Thing to Do

Paddling Dillards Ferry to Buffalo Point

Several kayakers paddle towards Skull Rock.
Several kayakers paddling towards Skull Rock and Buffalo Point on a summer day.

NPS/R. Stokes

This is the only stretch of river on the lower end that the park recommends using tubes on. This 1.5-mile float is appropriate for those kinds of inflatable vessels. Going any further distance has the potential to create very challenging and some times even life threatening experiences for park visitors. Please see the park's Preventative Search and Rescue page for more details.

The float between Dillards 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 Dillards Ferry and Buffalo Point is 12 minutes (5.5 miles).
Details
At a moderate river level and in a watercraft propelled by a paddle, this 1.5-mile paddling trip takes an average of 1 hour to complete.
This is the only stretch of river on the lower end that the park recommends using tubes on. This 1.5 mile float is appropriate for those kinds of inflatible vessels. Going any further distance has the potential to create very challenging and some times even life threatening experiences for park visitors. Please see the park's Prevenative Search and Rescue page for more details.

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).
  • Leashed pets are permitted on gravel bars up to 100' from the water's edge.
  • Pets may not be left unattended. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can disturb even the calmest, friendliest, and best-trained dog, causing them to behave unpredictably or bark excessively.
  • Pet excrement must be collected by pet owners, and disposed of in trash receptacles.
There is no fee to paddle the Buffalo River in your own boat. However, if you need a vehicle shuttle or a rental boat, authorized concessionaires offer these services for a fee. See https://www.nps.gov/buff/canoe-rentals.htm for more information.
Dillards Ferry is located between the communities of Mull and Harriet at the Hwy. 14 bridge over the Buffalo River.
Reservations are not required to paddle the Buffalo River in your own boat. However, if you need to rent a boat, authorized concessionaires encourage reservations. See https://www.nps.gov/buff/canoe-rentals.htm for more information.
Private boaters can paddle this section year-round if conditions allow. However, rental boaters must adhere to the season established by the authorized concessionaire from whom they rent. See https://www.nps.gov/buff/canoe-rentals.htm for more information.
Accessibility Information
This activity is accessible to those who can get in and out of a kayak or canoe and maneuver the kayak or canoe in moving water with sharp bends and occasional obstacles. 
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Duration:
1 minute, 13 seconds

A time-lapse video of the paddling experience from Dillards Ferry to Buffalo Point in the Lower District of Buffalo National River.

Last updated: December 8, 2020