Thing to Do

Paddling Dillards Ferry to Rush Landing

Two paddlers in a kayak passing by a rocky and vegetated bluff.
Two paddlers in a kayak on a late fall river trip.

NPS

This 9-mile paddling trip offers some great fishing holes between Buffalo Point and Rush, where the pools get long and the current typically slows in the summer time. You have the option at stopping at Buffalo Point, which is 1.5 miles from Dillards Ferry to admire Painted Bluff and Ludlow Bluff further downstream, which is actually the tallest bluff on the river (sorry, Big Bluff).

You will want to be sure that you don't miss the Rush Landing 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 Dillards Ferry and Rush is 15 minutes (9 miles).
Details
At a moderate river level and in a watercraft propelled by a paddle, this 9-mile paddling trip takes an average of 5 hours to complete.
This 9-mile paddling trip offers some great fishing holes between Buffalo Point and Rush, where the pools get long and the current typically slows in the summer time. You have the option at stopping at Buffalo Point, which is 1.5 miles from Dillard's Ferry to admire Painted Bluff and Ludlow Bluff further downstream, which is actually the tallest bluff on the river (sorry, Big Bluff).

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).
  • 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:
8 minutes, 20 seconds

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

Last updated: December 8, 2020