As you're planning your float trip on the Buffalo River, please remember the Rules of the River that are intended to keep you safe and the river clean. If you have any questions about these rules or any other aspect of floating the Buffalo, please click on our floating page or contact a park ranger at a visitor center or contact station.
- Glass Containers : The possession or use of glass containers in caves, on trails or waterways or within 100 feet (30.48 meters) of any river or stream in the park is prohibited for public safety, except in designated campgrounds, picnic sites, or in vehicles on designated roads and parking areas.
- Mesh Litter Bags : All canoes, kayaks, tubes, rafts and other vessels easily susceptible to swamping, tipping or rolling must have an attached closeable mesh litter bag. All trash must be disposed of safely and legally. A mesh litter bag is not required for people traveling without food or beverages. If you rent your vessel from a park authorized concessioner, a litter bag will be provided with each vessel. You may also purchase a litter bag from a concessioner for use in your privately owned vessel. A list of all park authorized concessioners is available on this website at https://www.nps.gov/buff/canoe-rentals.htm
- Fastened Cooler Lids : If you are transporting food and/or beverages in a vessel on the river, it must be kept in a sealed cooler or container that prevents the contents from spilling into the river.
- Use a Floating Holder (Koozie) for Beverages : All beverage containers not securely contained in a sealed cooler or mesh litter bag must be held in a floating holder that is designed to prevent it from sinking beneath the surface of the water.
- Foam Coolers : The possession of polystyrene coolers (commonly known as Styrofoam) is prohibited while floating or camping along the Buffalo River, except in developed campgrounds, picnic areas, landings, roads and parking lots. This prohibition includes cups, plates, coolers, ice chests, and containers. High-density bait containers, used solely for that purpose, are allowed.
- Life Vests (PDFs): Every vessel must have a life vest (personal flotation device) for each person on board the vessel. Children under age 13 must wear a securely fastened life vest while on board any vessel. All life vests must be (1) U.S. Coast Guard approved, (2) in safe and serviceable condition, and (3) of proper size for the person wearing it.