted under traditional methods. An Arkansas fishing license must be in possession when hunting bullfrogs.

(b)(2) Violating a designation or condition established by the Superintendent is prohibited.

(c) Motorized vessels. (1) Except for a vessel propelled by a gasoline, diesel or other internal combustion engine with a rating of 10 horsepower or less, operating a motorized vessel from Erbie Ford to the White River is prohibited.

(c)(2) Operating a vessel propelled by a motor is prohibited above Erbie Ford.

(c)(3) The provisions of paragraph (c) do not apply to a vessel operated by official use by an agency of the United States, the State of Arkansas or one of its political subdivisions.


Last updated: December 24, 2017

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Suite 136

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(870) 439-2502

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