Lower District Floating
Floating conditions in the lower (easternmost) district of Buffalo National River are typically navigable year-round. The river is rainfall dependent though and needs consistent rainfall in the watershed to keep the water at a moderate level. For current floating conditions, please check with a concessioner, call the Buffalo Point Ranger Station at 870-449-4311, or check river gauges online at ar.water.usgs.gov/buffaloriver.
The map shown does not depict many details as far as the bluffs and topography are concerned. Call the Buffalo Point Ranger Station at 870-449-4311 or refer to a Trails Illustrated Buffalo National River (East Half) map for more details. For information about renting a vessel from one of the park's authorized canoe concessioners please visit the park's Canoe Rentals page.
North Maumee to Spring Creek
Spring Creek to Dillard's Ferry (Highway 14 Bridge)
Use caution as you float through Tie Chute, about 1/2 mile downstream of Water Creek and one mile above Dillard's Ferry. Depending on the water level, this narrow chute can be challenging to navigate. Shuttle time between Spring Creek and Dillard's Ferry is about 20 minutes (7 miles).
Dillard's Ferry (Highway 14 Bridge) to Buffalo Point
The float between Dillard's Ferry and Buffalo Point is a short trip for those that have a very limited amount of time. The highlight of the trip is floating by Skull Rock. Be aware that there is not a road on the gravel bar at Buffalo Point so all vessels will need to be carried up the gravel bar to the parking lot. Shuttle time between Dillard's Ferry and Buffalo Point is 12 minutes (5.5 miles).
Dillard's Ferry (Highway 14 Bridge) to Rush
You will want to be sure that you don't miss the Rush access point because the next access point isn't for another 25 miles at Buffalo City. Once you arrive at Rush you may want to spend some time exploring the historic ghost town. There is also a primitive campground available just upstream (no safe river access, but easy vehicle access) from the landing at Rush. Shuttle time between Dillard's Ferry and Rush is 15 minutes (9 miles).
Rush to Buffalo City
As you paddle through the Lower Wilderness you will be greeted by Woodcock Bluff, Sheep Jump Bluff, and Elephant Head Rock. You can also park your boat at the mouth of Big Creek and hike a 1/4 mile to the Cold Spring Schoolhouse, a historic Works Progress Administration structure, from the 1930s.
Ensure that your gear is tied down and when you hit the White River you have the option of paddling across the river and upstream 1/2 mile to Buffalo City to take out or you can paddle downstream on the White River for 6 miles until you reach Shipps Ferry. We recommend that you visit the Southwestern Power Administration webpage or call them at 866-494-1993 for information on the most current discharge rates on the White River before you begin your float. Shuttle time between Rush and Buffalo City is approximately one hour (40 miles).
* Durations are based off a moderate or average 2 miles per hour river flow. The length of a float trip will vary greatly with changing river levels. Additionally, float times largly depend on if you paddle or not and stop to swim, fish, or explore. Please check with park staff or concessioner for a current estimate on river trip durations.
Last updated: December 19, 2018